It is possible for prison walls
For the cell to become a distant land
What did you do with the walls?
I gave them back to the rocks.
And what did you do with the ceiling?
I turned it into a saddle.
And your chain?
I turned it into a pencil.
– Nazim Hikmet
As we are all aware, Hem, a student and known cultural activist of this campus has been languishing behind bars for about two years now framed under fake charges and being repeatedly denied bail. On 5th February (Thursday), yet again, the Aheri Sessions Court in Maharashtra has rejected Hem Mishra’s bail petition. Hem was arrested in August 2013 and has been falsely charged of being a ‘naxal courier’ under the draconian UAPA. His petition for bail was heard for the first time in September 2014, after spending more than 13 months in prison! Continuous delaying of hearings and rejections of bail to under trials is a routine design of the state machinery which makes mockery and reverses the claim of “bail the rule, and jail an exception”. Without being provided even the fundamental right to timely & speedy trial, Com. Hem has been incarcerated in solitary confinement in the notorious Anda Cell of Nagpur Central Jail for several months now, along with many others who have been targeted and framed by the Indian State. We, the undersigned organizations and individuals from the Defense Committee for the Release of Hem and all other Political Prisoners strongly condemn the rejection of bail to Com. Hem.
Arbitrary arrests and framing of activists like Hem and countless other democratic right activists only goes on to show that in this country an individual can be arrested for even her/his thoughts! When laws like UAPA hounds anyone for questioning the government of the day and its policies, it criminalizes our right to dissent. Moreover, the forms of torture meted out to prisoners even put the notion of ‘democracy’ under trial. The oppressive high structures of the Anda Barracks in which many like Hem are confined, with negligible ventilation and almost no human contact is in designed to crush the spirits of all those who raise their voices against the anti people policies of the government. And in such times of brutal repression and clampdown, we stand united against the targeting of political activists and resolutely demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. We appeal to all progressive forces and student community to join us in protest at the Maharasthra Sadan on 13th February (Friday) at 3 pm against the repeated denial of bail to Com. Hem and his continued incarceration.
Defense Committee for the Release of Com. Hem and all other Political Prisoners
All India Students Association(AISA), All India Students Federation (AISF), Birsa Ambedkar Students Association (BAPSA), Campus Front of India (CFI), Dastak, Democratic Students Union, IPTA, Jagriti Natya Manch, Janrang, Jan Sanskritik Manch, JNUSU, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha (KNS), Revolutionary Cultural Front (RCF), Students Federation of India (SFI), Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) The New Materialists (TNM), United Dalits Students Forum (UDSF)