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Dandapani demands political prisoner status again

-- Threatens to launch strike from Apr 24 
Dandapani Mohanty
Bhubaneswar, April 22: Maoist interlocutor Dandapani Mohanty has threatened to resort to hunger strike at Brahmapur Circle Jail from April 24 if the Government fails to ensure political prisoner status to him. 

Mohanty (65), who was arrested in Brahmapur on February 8, 2013 on charges of being involved in Maoist activities, has sent letters through the Brahmapur jail authorities to Governor Dr SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Narasingha Mishra seeking treatment as a political prisoner.

Earlier in 2013, Dandapani had also observed a hunger strike in jail demanding political prisoner tag.

“I am an under trial prisoner lodged in different jails since my arrest on February 8, 2013 and presently lodged at Brahmapur Circle Jail and since then languishing in jail custody first in R Udayagiri jail, Parlakhemundi and presently at Brahmapur Circle Jail. Though I was/am not involved in any criminal cases, but for political reasons I was falsely implicated,” said Mohanty in his letter. 

He stated, “I faced trial before different courts, Assistant Sessions Judge, CJM and Parlakhemudi Sessions Judge at Parlakhemundi in 19 cases and was acquitted with the finding either “mistake of facts” or no evidence.  Further cases slapped upon me. Even the High Court has granted me recently bail in one of such case whereas bail applications are pending in other cases.  To say in all those cases I was implicated as a sympathiser or supporter of CPI (Maoist), though I am involved in no violent or unlawful activities as my past record would suggest.” 

Mohanty said, “When I was arrested in 1971 and 1974, the then Governments had treated me as ‘‘A’ class political prisoner. Hence, seeing my political activists of 45 years I request you to consider my case afresh to confer and treat me as a political prisoner immediately.”

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