Kolkata, March 28 (IANS) Maoist sympathisers and activists Wednesday hailed a Delhi court decision to drop terror charges against Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy and demanded the release of all political prisoners.
"The decision is a slap on the face of the administration which has been running a malicious campaign against people like Ghandy," People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) general secretary Gautam Navlakha said.
He also demanded the repeal of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, calling it draconian.
The court discharged Ghandy of the charges under the stringent law for want of proper sanction from the authorities. But Ghandy would stand trial for alleged cheating, forgery and impersonation.
Dandapani Mohanty, named by Maoists to negotiate with the Odisha government over two abducted Italians and a legislator, also hailed the decision.
"I congratulate the judiciary. There are hundreds and thousands of Kobad Ghandys languishing in jails... It is time all Ghandys are released," said Mohanty.
Delhi University's Saroj Giri called for "proper trial" to political prisoners.
"The administration wanted to frame him (Ghandy) in a big way but failed. There are many languishing in jails for just being part of a banned party. (They deserve) legitimate trial."
Ghandy was arrested by Delhi Police in 2009.
An alumnus of the Doon School, he was a Central Committee member of banned CPI-Maoist.
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