Barbarian Special Laws in India: 38 years Kanchan Nanaware of Adivasi community who was jailed for the last 7 years without bail died in jail

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Monitoring Desk: Barbarian Special Laws in India took the life of another woman as 38 years Kanchan Nanaware of Adivasi community who was jailed for the last 7 years without bail died in jail.

A female rights activist who was in jail in 2014 for her alleged involvement in the Maoist movement died in jail.

38 years of Kanchan Nanaware was from the Adivasi community. Her family alleges that neither the jail nor hospital authorities informed them of her medical conditions till her unsuccessful brain surgery was conducted on January 16.

Kanchan Nanaware was from the Chandrapur district of Nagpur Division in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

“Kanchan Nanaware was arrested in 2014 for her alleged role in the Maoist movement, succumbed to a heart and brain ailment in the state-run Sassoon hospital in Pune,” reports The Wire India.

Neither Yerwada Central prison nor Sassoon hospital where she died are ready to answer questions of media.

According to available information, In the past two years, Nanaware, through her lawyer, had moved both the sessions court and Bombay high court for bail on several occasions but her bail was rejected although an application was moved to Mumbai High on medical grounds, and her deteriorating health condition along with the doctors’ recommendation for a heart transplant was placed on record before the court. But the application remains pending.

When her bail application was heard before the high court, the court was told that a heart transplant was the only option available to ensure she survives. The court had even formed a committee to opine over her health condition and the need for urgent medical care. But even such an urgent matter of life and death took months to be heard – during which time she passed away.

Of the nine cases that Nanaware was booked in, she was already acquitted in six cases. Over the six years that she spent in different Maharashtra prisons, she was essentially an under trial prisoner. Nanaware was arrested along with her husband Arun Belke and booked under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Her lawyer said that her family received a letter on January 24 informing her about her deteriorating health condition and the same day her family received a call saying she had succumbed to health complications. Authorities are not handing over her body to her family for last rituals, said her lawyer to local media.

“It is not just Kashmir or just Punjab rather Northeastern states including Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland are facing the wrath of New Delhi under special barbaric law. Our mothers, daughters, and wives are raped, killed, subjugated to the humiliation of being a human. Nobody talks about them because they are poor and powerless. Kashmiri and Punjabi diasporas are in Europe and North America so their miseries are heard but who cares about the public of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland? They do not have the internet and cellphones to post stories of horrific lives they are surviving in. Even they do not have the resources to survive. Modi Sarkar is the byword of Human cannibalism. Prime Minister Modi drinks the blood of his own people by killing them using special inhuman laws,” commented her lawyer who was almost weeping while talking to local media.  

In Chandrapur, people remember Arun Bhanudas Bhelke (38) and Kanchan Nanaware (31) as influential youth leaders of the Deshbhakti Yuva Manch (DYM), which was later branded as a “front organisation” of the Maoists. They were arrested in Pune by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in September 2014.

Arun’s family lives in a small house in Ambedkar Ward, Ballarsha, in Chandrapur district. His father teaches in a private school, while brother Ajay is an autorickshaw driver and another brother Abhay is a masonry worker. Speaking to The Indian Express, Ajay Bhelke said: “Arun had been fond of singing, oratory since childhood. He did social work, raised voice against injustice through DYM. It is hard to believe he became a Maoist. He left home a few years ago for working in Mumbai but never returned. He did not contact us. We got to know about his arrest from the media. We did not go to Pune as it needs a lot of money to travel.” Kanchan’s family resides in a plush house in Sarkar Nagar in Chandrapur.

Her father held a senior position in a bank. She became active after joining DYM during her college days. Freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was her ideal… She left home for her movement. A college teacher who knew her said: “Kanchan had a strong willpower and revolutionary thoughts. I still remember her speech in which she said she might not live long because of her illness, but her remaining life is dedicated to the movement.”

Police claimed Arun allegedly got attracted to Maoist ideology at a young age. He became the president of DYM later. Besides cultural activities and agitations, Arun started the College Katta magazine in 2003, with a tag line, “College kattyavarun krantikade (from college campus to revolution)”. Arun networked with many college students and teachers to write for the magazine sold for Rs 5 per copy.

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