JNU student arrested in Garhchiroli with secret Naxal documents; Film and Television Institute of India Pune, also allowed its premises for pro-Naxal activities. State funded Jawaharlal Nehru University of Delhi is in the news again, obviously for wrong reasons. The Maharashtra police on August 23 arrested a JNU student Hem Mishra with ‘a microchip and some secret Naxal documents’. He was remanded on ten-day Police custody on August 24. Hem was arrested along with two others from a bus station in Aheri division of Gachiroli district on August 23. A police press release said Hem Mishra (30), Pandu Pora Narote (27) and Mahesh Tirki (24) of Morewada village in Etapalli, were roaming around Aheri area “suspiciously” when they were arrested.
The police release also mentioned that police recovered “a microchip and some secret Naxal documents” from them. “The accused have accepted that they were going to give these documents to senior Naxal leader Narmada Akka. Pandu Narote and Mahesh Tirki also accepted that both of them were regular couriers of Narmada Akka and other senior Naxal leaders in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh” said the press note.
The Naxal movement in Maharashtra is increasing day-by-day. On August 21,-Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Students Association, a student’s union of the students of FTII, Yugpath, NGO working for social and environmental issues had jointly organised a stage performance by Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) artists. The programme was organised in the premises of National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and it also included screening of ‘Jai Bhim Comrade’ a film by Anand Patwardhan. After the programme concluded, and the audience come out of the hall, few people from the audience met Deepak Dengle, one of the KKM performers. He was asked about the details of KKM activities. Some also enquired about the alleged relation between KKM and naxalite to which he replied in negative.
However, on further inquiry, one of the students, who was one of the organisers in disgust declared loudly “yes I’m a naxalite, let’s see what anyone can do to me”. It invited a heated clash between KKM students and ABVP activists. The matter even went to the police station.
The KKM was formed in Pune in 2002 in the wake of Gujarat riots and made up of students and young professionals who performed protest poetry and plays in slums and streets. Few KKM members were arrested in May 2011 along with Angela Sontakke, a member of the banned CPI (Maoist) and wife of Milind Teltumbde, the secretary of Maharashtra unit of CPI (Maoist), by the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra Police and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Most of the members who performed on the said platform are out on bail and very serious charges are pending against them in the court of law.
Even during the programme, before the KKM artists performed in front of the audience, they introduced themselves and mentioned about their so-called injustice that they claimed to have been meted out to them by the state and about their jail tenure. Even the Deepak Dengle was lodged behind bars for around two years and was recently released on bail by Bombay High Court. Members of KKM are still lodged in jail. Other artists from KKM who performed include Siddharth Bhosle who is also out on bail.
Slowly a larger pattern of glorifying alleged naxal elements and vilifying citizens who dare to raise their voice against such instances is seen emerging in Pune. The above incident just adds further colour to the pattern. It just makes one wonder is this a conscious attempt to turn the city red in a bid to match the ideology of India’s Eastern neighbours.
FTII is an autonomous body under Government of India. Yet, it has organised such programme ignoring the security alert. The ABVP has demanded an in depth enquiry of the entire episode and who are the masterminds supporting this anti-national activities.
In Police station, the director of FTII took the stance that the event did not take place in institute’s premises. Students from our institute organised this so we are not directly linked with it. But outside of station, the institute has officially issued press note and conducted press conference backing their students who are openly supporting the Naxalism. This is contradictory to functioning of Government undertaking institute. This forces the people to believe that these students are enjoying the support from directors for being Naxalites. So, FTII also must be enquired and people convicted must be punished.