Maoist leader Azad on fast inside Jharpara jail

Bhubaneswar: Top Maoist leader Azad staged a hunger strike inside Jharpara jail in Bhubaneswar demanding early trial of his case. Azad has also sent a 5-point demand memorandum to the State government.

In his letter to the State government, Azad has alleged inordinate delay in his trial which had not begun even five years after his arrest for his alleged involvement in Maoist activities. He has also termed it as a violation of his fundamental rights.

His other demands included 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 as per a scheduled date and granting of political prisoner status.

“My client is facing trial in a total of 12 cases since 2011. This is the third time he has restored to a hunger strike and in the earlier two instances he was assured of early trial. Last time, the Khurda collector met Azad and gave assurance,” said P Kameswar Rao, legal counsel of Azad.

12 inmates of various jails across the state have lent their support to Azad’s cause.

Meanwhile, Azad’s mother who had come to meet her son in the jail had to go back with without meeting him as the jail authorities did not give permission for it.