We the undersigned strongly condemn the arrest of Ajay TG, independent film maker, and social activist by the Chattisgarh police in Bhilai on 4 May 2008 and call for his immediate release.
Though no specific charges have been made known so far, the fact that he is detained under the Chattisgarh State Public Security Act – a law meant for containing ‘terrorists’- it is obvious that the allegations are likely to be drastic.
We have strong grounds to believe that Ajay is being victimised for his human rights work as an active member of the PUCL, against which the Chattisgarh government is carrying out a systematic campaign of vilification and victimisation. He is the second member of the PUCL to be arrested so far, the first being Dr Binayak Sen, well known humanitarian and General Secretary of PUCL’s Chattisgarh unit on 14 May 2007.
Apart from being a human rights activist Ajay TG is a well-known researcher and independent filmmaker. He has done research assistance work for Professor Jonathan Parry, a world-renowned social anthropologist at London School of Economics and Political Science and also participated in numerous studies conducted by universities in the United States.
As a filmmaker Ajay TG has worked on numerous projects as director, cameraman, editor and is also an accomplished graphic artist. Some of his films that have been screened at festivals abroad include ‘Living Memory’, screened at ‘A season of South Asian Documentaries and Films’, Cambridge, UK; ‘Safar’ screened at Sheffield International Film Festival, Sheffield, UK and ‘The Last Shelter’ screened at Royal Anthropological institute Film Festival, London, UK.
Since September 2005 Ajay has been voluntarily running Drksakshi, an organisation designed to provide a dignified educational environment for young girls in an urban slum in Bhilai. He is currently also State Convener for Campaign Against Child Labour and Treasurer of the All India Youth Federation, Chhattisgarh.
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- Sunil Shanbag Theatre Director
- Giulia Battaglia Researcher, MIDS, Chennai
- Amar Kanwar Filmmaker
- Lynne Henry Media practitioner/dance educator
- Sanjay Shah Filmmaker
- Lawrence Liang Alternative Law Forum
- Anjali Monteiro, Professor, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai
- K.P. Jayasankar, Chair, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai
- Shikha Jhingan Filmmaker