Dear Friends All,


This is a detailed communication to formally update you on the unfortunate situation as I arrived in Banaras yesterday. The CISF personnel received me at the airport. (Security provided as per orders of the Hon SC).


Before I knew it, I had been gheraoed (surrounded) by the Banaras police first ushered in, into the lounge. Then SDM Pindra, Mr Nagendra came and requested me ‘Please Maam if you have come to go to BHU, police is advising me to request you not to.’


I understood the concerns even if I did not agree with them and kept explaining to them that my ticket had been booked about a month or more back for a Youth Shibir of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad at Rajghat. Repeatedly.


Finally, Mr Nagendra instructed the police to let me go, a woman police officer who was forcibly holding my luggage back was instructed to sit in the car. Just for the record, the officer in charge at the airport was fairly offensive, taking no trouble to explain security concerns.  It was like being treated like a convict. The PSOs who had been assigned my protection were not at the airport (they arrived at Rajghat later and the police team was not concerned about waiting for them despite them voicing concerns for my security)


We proceeded and as the jurisdiction changed, near the Kacheri chauraha (circle near the court) I was stopped. There SDM Sadar, Sunil Verma (telAn ephone nos below) and Sub Inspector Brijendra Singh and Inspector Nayak with a whole posse of policeman stopped the car . They were polite to me but their men trying to slap around the driver of my friend’s car. I kept saying yo them, please come with me to Rajghat attend my training session, assure yourselves that I am not going to BHU but don’t curtail my freedom without reason and ruin my training programme with youth. That they were just not willing to do. For over an hour, I sat in the car in the corner of police Lines, then was compelled/requested by them to drive into Police Lines Compound.


There the unnecessary drama continued for the whole day. Verbally I kept being told that by evening they would release me. Again some said it was a question of my security others said BHU issue had made the town tense. Mr Rahulji the gunman assigned to me for security arrived sometime after I reached Police Lines. I was on the one hand told that the concern was my Security, other times being told that the city of Banaras was tense because of BHU and therefore like other ‘prominent people’ ,  I was also being simply detained for a few hours. The half an hour assurances stretched to late night 8 pm when I was finally allowed to go.


By well.past 6 pm as darkness descended, there were hectic parleys between SDM and his superiors and I was told that if I proceeded to Jaunpur last night (my two day programme is in Jaunpur district) then I would be “released” with just a preventive detention notice. After much discussion we agreed to this though it was unnecessary and inconvenient and finally by about 8.50 pm left Banaras and reached Jaunpur where we spent the night .


There is one issue of concern. In their desire to see that I left Banaras, there seemed to be overlooking my security. I had virtually to insist to SHO Cantonment Mr Farid Ahmed (09454404379 SHO Can’t Ahmed Farid Ahmed) that I will not leave Banaras till my security concerns are met and covered.


I felt I should inform you of all these developments. The telephone nos of SDM Sadar (Centre ) Mr Sunil Verma  is 09454417040


My programme is continuing as planned. We have given the programme in writing to the SDM as requested by them before my release.


I have planned to be on Jaunpur and Banaras until October 1. The administration has been given my schedule in writing. This is much like a Rule by Surveillance but have compiled. There is no guarantee that freedom of movement and speech, even others freedoms may not be still, be suddenly curtailed. We are dealing with a fairly trigger (read lathi ) happy, panicked and overly aggressive administration.


You are requested to send alerts, concerns and queries to both authorities in Delhi and Lucknow as being the prime minister ‘s constituency, it us not simply the state administration and police that is involved in high level surveillance and other activities.


Yours Sincerely

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