Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 3:
Top Maoist leader Azad, who is on a hunger strike in Odisha’s Jharpada jail along with six others, may call off the strike tomorrow, said Additional Director General (ADG) – Jail Arun Roy.
“Azad and some other accused Maoists had submitted a representation that their trial is yet to start and that they are not being produced in the court. I held a discussion with them today and promised them to communicate their grievances to the district administration. They are likely to call off their strike tomorrow,” said Roy speaking to reporters after meeting Azad.
Roy today paid a visit to the Jharpada jail and called on Azad after Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) yesterday asked him to take immediate steps to restrain the Maoists from fasting inside Jharpada jail.
OHRC yesterday also directed the Principal Secretary Home and the Police DG to ask government witnesses and Investigating Officers to appear in the court on specified dates and submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) within two weeks.
It may be noted that Azad along with six of his associates including a woman – Chandrabati Takuruka, Kamalakant Sethi, Ashutosh Soren, Kishore Kumar Jena, Rabi Dulal and Ranjit Sana have been fasting in Jharpada jail demanding early trial of their cases.
They also have also sent a five point charter of demands to the State Government that include filing of case and subsequent appearance in court within 3-6 months of a person’s arrest, refraining from re-arrest when acquitted by a court or out on bail, to be produced in court on the scheduled date and granting them political prisoner status.
They have the backing of 12 other inmates from various other jails in the state including the Bhanjanagar sub-jail.
According to the police, Azad was active member of Bansadhara division of outlawed CPI (Maoist) organisation. He along with six of his comrades have been stationed in Jharpada circle jail in connection with murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and 2008 Nayagarh police station attack case among others.