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Illegal detention and arrest of HRDs Tipu Sultan and Arka Goswami under fabricated sedition charges by the West Bengal Police

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Tipu Sultan and Arka Goswami 

Activists 

West Bengal

On April 24, 2022, at around 11.30 am, Mr. Arka Goswami heard someone call out his name when was on his way to the fish market in the Jamboni area of Bolpur. Suddenly two persons in civil dress forced him into a vehicle and took him to a lodge somewhere in Bolpur. They confiscated his mobile and wallet and forced him to sign a document claiming that they had found Maoist posters on Mr. Goswami and got it signed by two others who were present at the lodge.

At around 12.30 pm, around 6-7 persons in civil dress barged into Mr. Tipu Sultan’s house and dragged the HRD forcibly into the vehicle without providing any reason or explanation and without allowing him time or opportunity to put on a shirt, trousers or slippers. They only said that they were from the Barikul Police Station in Bankura and refused to show any arrest warrant to Mr. Sultan’s family members despite repeated requests. They took Mr. Sultan to the same lodge where Mr. Goswami was detained. The duo were then taken onward to the Barikul Police Station where they were kept overnight. 

Mr. Tipu Sultan and Mr. Arka Goswami are activists residing in Bolpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal. They have participated in numerous struggles in the past 5-6 years highlighting instances of human rights violations and injustice, including cases of malnutrition, suicide and the rape and murder of minor girls from marginalised communities in the area. 

Their abduction, illegal detention and subsequent arrest on fabricated charges is in complete violation of numerous guidelines laid down under DK Basu and fundamental rights enshrined under the constitution. We have appealed to the National Human Rights Commission to direct Director General of Police, West Bengal to initiate an independent inquiry into implication and arrest of the HRDs and the state government to provide both the HRDs a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the two HRDs towards physical and emotional distress and legal costs. 

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