A group of writers and activists have condemned the arrest of top Maoist leader Kannampally Murali alias Ajith by Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad last week from Pune. The writers, in a statement, said Murali had been a political activist for last four decades and a distinguished scholar of political economy and dalit studies. The statement issued said that they were distressed to learn that the ATS had chosen to arrest him while undergoing treatment in a hospital along with C.P. Ismail, a friend helping him as a bystander. We understand that Murali and Ismail were not given any access to a legal counsel to represent them when they were presented in the court. The only reason given by the ATS for the arrest is that they belong to the banned CPI (Maoist). We feel that the action of the ATS is totally unjustified as denying medical assistance to a sick person is totally inhuman and against the very principle of natural justice and violation of the right to life guaranteed under the constitution,” said the statement.
It said Murali and his friend should be enabled to access a legal counsel of their choice as entitled by the Constitution. The signatories included Partha Chatterjee of Columbia University, Emeritus Professor of National Law University of India G Haragopal, Prof. Prabhat Patnaik of Centre of Economic Studies & Planning, Prof K Satchidanandan and writer Meena Kandasami.