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Mainstream, VOL L No 46, November 3, 2012

An Appeal for Legal Help

For Dr Sunilam, Shesh Rao Suryavanshi, Prahalad Aggarwal

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Dr Sunilam (ex-MLA) has been a consistent fighter for the cause of farmers for the last several years. He and two of his colleagues, Shesh Rao Suryavanshi and Prahalad Aggarwal, of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Sessions Court of Multai, District Betul, Madhya Pradesh, on October 19, 2012 in the 14 year-old Multai Firing Case. There was an indiscriminate firing by the police on farmers gathered at Multai headquarters on January 12, 1998 under the banner of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti led by Dr Sunilam. They were demanding compensation for their soya bean crop destroyed due to bad conditions. In the indiscriminate firing by the police, 24 farmers were killed and more than 100 injured. A fire brigade driver, Dhir Singh, was also killed in the chaos.

The administration booked 250 farmers in 66 fake cases. Dr Sunilam was accused of attempting to burn Inspector Sarnam Singh alive, of snatching a rifle from IT S.N. Katare in order to kill him and of killing the fire brigade driver, Dhir Singh, by assaulting him five times with a stone. The accusations are not true. The truth is that the police brutally repressed the farmers. This decision of the trial court, in fact, is a de facto decision of the neo-liberal establishment, of which the Congress and BJP are the leading agents, threatening genuine people who oppose the corporate onslaught on farmers.

Dr Sunilam, Shesh Rao Suryavanshi and Prahalad Aggarwal are now imprisoned in the Bhopal jail. Advocate Aradhna Bhardwaj and other activist friends in Madhya Pradesh are trying to get bail for them and preparing an appeal to file in the Jabalpur High Court.

We, the undersigned, appeal for financial contribution and co-operation in this legal battle. The cheque/demand draft may be sent to SBI, Multai, in the name of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, A/C no. 32059516258, code no. 01206. In this connection friends can contact Jagdish Vodke, vill/post-Jaun Kheda, Tehsil—Multai, Dist. Betul-460661 (MP), phone : 09179124860.

Justice Rajindar Sachar, Bhai Vaidya, Prof Vinod Prasad Singh, Dr G. G. Parikh, Mohan Singh (MP), Sharad Yadav (MP), Ram Gopal Yadav (MP), Medha Patkar, Prof Arvind Kapole, Lila Tai Chitle, Dr Mangal Das Arsekar, Vilas Bhongode, Baban D’Souza, Manhar Gunjan, Mehboob Mohimture, Dr Abhjit Vaidya, Dr A. K. Arun, Sandeep Pandey, Dr Prem Singh and Prof Subhash Vare (Convener, mobile: 09822020773)

[Issued by Dr Prem Singh on behalf of the Legal Help Committee for Dr Sunilam, Shesh Rao Suryavanshi and Prahalad Aggarwal]

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62