India: Maoist Leader Kobad Ghandy’s Health Alarm in Jharkhand Jail

Ghandy has alleged that prison authorities and the police have been ignoring his worsening health condition.

New Delhi: Kobad Ghandy, the imprisoned Maoist ideologue, has said that his health has deteriorated as prison authorities have not followed the doctor’s advice to send him to Ranchi for treatment, a report in the Telegraph said. The 71-year-old activist, in Jharkhand prison, is facing trial for a 2007 attack.

He was moved from Tenughat sub-divisional jail in Bokaro to Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan Central Jail in Hazaribagh in March.

“The latest urine/blood report for the prostrate/urinary (July 3, 2018) tract shows a serious deterioration in the condition,” Ghandy has said in a letter dated July 7, addressed to human rights activist and JNU professor Moushumi Basu.

“Ever since arrest by the Jharkhand police I have been informing that this condition is serious and continuously deteriorating. But the authorities have totally ignored it.”

Ghandy, who has been part of the central committee and politburo of the CPI(Maoist) since its inception in 2004, was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police from New Delhi in 2009. He was released on bail from Vishakhapatnam central prison in December 2017. However, he was re-arrested a few days later.

Ghandy suffers from hypertension, arthritis, a slipped disc and has been treated for prostate cancer, the Telegraph report said.

Earlier, Ghandy was lodged in Cherlapalli central jail on the outskirts of Hyderabad in connection with the assassination of former Congress MLA Chittem Narsi Reddy in August 2005. Prior to that, he had also spent seven years in Tihar jail in Delhi.

Kobad Ghandy had also been named in a conspiracy case pertaining to an attack on a team of elite anti-Maoist commando unit Greyhounds at Gunurkayi village in Visakhapatnam in 2008, for which he was booked under the Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Human rights and civil rights activists have been drawing attention to the treatment of political prisoners in jail. At a recent event in the Capital last week, writers, lawyers and activists demanded the release of wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba.

Saibaba was arrested for alleged links with Maoists. Last year, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. This June, United Nations Rights experts in a joint statement said, “We are concerned about reports that Saibaba is suffering from more than 15 different health problems, some of which have potentially fatal consequences.”


The Wire Staff

Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletters in English and or French. You will receive one email every Monday containing links to all articles published in the last 7 days.