The conviction of civil rights activist Seema Azad for terrorism, unlawful activities, sedition and waging war against the state is a glaring travesty of justice.The only allegation against her is that she was in the possession of literature that the prosecution argued was illegal. But between possessing literature and committing an offence is a wide chasm that cannot be bridged by the flimsy arguments brought forth by the prosecution and accepted by the judge.
Immediate and unconditional Release- Seema Azad and her husband
The conviction of civil rights activist Seema Azad and her husband Vishwavijay under provisions of UAPA for allegedly waging war against state by the lower court of Allahabad has once again proved that this system is adamant at crushing voices of dissent. A penalty of Rs. 70,000 has also been imposed upon this couple besides life imprisonment order on8th of this June. These former student union leaders and active social activists have been alleged of being a member of CPI(Maoist) and involvement in 'illegal activities'.
Seema Azad and Vishwavijay were arrested by UPSTF in Allahabad on Feb 6, 2010 when Seema returned from World Book Fair in Delhi and Vishwavijay had gone to receive her at railway station. STF claimed to have recovered maoist literature from their possession and also claimed that both were related to maoist party. STF then transferred this case to UP anti-terror squad.
Seema Azad is the editor of bimonthly 'Dastak' magazine, organisation secretary of PUCL-UP and social activist involved with civil rights movement. Her husband Vishwavijay has been a student union leader and activist of Inquilabi Chhaatra Morcha. Seema Azad and Vishwavijay have consistently raised their voice against human rights violations in Eastern UP repectively through their journalistic writings and political activism. They have mostly worked in the plains of Allahabad and Kaushambi where politico-mafia-police nexus is illegally mining sand, hoarding black money and in the proces exploiting and harassing workers. The couple raised their voice against politico-mafia-police nexusthat put them at the establishment's target. Their activities could not be termed as illegal in any sense, never did they involve in any activity that was outside the perview of constitutional right to freedom of expression accorded to citizens of this country. The bimonthly 'Dastak' edited by Seema Azad investigated the Ganga expressway project in detail that was looming large upon the farmer's livelihood and shelter. This magazine published detailed reports on the witch-hunting of muslim youth coming from Azamgarh. The arrest and recent judgement is basically prejudiced and an attempt to create a precedence that whosever will raise voice against wrongdoings of establishment and stand with the oppressed will be dealt with in the same fashion. It is noticeable that the court has no evidence whatsoever to prove the conviction charges.
I strongly condemn this judgement and appeal to the masses that they uncover the whole episode thoroughly and expose the anti-people face of governments. It is within the powers of the state government to withdraw prosecution
I demand the state government withdraw the false charges against activists’ lodged and an . immediate and unconditional release of Seema Azad and her husband.
I also demand to scrap the colonial laws under which arrest of social activists and charging them with sedition or waging war against state has become a daily routine, after which they are cursed to pass years behind bars without being given the legitimate right of hearing. Thousands of youth charged with sedition and toiling in jails are in this impasse. This casey is a challenge upon all the democratic minded citizens and has to be dealt with great fervor.