We welcome the Siwan court’s verdict sentencing Md. Sahabuddin, notorious mafia don and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP from Siwan, to life imprisonment for the abduction and murder of CPI(ML) activist Chhotelal Gupta. This verdict marks a primary vindication for the people of Siwan and the CPI(ML) in their sustained campaign against Sahabuddin’s reign of crime and terror. It must be noted that several CPI(ML) activists and supporters in Siwan have had to lay down their lives for daring to file cases and provide witnesses against Sahabuddin and his henchmen even as the UPA and NDA always colluded on every level to protect this mafia don and his political fiefdom. It is therefore a significant victory for the democratic and peace-loving people of Siwan and the CPI(ML) to get a well-entrenched and highly protected crime lord like Sahabuddin tried and convicted by a court of law. The experience of Siwan has made it very clear that criminalisation of politics can only be challenged and defeated on the basis of powerful democratic struggles and only a revolutionary party like CPI(ML) can carry forward such struggles.


Particularly inspiring in this context has been the martyrdom of Chandrashekhar, CPI(ML) leader and former president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union who was gunned down in Siwan at Sahabuddin’s behest on 31 March 1997. Chandrashekhar’s brave mother Kaushalya Devi has also played a historic role by spurning the compensation offered for her son’s killing and relentlessly persisting with the campaign for bringing the killers to justice. Ironically enough, while the local court has succeeded in convicting Sahabuddin in at least two cases, the country is yet to hear the CBI’s report on Chandrashekhar’s assassination. This is a telling commentary on the state of the country’s apex investigation agency and the justice delivery system in the country. The CBI must submit its report without delay and the killers of Chandrasekhar must be brought to justice.


Indian Parliament and the ruling parties of the country also owe an answer to the people as to why the parliament membership of criminals like Sahabuddin has still not been terminated. The parliamentary licence granted to the Sahabuddins has only emboldened the Kataras who continue to ‘glorify’ the portals of parliament in spite of being caught red-handed in a case of human smuggling and utter misuse of his diplomatic passport and parliamentary privileges.


We appeal to all democratic forces in the country to support the fighting people of Siwan and join the CPI(ML)’s campaign for immediate removal of RJD MP Sahabuddin and BJP MP Babubhai Katara from the rolls of Lok Sabha.




Tax experts say Parivar gets 3 million US dollars a year from US, UK, Europe

New Delhi, Sunday, May 5, 2007


India’s hyper nationalist Hindutva Parivar’s saffron clad `Saint” leaders have been deeply embarrassed by sting operation exposes linking them to massive currency frauds, laundering of tainted money and tax evasion, all crimes under Indian law. Among them are senior bearded ‘Swamis’ who led the Ram Janmabhumi movement which demolished the Babri Mosque in Ajodhya, leading to nation wide violence which still continues sporadically in Hindu- Muslim clashes and anti-Muslim pogroms such as in Gujarat in 2002.


Retired tax and revenue officials told the CNN-IBN news cannel, which co-authored the sting operation with a private group called Cobra Post, that leaders of the Hindutva Parivar have through bogus trusts received over 3 Billion US dollars annually since the movement began.  This translates into something like 15,000 crore Indian rupees a year, much more than moneys received through legitimate banking channels by other religious groups.


Officers told the news channel that many of these sadhus, men and women, had also received huge tracts of valuable land in urban areas and prime hill resort towns in the name of their charitable trusts, or for themselves. This munificence was shown by state governments then ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Parity, the political face of the Sangh Parivar.  Several Congress governments and chief ministers are also known to have had a soft corner for these Swamis, who have a powerful political footprint in India.


The then Union Government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee refused to take actions against such trusts. The government of Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, a coalition of the Congress, and Socialist parties supported by the Marxists, has now promised it will take action under the law.


The Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader has called the expose – made by Hindu journalists and for news groups controlled by practicing Hindu media and business persons – as a conspiracy against Hindus in India.

