He was demanding only a political prisoner status, says civil rights activist
After fasting for more than a week to get a writ petition filed in Calcutta High Court, alleged Maoist leader Anup Roy ended his hunger strike at Presidency Correctional Centre here on Tuesday, confirmed prison superintendent Nabin Kumar Saha.
Mr. Roy was detained under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in January this year.
According to civil rights activist Ranjit Sur, Mr. Roy started a fast on July 10 to demand a political prisoner status and to get a writ petition challenging an amendment to the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, 1992, passed in Calcutta High Court.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government introduced an amendment in November 2013, which curbed the rights of prospective political prisoners.
The amendment stated that a person found having links with any terrorist organisation would be denied the rights of a political prisoner.
“The amendment was aimed at Maoists and Islamic outfits. The amendment is unconstitutional.
Political prisoners, who were lodged in jails before the amendment was passed, were also denied their status. This was an illegal move. Mr. Roy sought to change this,” said Mr. Sur. Mr. Roy’s demand to file the writ petition was being denied by jail authorities, Mr. Sur said.
“Mr. Roy has still not been proven accused. Therefore he is not guilty in the eyes of law and is free to file a petition like any other citizen, ” Mr. Sur said.
When contacted, Mr. Saha denied that Mr. Roy had started his fast to demand the rights of a political prisoner. Refusing to divulge the details of the writ petition that Mr. Roy sought to file, Mr. Saha said it was a highly confidential matter.
“Mr. Roy started his hunger strike to demand that the writ petition be filed in the court. He ended his fast on Tuesday,” he said.