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NHRC slaps notice on state govt over rights activists' arrest

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NHRC slaps notice on state govt over rights activists arrest
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New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission Tuesday issued notice to Kerala government over the allegations that human rights defenders and rights activists in the state were being arrested after levelling them as ‘Maoist sympathisers'.

The NHRC has issued a notice to the Director General of Police of Kerala calling for a report within two weeks over the issue, according to an official statement released today.

The notice was issued after the Commission took suo motu cognisance of a media report that the Kerala Government was targeting human rights defenders and rights activists by labelling them as 'Maoists sympathisers'.

Human rights defenders and advocates Tushar Nirmal Sarathy and Jaison C Cooper had been arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in Kerala and were in jail since January 30, 2015.

While Jaison was arrested from Cochin on the January 29, 2015, Tushar was arrested after a press conference in Kozhikode on the same day.

The Commission has observed that the contents of press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of human rights defenders.

Reportedly, both Tushar and Jaison were actively engaged in peasant's struggles against land acquisition, illegal rock quarrying, forcible evictions, and the violation of labour rights of migrant workers in Kerala as well as struggles against various polluting industries.

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