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Govt wants to ‘kill me legally’, says Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy after re-arrest

The Maoist leader issued a press statement following his arrest from Telangana by the Jharkhand police on Saturday. He has spent over eight years at various jails across the country already.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2017 21:59 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Maoist leader,CPI(Maoist),Kobad Ghandy
Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy alleged that the government plans to keep him in prison as an undertrial indefinitely. (Bharat Bhushan/ HT File)

Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy has alleged in a press statement that the Centre plans to keep him imprisoned until death.

The statement followed his re-arrest from Telangana by the Jharkhand police in connection with a 2007 case on Saturday, barely three days after his release from prison on bail. Ghandy has spent over eight years at various jails across the country.

“It is clear that police methods are being used to kill me legally, given that I am 71 years old and in very poor health. They did not bother about this case for seven years, but arrested me for it immediately on release to keep me in jail as an undertrial indefinitely,” the statement issued on Saturday evening read.

Ghandy, who was educated at Doon School and St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, joined Maoist politics in the late 1960s. He was a politburo member of the banned CPI(Maoist) at the time of his arrest from New Delhi in October 2009. Ghandy was released from the Vishakhapatnam central prison on December 13.

“I was attending proceedings at the Achempet court (near Hyderabad) on December 16, 2017, when the Jharkhand police arrested and took me to Ranchi,” Ghandy wrote, adding that most of his co-accused have already been acquitted and the rest are out on bail.

The rebel leader said he would hold the government responsible if his health deteriorated in prison. “Given that I have been acquitted in all cases, and most have been acquitted in this case, and my age and health condition, I demand my immediate release (sic),” he added.

Ghandy claimed that doctors recommended one month of complete rest during a medical check-up at a Hyderabad hospital immediately after his release. Sources said he had anticipated the arrest, given how the police seemed reluctant to produce him before a court in connection with this case during his imprisonment and had prepared the statement well in advance.

“The FIR has been pending since 2010, and there was no response even though both I and the Cherlapalli jail authorities wrote to the judicial magistrate first class courts at Bokaro and Tenughat twice in this regard. The first letter was written over one year ago on November 2, 2016. When there was no response to this, a reminder was sent by me and the jail authorities on March 9, 2017. Still, there was no response.”

This claim was echoed by N Venugopal Rao, a Hyderabad-based associate of Ghandy.

“He was anticipating a re-arrest. Immediately after his release, even the Gujarat police came down to Vishakhapatnam jail to tell the jail super that Ghandy had a case pending in Gujarat. That was when the team from Jharkhand – accompanied by the Telangana State Intelligence Bureau – came down, arrested him and flew him to Jharkhand,” said Rao.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 21:59 IST