Release TADA Prisoners in Bihar

CPIML has demanded immediate release of all TADA prisoners lodged in Bihar jails for more than two decades. On 28 April a sit-in protest witnessed people in huge numbers along with the family members of TADA victims who were incarcerated in jails after being convicted in a case of protest held in 1988.

The families of these victims asked Bihar CM Nitish Kumar why such a huge injustice was done to them when recently prisoners were released after changing prison rules but those who had completed 14 years long ago and now even after 22 years they are still languishing in jails in spite of ailing health and old age?

Senior party leaders and a large number of supporters also joined those families in the sit-in protest that was held at MLAs’ residential compound in Patna. CPIML has appealed to the Chief Minister to accept this demand and release them.

In 2003 14 innocents were given life sentences in a case 1988, they are in jails since then and six of them have already died there due to lack of medical care and negligence. One of them Tribhuvan Sharma had already been released in 2020 after a High Court order, while Jagadish Yadav, Churaman Bhagat, Arvind Choudhary, Ajit Sau, Shyam Choudhary and Laxman Sau are still in jails. They all are facing various health issues and bad jail conditions are making their survival more difficult. The families of these six took part in the protest.

Wife of TADA prisoner Jagadish Yadav said that her husband was framed wrongly by the police, at that time he used to be a medical practitioner in Patna and had nothing to do with the allegations he faced. After he was jailed the whole family was ruined as he was the sole earner. Now he is 70 and deserves to live as a free person with his family at the fag end of his life. The sit-in was also joined by Lalpari Devi, wife of Churaman Bhagat; Panpati Devi, wife of Shyam Choudhary; family members of Ajit Sau; grandson of Laxman Sau; and Phoolna Devi, wife of Arvind Choudhary along with Tribhuvan Sharma the lone person who was released at the behest of High Court intervention.

This protest was also attended by family members of those TADA prisoners who had died in jail. Tema Choudhary, son of Sohrai Choudhary; Kausami Devi, daughter in law of Manhagu Choudhary; Ramrati Devi, wife of Baleshwar Choudhary; Shivraj son of Madan Singh and Jameela Khatun wife of popular leader Shah Chand as well as his son were present. Comrade Shivsati Devi, wife of Madhav Choudhary who died in jail custody this month, also attended this protest.

Mahboob Alam, leader of CPIML Bihar Legislative group, addressed the protest. He said that recently the Bihar government has released 27 prisoners who had completed 14 years in jail. The government has not done justice to those who have completed more than 22 years in jail. Such a decision smacks of bias and will be opposed. These TADA prisoners come from the most poor and dalit-most backward communities and they are being ignored.

Mahanand Singh is MLA from Arwal. He has been in regular contact with the families of these prisoners for three decades. He said that the TADA act was imposed on these people at a time when it had already been officially repealed by the Parliament. These people are victims of state repression. He has met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar twice on the issue of their release. The remaining TADA prisoners who are in jail are very weak with old age and suffering from various ailments and medical negligence by the jail and administrative authorities. Three out of these six are already admitted in the hospital. This is a great injustice done to them and now it's time to release them immediately, he said.