Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kerala Human Right Activists taken into police custody

KOCHI: Human rights activists from West Bengal alleged that the police searched the house in which they were staying in Kalamassery and 'illegally' detained them in the police station on Wednesday night.

Addressing presspersons at the Ernakulam Press Club on Thursday, Shyna P.A. (in whose house the activists were staying) said the detained people included Debolina, secretary of the Matangini Mahila Samithi and Chhabi, a samithi activist. Two activists of the United Students Democratic Front too were staying in the house, when the police searched the area.

"The police had no search or arrest warrant. They said they got information about some Maoist activists staying in the house and hence the search. The men were taken to the Kalamassery police station, while the women were taken to the women's police station and detained overnight. The aim is to demoralise those who are engaged in democratic modes of protest," she said.

Ms. Debolina, a student of International Relations, said the samithi was formed in the aftermath of the 'torture' meted out to women of Nandigram. "We are fighting against special economic zones and imperialism."

City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham said the Criminal Procedure Code permitted the police to search any premises if they got information that people had assembled in a place with weapons. "They were released on establishing that they did not seem to have any link with extremists."


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