PUCL Bulletin, 2002

URGENT: Arrest of Human Rights Activist in New Delhi, India
Mr. Gautam Navlakha, human ights activist and assistant editor of Economic
and Political Weekly
was forcibly taken away at about 5.30 p.m (Indian Time)
from Treveni Kala Sangam, (a cultual complex) in New Delhi. At the time of his
illegal arrest, Mr. Navlakha was talking to Ms. Rama Laxmi, correspondent of the Washington Post. According to Ms. Rama Laxmi, about four persons in plain clothes overpowered Mr. Navlakha and virtually dragged him out of the cafeteria of the cultutral complex. He was not allowed to speak or do anything. Ms. Rama Laxmi has informed Ms. Nitya RamaKrishnan, human Rights lawyer that the abductors of Mr. Navlakha asked her about her identity. After being informed that she was a correspondent of the Washington Post, they told her that they were from the intillegence department.We have no informatrion about
the identity of his abductors or his current whereabouts.

It may be pertinent to add that Mr. Navlakha is the convenor of the defence committee for the accused in the December 13 bombing of Indian Parliament. Three Kashmir Muslims have been accues in this case by the police. All of them are being tried under the new anti terrorist act called "Prevention of Terrorism Act".

I request you to take immediate action in this case in the interest of safety of Mr. Navlakha.

Tapan K. Bose
Secretary General
South Asia Forum for Human Rights.

For further information please contact:

Ms. Nitya Ramakrishnan, Lawyer
Tel: (Mobile) +91-98102-60675
Tel: +91-11- 3710748

Mr. Ashok Agrwaal
Tel: (Mobile) +91-9810098466
Tel: +91-11-3714531

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