Friday, April 13, 2012

Arrest of an Academic on False Charges

Rahul has a post on the arrest of Dr. Partho Sarothi Ray (a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at IISER - Kolkata, and an alumnus of IISc, Bangalore) by the Kolkata Police following a protest against a slum eviction drive.

What makes this case particularly distressing is that the police have charged him (and six of his fellow activists) with crimes that allegedly took place some five days earlier -- on the 4th of April, a day on which Dr. Ray was elsewhere (to be precise, in the campus of IISER - Kolkata). With these allegations, the police have sought to keep them under their custody for two full weeks -- instead, the magistrate has ordered that they be sent to jail. Here's an excerpt from the ToI report on the court proceedings:

In the packed courtroom, lawyers Tamal Mukherjee, Shankar Mukherjee and Subhasish Saha bore holes in the police claim. Mukherjee said: "When the first arrests were made in the Nonadanga eviction case on April 4, the court had granted bail. These seven names didn't figure in the original FIR. Suddenly on April 9, the seven were shown as arrested in the same case. Police now claim they had arms and ammunition. The court gave them three days to unearth evidence but today, police could only show that seven bricks were recovered."

Mukherjee added: "Partha Sarathi Roy is a molecular biologist who has done his PhD in [IISc], Bangalore. He was in Kalyani when police claim that he led the attack on them. The case has been lodged by police. What's worse, the people who were assaulted by police had complained to Tiljala police with their medical certificates but no complaint was lodged."

It's heart-breaking that this academic activist will be spending the next several days in jail -- on false charges. It is important that we raise our voice in protest against this travesty.

Please read Rahul's post which has the text of a letter he received from Dr. Ray's friends and well wishers.

Also, please consider joining the protest by sigining this online petition. The State counsel's veiled threat of torture must terrify us all.


  1. gaddeswarup said...

    Signed the online petition.

  2. Knowmics said...

    Partho is a lone ranger we all lone rengers who are fighting against the system should support partho

  3. Anonymous said...

    I'm not sure what to make of this. Indian scientists unfortunately spend too much time politicking and not enough time doing what they are paid to by the taxpayer. And then we have quacks and terrorists like Binayak Sen who clearly have no place anywhere outside a prison cell, who are these days holding forth on things they don't know such as nuclear energy. A few years back senior professors at IIT-Madras conducted themselves dishonorably in sneaking in to fling tendentious accusations against a duly elected Chief Minister demeaning their profession and their employer. In West Bengal both the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress are locked in a race to the bottom whether it is appeasing jihadophiles or reactionary elements. It is worth noting that when TMC and CPI(M) organised riots and led a campaign of violence against Taslima Nasrin none of these worthies as much as uttered a squeak. Let this be a lesson to wannabe vigilantes to mind their business and leave governance to the elected representatives. Also note how differently Gujarat and WB deal with academic vigilantism.