The Central Committee of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has called for an all-India “Protest Week” from January 2 to 8 to protest against the life sentences handed down to physician and human rights activist Binayak Sen, businessman Pijush Guha and alleged Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal.

On December 24, Judge B.P. Verma of the Raipur Additional District and Sessions Court held the three guilty of conspiring to commit sedition and sentenced to them to life imprisonment.

In a statement e-mailed to this correspondent, Maoist spokesperson Abhay clarified that his party was not calling for a ‘bandh' or lock-down of businesses and transportation, but urged party cadres to protest via “press conferences, statements, dharnas, rasta rokos, meetings, protest rallies, processions, signature campaigns, wearing black badges, waving black flags, burning of effigies etc.”

Terming the verdict the “latest addition to the cache of anti-people, fascist repressive measures of the Indian ruling classes, Abhay described Sanyal as a member of the politburo of the CPI (Maoist) who joined the “revolutionary” movement in 1968.

The press release claims a number of Maoist leaders such as Kobad Gandhi, Sushil Roy, Patitpavan Haldar, Pramod Mishra and Chandi Sarkar were being held on false charges across the country.

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