Special Correspondent

Lodged in prisons for the last four years without trials: CPCL

SALEM: Saying that the `black Act' POTA is technically "alive" in Tamil Nadu, human rights activists joined by anguished family members of POTA detainees have urged the Government to withdraw cases against them.

False impression

Meeting under the aegis of the Centre for Protection of Civil Rights (CPCL) here recently, the activists said a false impression was created in Tamil Nadu that POTA detainees were released. In fact, a few, including the political prisoners alone, were enlarged on bail after the interference of the Review Committee on POTA. But many others under the provisions of this law were still languishing in prisons.

Release sought

They urged the State to withdraw all cases registered against those accused in Uthangarai incident, and release them.

These POTA detainees, they claimed, had been in prisons for the last four years without trials. The activists demanded that all black laws against the spirit of human rights be withdrawn.

Raising funds

According to the CPCL activist, K. Haribabu, the Forum had decided to raise funds to fight their cases in various courts to "get them the justice". Of the 42 POTA detainees, 14 were released on bail.

Of the 28, arrested in connection with the Uthankarai incident, six women and a man were released on bail.

Bhagat Singh and Prabhakar, arrested under POTA, were enlarged on bail subsequently after they were found to be `minors'. The two boys also attended the meeting, and narrated their sufferings.

Wives and mothers of those in prisons shared their anguish. Activists from People's Democratic Forum, People's Union for Civil Liberties, Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam, Adi Dravidar Munnetra Kazhagam, Viduthalai Siruthaigal and Tamil National Advocates Centre attended the meeting that discussed fund raising.