When former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani was arrested two days ago on sedition charges, his close friends and colleagues, including professor Jagmohan Singh, vice president of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), were hardly surprised.Talking to dna, Singh, who is freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s nephew and also Geelani’s colleague at CRPP, admitted that the former DU lecturer’s detention was on the cards, since Geelani is a Kashmiri and a Muslim, both of which fits in the current government’s image of an ‘anti-national’.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It was evident. Whenever someone puts an odd question to this government, they prefer to arrest the person and label him as anti-national, instead of answering the question,” Singh said, agreeing that the level of intolerance in the country has grown by huge proportions in the last many months.Singh and CRPP, has been closely advocating the cause for release of political prisoners in the country. According to him, CRPP, acts an interface between the ‘voiceless’ prisoners and public, with an aim of creating mass awareness on them. Over the years, CRPP was been widely working in creating awareness on many prisoners, many of them under trials, especially from conflict zones such as Jammu & Kashmir and the north eastern areas of the country.Talking about Geelani’s arrest, Singh said the committee has long been advocating the cause of doing away with hanging a prisoner to death as as a punishment, and the recent topic of Afzal Guru came up as a result of that.”Hanging is the most degrading punishment,” Singh said, adding that in both the JNU case and in the arrest of Geelani, the main concern was sidelined and they were falsely charged with sedition for having a voice.Defining ‘political prisoners’, Singh said they are usually those with some amount of consciousness, or with a view. “It is often for that view that they are illegally put behind the bars and are falsely implicated in cases. There has been several such cases in the country, where despite being imprisoned for two years, no evidences have been found against them,” Singh, 72, said.”Legally or otherwise, we will do whatever is possible from our side to ensure justice to Geelani,” Singh said. Geelani is the working president of CRPP.Geelani was arrested comes amid a huge unrest in the Jawaharlal Nehru University over its student’s union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest for alleged ‘anti-national’ activities.Singh, who never met his uncle Bhagat Singh in person, said he met the late freedom fighter through his letters and books and via his mother. Fighting for the voiceless surviving behind the bars has been influenced by his uncle, he said.
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