In India the Bengali Naxalite movement has staged a demonstration in Calcutta, appealing to the ruling Janata Party to release all political prisoners from jail.
GV Street scene in Calcutta
GV People collecting funds in street
CU Political posters (3 shots)
GV People collecting funds
GV Posters and demonstrators (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In India the Bengali Naxalite movement has staged a demonstration in Calcutta, appealing to the ruling Janata Party to release all political prisoners from jail.
SYNOPSIS: The Naxalites are an extreme left-wing organisation and in the past have been held responsible for a series of acts of politically-motivated violence. During former Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi's state of emergency their activities were banned, but since the Janata Party came to power they have re-emerged. Their demonstration in Calcutta on Wednesday (8 June) preceded a 36-hour sit-in in protest against the continuing detention of Naxalite and other political prisoners.
They are calling for the unconditional release of all political prisoners in West Bengali jails before the State Assembly elections on Saturday (11 June). In a written appeal, the Prisoner Release Committee said that political detainees should not be made to sign a declaration renouncing the path of violence as a condition of their release. It also reminded the Janata Party that its election manifesto promised the release of all political prisoners, but that despite this, thousands are still detained in jail.
During the demonstration Naxalite workers toured the streets of Calcutta collecting funds for the welfare of political prisoners. They also marched through the city, shouting slogans and distributing leaflets.
According to local observers the Communists and their left-wing allies in West Bengal are confident of picking up a large percentage of the votes in the State Assembly elections.