From A World to Win News Service

India Tortures Nepali Maoists Held in Patna

Revolutionary Worker #1248, August 8, 2004, posted at

The following is from A World to Win News Service:

July 19, 2004. A World to Win News Service. The Nepali weeklies Janastha and Janadharana have published similar reports about the torture of leaders and cadres of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) by the Indian authorities. The Nepali Maoists were arrested in mid-June in the city of Patna, northern India. In a statement condemning India for this incident, CPN(M) Chairman Prachanda said they were in Patna for medical treatment and party work.

Janastha wrote July 14, "Five Maoist leaders have been subjected to cruel torture and they have sustained severe injuries. Other cadres besides Central Committee members were also injured by torture." The weekly continued, "The situation of the other Maoist leaders arrested and imprisoned in Indian jails is not yet known."

The prisoners were tortured while held in police custody for 15 days after their arrest, before being transferred to Kadamkuwa prison in Patna. Among the CPN(M) central leaders arrested were Lokendra Bista, Hitbahadur Tamang, Kula Prasad K.C., Kumar Dahal and Anil Sharma. Chitra Bhadur Shrestha, a Central Committee adviser, is also among the imprisoned. Maoist leader Dilip Maharjan and women leaders unnamed in this report were also tortured. One of the women comrades suffering from internal injuries is held in another prison, Phulbari jail in Patna, the newspaper reported.

Janadharana said July 15 that the leaders were subjected to both mental and physical torture in Indian police custody.

According to the reports published in both weeklies and some dailies referring to broadcasts by the Maoist FM Radio People's Republic of Nepal, torture by the Indian police has caused severe urinary problems for Bista. Similarly, Dahal has sustained injuries around the eyes. Prasad cannot move one hand. His back was also injured, and he has bruises all over the hands and body caused by beating, the weeklies reported. Another central leader has gone deaf because of torture applied to his ears. Indian police crushed comrade Sharma's fingers. They placed his fingers on an anvil and hammered on them while interrogating him as to his role in party work. They also hit him in the teeth and eyes. Sharma was already suffering diabetes and kidney problems. According to reports, the Indian police stripped these prisoners naked while they beat them. Because of blood pressure and kidney problems, Shrestha is in a critical situation.

The Nepali Maoists are continuing to face mistreatment after their shift to prison. Instead of receiving the regulation food and supplies valued at Rs. 75 (equivalent to 2 dollars) each a day, they are getting only rotten food valued at Rs. 10 (equivalent to 27 cents) per day. The Nepali prisoners have lodged a petition against the authorities in the Patna civil court. Maoist revolutionaries in India have issued a statement demanding that the Indian regime comply with international law regarding the humane treatment of political prisoners.

According to the newspaper reports, in addition to the Nepali Maoists, Indian Maoist leaders are also imprisoned in this jail. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (People's War) central leader Abhindrakumar and regional leader Rabindra were transferred to Bhagalpur prison after having been accused of speaking with the Nepalese Maoists. Similarly, another prisoner, Sachitananda Prabhat of the All India People's Resistance Forum of Bihar and Jharkhand, has filed a petition against the inhuman treatment of the Maoist prisoners by the Indian police. Recently the Indian administration reportedly killed a political prisoner from the Indian Maoist movement in this jail.

Roshan Kumar Yadav, a member of the All India People's Resistance Forum, said that the struggle raised by his organization forced the authorities to shift the prisoners from police custody to jail. Comrade Yadav, previously reported to be waging a hunger strike against police torture, has now been transferred to prison as well. He has appealed to human right activists to raise their voices in favor of the Maoist leaders.