Thursday, January 24, 2008




Dear friends and comrades ,

This is to inform you of the recent arrest of Prashant Rahi, a senior journalist of Uttarakhand, by the state police. Prashant was arrested on 15 th of this month in Dehradun and was allegedly charged of being a Maoist commander. The police secretly confined him for five days after which he was shown arrested from the forests of Hanspur Khatta on 21 st December. The police have charged him with various sections of IPC including 121, 121A, 124A, 153B, 120B. All the media carried the same version as stated by the police.

Just to give you a background, Prashant Rahi had been working in close association with the local people's struggles in Uttarakhand since last 17 years. He has been a journalist by profession. Started his career from Himachal Times, moved on to The Statesman and worked many years covering people's issues. He is a native of Maharashtra and pursued his education from Banaras Hindu University .

This incident is in continuance of the trend set by many innocent arrests in the last few months including that of Binayak Sen and some journalists in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh of targeting pro-people intellegentsia. The trend has become increasingly apparent in those parts of the country where people's movement is strong.

We firmly believe that this state action is a part of the efforts being carried out by the various state governments to secure hefty amount of funds from the central government in the name of combating naxalism. For this, it becomes imperative for them to prove that the state is inflicted with this insurgency.

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the arrest of Prashant Rahi and call upon all the concerned individuals, civil society organisations, journalist unions, writers unions, people's movements and struggling groups to join hands in solidarity and support.

Rajendra Dhasmana (President, PUCL, Uttarakhand)
Manglesh Dabral (Poet and Journalist)
Pankaj Bisht (Editor, Samayantar)
Anand Swaroop Verma (Journalist and Human Rights Activist)
P.C. Tiwari (National Secretary, Indian Federation of Working Journalists)
Suresh Nautiyal (General Secretary, Uttarakhand Patrakar Parishad)
Anil Chaudhary (President, INSAF)
Jagdish Yadav (Photo Editor, Pioneer)
Harsh Dobhal (Managing Editor, Combat Law)
Shekhar Pathak, Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
Gautam Navlakha (Consulting Editor, Economic and Political Weekly)
Ashish Gupta (Asamiya Pratidin)
Anil Chamadia (Journalist)
Jaspal Singh Siddhu (UNI)
A.K. Arun (Editor, Yuva Samwad)
Madan Kashyap (Poet)
Pankaj Singh (Poet and Journalist)
Karuna Madan (Journalist)
Piyush Pant (Editor, Lok Samwad)
Sarvesh (Photo Journalist)
Panini Anand (Journalist, BBC Hindi)
Avinash (Journalist, NDTV India)
Bhupen Singh (Journalist, STAR News)
Sukla Sen (CNDP India)
Aanchal Kapur (Kriti Team)
Vijayan MJ ( Delhi Forum)
Sanjay Mishra (Special Correspondent, Dainik Bhaskar)
Prem Piram (Director, Jagar Uttarakhand)
Ashok Pandey (Poet)
Arvind Gaur (Director, Asmita Theatre Group)
Pankaj Chaturvedi (Poet)
Satyam Verma (Rahul Foundation)
Ranjit Verma (Advocate)
Bishambhar (Secretary, Roji Roti Bachao Morcha)
Ajay Prakash (Journalist, The Public Agenda)
Swatantra Mishra (Journalist, IANS)
Vandana (Special Correspondent, Nai Dunia)
Shree Prakash (INSAF)
Abhishek Srivastava (Freelance Journalist)
Rajeshwar Ojha (Asha Pariwar)
Raju (Human Rights Law Network)
Rajesh Arya (Journalist)
Kamta Prasad (Linguist and Translator)
Abhishek Kashyap (Writer)
Thakur Prasad (Managing Editor, Samprati Path)
Rajiv Ranjan Jha (Writer)
Srikant Dube (Journalist)
Rishikant (Journalist)
Pankaj Narayan(Journalist)

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