The voices in support of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) assistant professor Partha Sarathi Roy and six other human rights activists,including a Jadavpur University research scholar and a doctor who were jailed along with a few evicted slum-dwellers of Nonadanga for allegedly assaulting policemen are getting louder by the day.
The charge levelled against them is that they had participated in protest rallies against eviction of a large number of slum-dwellers who,according to governments intelligence,had been sheltering Naxalites.
Hundreds of educationists from various states and countries,including USA,and about 339 scientists from Indian Institute of Science have submitted a petition to the Governor of West Bengal and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seeking immediate steps to free Roy and the rights activists.
Roy,who is lodged at Alipore Central Correctional Home,was picked up by the police on April 8 from Nonadanga where he went to express solidarity with the evicted slum-dwellers and participated in a protest rally on April 4. Roy has been accused of restraining police from discharging duty and assaulting them when a scuffle broke out during the rally.
Last year,a new government assumed power in West Bengal on the strength of a popular anti-displacement movement. One year down the line,the same government is involved in a large scale displacement operation at Nonadanga,where 250 families were made homeless during an eviction drive on March 31, reads the petition.