December 26, 2016
The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (affiliated to the IAPL – Indian Association of People’s Lawyers) condemns the arrest of Telangana Democratic Forum advocates, democrats and journalists by the Chhattisgarh police on 25th December, 2016 at Dummagudam village of Bhadrachalam District of Telangana. Among those arrested include Ravi Balla (42) and Prabhakar Chikkudu (48), both Advocates of the Hyderabad High Court and active members of IAPL. They were planning to visit Chhattisgarh to enquire into complaints of human rights violations suffered by adivasis villagers of Chhattisgarh at the hands of security forces.
The other activists and journalist arrested include Durga Prasad (36) of Hyderabad, R. Laxmaiyya (45), secretary of Adiwasi Tudem Dubba, Khammam, journalists B. Prabhakar Rao (52) and Rajendra Prasad (28) from Hyderabad and Mohammad Nazim (27), research scholar Osmania University. As per a statement by N Narayandeo, general secretary of Civil Liberties Committee, Telangana the seven had left Hyderabad on December 24 and were detained on December 25 in Telangana. Telangana police later handed over the team members to Chhattisgarh police. All of them have been charged under Sections 8(1), 8(2), 8(3) and 8(5) of the draconian Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 (CSPSA). They have been produced in Sukma court on 26th December and have been now sent to Sukma jail.
The Chhattisgarh government, in collusion with the neighboring State governments, has once again arrested Human Rights activists and lawyers, especially those who have time been instrumental in exposing the numerous fake encounters and violations by the administration. The Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Ravi Balla, Prabhakar Chikkudu and the other five activists and journalists jailed.
(source IAPL – Indian Association of People’s Lawyers Facebook)