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Nepali Maoist leader's letter treated as writ plea

Special Correspondent

Gajurel claims Foreigners Act cannot be invoked against him

CHENNAI: A letter from jailed Nepali Maoist leader, Chandra Prakash Gajurel, to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, highlighting the imminent danger to his life if he were to be deported to Nepal and seeking to prevent his detention in any special camp, is being treated as a writ petition by the court.

Mr. Gajurel was detained by the airport police on August 21, 2003 on charges of attempting to travel to London, using forged travel documents.

Stating that the trial in the case was nearing completion in the Alandur Judicial Magistrate court, Mr. Gajurel said he had already served the maximum jail period for the offence. Hence, even if he were to be convicted he would have to be released.

Since a warrant in connection with some other case was pending against him, he might even be sent to Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, he said, adding that certain agencies were working to either deport him back to Nepal or send him to Jalpaiguri, from where he could be taken to Nepal. Mr. Gajurel also wanted the court to prevent him being detained in any special camp.

The provisions of the Foreigners Act cannot be invoked against him as the Act will not be applicable to Nepali citizens in India, the Maoist leader said, adding that over eight million Nepalis were living and working in different parts of India.

Similarly, about four million Indians were staying and working in Nepal without any legal hindrance, he said.

Mr. Gajurel said the cases against him were purely political in nature and that even the prosecution did not argue that his presence in India would create any law and order problem.

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