 (Source: on behalf of Dr. John Dayal)




Twenty two years ago, Air India Flight 182 left Toronto airport and crashed in the sea near Ireland killing all the 392 persons aboard. It took Canadian authorities 20 years to file a case against suspects, all of whom were acquitted. The acquittal was followed by a public enquiry because of outrage by the families of the victims and others. The public enquiry, still in progress, has already revealed major lapses in security, which is unlikely to occur if the plane was owned by the US, UK, or Israel. But, at the time of the tragedy, India was not a friend of the US and by implication of Canada and the West. Fifty percent of Canadians still believe that it was an Indian tragedy and has nothing to do with Canada. Various testimonies indicate that the airport authorities and the Canadian security agencies were pre-warned about the possibility of a bomb in the ill-fated airplane.


INDIAN FILMMAKER RAKESH SHARMA WINS LAWSUIT IN NEW YORK COURT Rakesh Sharma who was detained for several hours by police officers in May 2005 for filming on a city sidewalk in Manhattan with a hand-held video camera. During his detention, he  was told that he needed a film permit, which was denied to him. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a suit on behalf of Rakesh challenging the city’s unwritten film-permit practices and Mr. Sharma’s detention. The lawsuit against the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcast (MOFTB) had contended that the prohibitive $1 million insurance package required to obtain a permit was an impediment to free speech and violated the First amendment. The case has been settled in Rakesh’s favor  and as per the new policy, filmmakers and photographers using hand-held equipment will neither need to obtain city permits nor need to have $1 million insurance. As per the settlement announced on May 24, NYPD has agreed to pay the filmmaker an unspecified sum in damages to settle the lawsuit. 



(Addressed to Dr. Raman Singh, Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh, India)


CERAS (South Asia Research and Resource Centre), based in Montreal, Canada notes with regret the arrest of noted human rights activist, General Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Chhattisgarh,  who is also an eminent paediatrician,  Dr.  Binayak Sen, under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 (PSA) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

According to various reports, Dr. Sen was arrested for his alleged links with banned Maoist groups. The critical allegation is that Dr. Sen met senior Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal more than 30 times in recent months in Raipur Central Jail. The charge is ludicrous, because Dr. Sen’s meeting with Mr. Sanyal occured with the authorization of the authorities, and always in the presence of a jailor. As a civil liberties activist, it is his legitimate function to meet detainees and ensure that their fundamental rights are respected. Whether he met Sanyal 30 times or 100 times is totally irrelevant.


The Chhattisgarh government has  levelled defamatory and scandalous charges against an activist-intellectual of Sen’s standing, who has an illustrious record as a public-spirited pediatrician connected with the people’s health movement. Dr. Sen was involved with the setting up of the Shaheed Hospital, an initiative of the great trade unionist Shankar Guha Niyogi who was murdered at the behest of rapacious industrialists. Indeed India needs more people like Dr. Sen.

The hospital, owned and operated by a workers’ organisation, remains unmatched anywhere in India for helping the population of a backward tribal area callously neglected by the state. Sen was on the official advisory committee that drew up one of India’s most successful community-based primary healthcare programmes.

From all the reports that we have Dr. Sen is committed  to peaceful means of addressing people’s issues and yet the Chhattisgarh government arrested him under the draconian PSA. This extraordinarily repressive law allows for detention of a person on the vaguest of charges. The charges include committing acts with a “tendency to pose an obstacle to the administration of law  and actions which “encourage(s) the disobedience of the established law”. This law criminalises even non-violent protests, including Gandhian civil disobedience. It’s a disgrace that the PSA remains on India’s statute books.

Many of us in CERAS have roots in India and South Asia, and view with pride the great strides India has made since independence.  In light of this we find the conduct of the Chhattisgarh Government highly deplorable, and a black spot on Indian democracy.   The only option is that your government immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Binayak Sen.

Copies to: Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, Mr. Shivraj Patil, Union Home Minister and Mr. E.S.L. Narasimhan, Governor, Chhattisgarh




Everyone is invited to participate and pay respects to Lord Buddha on his 2551st Maha Parinirvan Day (birth, enlightenment and passing away). This is going to be the first Buddha Jayanti celebrations by Indian Buddhist Society Toronto. The Program is supported by the Indian Buddhist Society Vancouver and Shri Guru Ravidas International Organization for Human Rights (Canada). For more info contact R.K. Oshoraj 



Top - Home