Uttarakhand Solidarity Network urges the state government to halt its persecution of respected journalist Prashant Rahi and others who are only reporting the plight of the people in the state. It’s also interesting how India will now deal with the Republic of Nepal with the Maoist party emerging as the largest party in the Nepal constituent assembly elections. Will they be able to continue to use the phantom Maoist threat to clamp down on civil liberties and attack dissidents?
Inventing Threats: A Daughter’s Plea
Combat Law, April 10, 2008
The ‘Naxal threat’ has suddenly surfaced in Uttarakhand. It is a state government’s ploy to demand crores of rupees from the Centre. To bolster this claim an innocent journalist, Prashant Rahi, is arrested. His daughter Shikha Rahi writes:
I do not remember coming across a news report on any kind of naxalite activity in the state of Uttarakhand till the Chief Minister’s conference on internal security, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was held on December 20, 2007. Addressing the Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister said, “I have said in the past that Left Wing extremism is probably the single biggest security challenge to the Indian state. It continues to be so and we cannot rest in peace until we have eliminated this virus.” Giving assurance of providing support to the states for improving internal security he said, “We need to cripple the hold of Naxalite forces with all the means at our command.”
This conference brought to my notice that Uttarakhand is also now one of the states which faces the red threat, as the Chief Minister of the State BC Khanduri spoke of armed men, suspected to be Maoists, who were seen in the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand. According to Khanduri, since Uttarakhand lies on the Nepal border it faces greater threat of Maoists filtering in from the border. In order to beef up internal security, and ward off the menace of these “Maoist monsters,” Khanduri demanded Rs 208 crores from the centre.[more]