PUDR would like to bring to notice that the Jharkhand police who had picked up two activists of CPI (Maoist) party, identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs as Amit Bagchi and Shaufeeq Mandal on 19 August, have finally produced them after a gap nearly 6 days in court on the 25th. According to the Artice 22(2) of the Indian Constitution, an arrested person should be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours of their arrest. Since the arrest was made on the 19th, the question that comes up is why did the police take 6 days before producing them before the magistrate?
In the past, incidents of Maoist leaders being picked up by the police and security forces in this manner have often been reported. Those picked up have been illegally confined for many days or have been shown to have been killed in fake encounters. In this case the failure to produce the activists has fuelled violent incidents by the Maoists including the uprooting of a railway track and destruction of a mobile phone towers.
Recognising the imperative for governments to follow the Constitution and the laws if it expects others to respect it, PUDR demands that the appropriate action should be taken against the concerned police officers to ensure that violations such as these are not repeated in future.
Gautam Navlakha and Moushumi Basu