By BA, 29 June, 2018

Lok Raj Sangathan has condemned the detention of Professor Shoma Sen along with activists Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale and Surendra Gadling by the Pune police, under the charge that they have Maoist links. Reports state that Professor Sen has also been suspended from her post in a teaching Institution and all the above have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

These incidents come at a time when all across the length and breadth of the country persons working for the rights of some of the weakest sections of the population of the country are being harassed by various state agencies. The Indian State has armed itself with some of the most draconian powers, with arbitrary arrests and detention, being the order of the day. India is perhaps one of the few countries in the world where the State can merely state that this or that person believes in this or that ideology and lock them away. In order to be arrested, a person does not necessarily have committed any crime, or participated in any destructive activity, but may merely have professed some statements in order to attract some of the provisions of the law.

Such an abuse of human rights shows that in the decades since the departure of the colonial power, namely Britain, the ruling circles in India have enacted provisions in the Constitution that enables the State to have the supreme power under which all rights can be trampled upon.

Today, there is a massive expansion of the economy which requires fresh resources, land and natural resources, and cheap labour. These are usually justified under the colonial notions of `eminent domain’. The natural resistance to the grabbing of such resources by those that are the rightful owners, namely the people of India, are being put down under the pretext of maintaining `law and order’ and naming all resistance as `enemies of progress and development’ and `enemies of the country’. Such clashes are increasingly the order of the day.

Peoples’ movements are springing all around the country as a response to these atrocities. People are not against development but are demanding that it cannot be at the cost of their land and livelihood.

The actions of the Maharashtra Government in striking terror in the rank and file of the population, especially those that constitute the weaker sections by detaining their most prominent voices must be roundly condemned. 

This calls for an immediate release of all the persons detained under the provisions of law and for clearing their names and allowing them to return to their normal lives.

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