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Wednesday 18 April 2012

Censorship in West Bengal -- HRDs are under attack

17th April 2012

The Chairman
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House
Copernicus Marg
New Delhi
Attn. Mr. A. K. Parashar, Jt. Registrar & Focal Point on HRD
Respected Sir

I want to draw your kind attention on an issue of blatant attack at a cell phone- text messaging service. Dodhichi; a well known Kolkata based human rights group; disseminating information, news and views to many NGOs, Members of Parliament and Legislative bodies and other social- cultural rights activists. They used to provide information which is usually not covered by mainstream media.

As the human rights fraternity of West Bengal is facing the wraths of the state government over the issue of illegitimate eviction of marginalized populace at Nonadanga; the said alternative media group; a vociferous supporter of peoples’ movement met the brunt of state government. The group was providing information for last two years without facing any harassment.

On 9th of April, Dr. Shyamal Roy, Secretary of Dodhichi (A Human Rights Organisation), an octogenarian found all their 57 sim cards; were suddenly deactivated by the service provider. The service provider for Dodhichi was Tata- Docomo. The Secretary of Dodhichi, Dr. Roy while contacted their service provider; the service provider failed to make any convincing reply. Only next day, 10th April, 2012, he came to know through a report published in a Bangla newspaper; named Khabar 365 Din. In an all-out praise for the state government, the report said that the Dodhichi is used to circulate ‘anti- national’ and incriminating news items and circulating it to ‘anti- national forces’ which is an act of conspiracy against the State and thus, the state government after receiving feed backs from intelligence sources of central government deactivated the sim-cards. In the report it has been mentioned that the state government on their part cautioned the all the service providers on the same.

Though, the government has not intimated the said human rights defending group or asked for any explanation from their part. Dodhichi on their part is in complete dark regarding the abrupt seize on their activity.

This illegitimate act is against the prescribed rights according the law of the country and Constitutional guarantees.

In this context I am requesting you for an impartial investigation by the Commission over the issue and illegal act of the state government and immediate restoration of the service for Dodhichi by the said service provider. The state government must be asked to furnish their stance which is tantamount to undemocratic and censoring the dissent voices.

Sincerely Yours

(Kirity Roy)
Kirity Roy
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor)
Balaji Place
PIN- 712203
Tele-Fax - +91-33-26220843
Phone- +91-33-26220844 / 0845
e. mail :

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