Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Final hearing on Gajurel's case on Friday

As court hearings continued to decide the fate of Nepali Maoist leader CP Gajurel, who was to be released from Chennai prison on Monday, his lawyers and sympathizers have alleged "blatant violation" of his human rights and the Indian Supreme Court directives ekantipur reports .

As hearings continued on the second straight day at Chennai's Metropolitan Court, further hearings are schedules for Wednesday and Friday.

A comprehensive hearing on Friday on the legality of his detention at the Chennai prison since Monday by a special task force of the West Bengal police should decide his fate, his lawyer A Rahul said.

That special task force was flown in on a special aircraft from Kolkata before the scheduled release of Gajurel, who was imprisoned for violating India's National Security Act.

Arrested on Sept. 3, 2003, when he was allegedly attempting to travel to London on a forged passport, Gajurel, or 'Comrade Gaurav', has also been charged with treason and violation of Indian arms law by the West Bengal government too.

"While detaining him [Gajurel] in the Chennai prison itself without appropriate arrest warrant from Jalpaiguri, the West Bengal police have blatantly violated national laws including the Supreme Court directives," Rahul said over telephone from Chennai.

He added that the police were also misbehaving with Gajurel and were denying him access to the media.

Gajurel, a Politburo Member of the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist (CPN-M), was overseeing the party's foreign department at the time of his arrest. The 56-year-old's health condition has been described as good.

Also on Tuesday, Gajurel's supporters under the banner of Nepali Janadhikar Surakshya Samiti staged demonstrations against the Indian government outside the jail, according to the Samiti activists at the scene.

Shortly after the West Bengal police intervened, his supporters had moved the Chennai High court with a habeas corpus writ petition demanding that his confinement should not be extended.

Also facing similar charges in West Bengal is another senior CPN-M leader, Mohan Baidya, or 'Comrade Kiran'.

Gajurel was arrested from Siliguri bordering eastern Nepal where he was undergoing cataract surgery on March 30, 2004. Since then, he has been imprisoned in Siliguri and Jalpaiguri awaiting court trials, which haven't started as yet.

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