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Silencing Democratic Voices

The Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) strongly condemn the arrest of Prashant Rahi and Hem Mishra, accusing them of Naxal links. Though the exact date of Hem Mishra’s arrest is yet to be ascertained, he was most probably picked up by the police around 15 August. Prashant Rahi, on the other hand, was arrested on 2 September. The allegation against both of them is that they were carrying some documents/literature. Both have been charged under the notorious Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and are serving a long period of police remand without being provided a lawyer.

Hem Mishra had been active with a student organisation in Uttarakhand before coming to Delhi, when he obtained admission at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. In the year 2007-08, a number of activists involved in organising youth and the rural poor in Uttarakhand were arrested on the allegation of Maoist links. So potent was the terror unleashed, that few would dare to question the allegations or meet the arrested persons for fear of being implicated. Hem Mishra, handicapped in one hand, was the person who visited all the arrested in jail and helped them get legal support. One of the arrested at that time was Prashant Rahi.

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