In other tongues
A voice for
last, the good news has come. The Central pota Review Committee has given
a clean chit to P. Nedumaran, the chief of the Tamil National Movement (tnm).
The committee has stated that it found “no prima facie case for proceeding
under Pota” against Nedumaran.
his arrest under Pota in August 2002 for allegedly making a speech in
support of the ltte, Nedumaran had suffered greatly. He was in jail for
nearly 16 months. Within two weeks of his arrest, his party was banned.
Even after his release on bail, he was not allowed to address public meetings
or speak to the media. Nedumaran is the only political leader I know of
who is a genuine human rights activist.
the ’80s, Nedumaran spoke against fake police encounters in Dharmapuri
district. He toured the villages and exposed the fact that the police
had falsely painted innocent people as Naxalites.
In 1985, he visited Sri
Lanka and recorded the atrocities of the army on video
took a keen interest in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. In 1985, he visited
the Tamil areas and recorded the atrocities of the Sri Lankan army on
video. Later, he travelled around the world and highlighted the problems
of the Tamils. He organised a campaign against death sentence. Thanks
to his efforts, the Supreme Court released 19 of the 26 sentenced to death
by the Tada court in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The death sentence
of three persons was reduced to lifer.
Tamil Nadu, Pota was used selectively to spread fear among the people.
In all, it was invoked against 42 persons, including Nedumaran, mdmk leader
Vaiko, and Nakkeeran editor RR Gopal.
has never indulged in any undemocratic activity. The Congress blood runs
in him. He was close to Indira Gandhi when he was in the Congress. When
hooligans attacked the late pm during one of her visits to Tamil Nadu,
it was Nedumaran who shielded her and took the blows. He saved Indira
The writer is a
Chennai-based rights activist