Kolkata: A human rights body on Monday urged
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to consider for
general amnesty for political prisoners instead of a case by
"There should be a general amnesty for political
prisoners and that the chief minister`s announcement of
forming a review committee for political prisoners is far
short of our demand and expectations," Association for
Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) secretary Ranjit Sur
said in a release.
Urging the state government to order the Advocate-
General to take steps for the release of all such prisoners,
he pointed out that the first Left Front government under
Jyoti Basu did not form any committee though their number was
much higher than the present.
"We, therefore, appeal to the government to reconsider
its decision and announce general amnesty for political
prisoners as a policy guideline in the second cabinet
meeting," Sur said.
He said in 1977, there was no legal definition of
political prisoner, but now the West Bengal Correctional
Services Act 1992 clearly defined political prisoners.
APDR, he said, was also opposed to categorising
political prisoners on the basis of charges of violence.
"No review committee is necessary for the release of
political prisoners. What is needed is a political will of the
new government," he added.