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20 July, 2008

Film-makers rally in support of Ajay TG

The Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), led by Dadasaheb Phalke Award winners and eminent filmmakers Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Shyam Benegal, have condemned the arrest of independent filmmaker and journalist Ajay TG by the Chattisgarh police.

Speaking at the Osian Film Festival venue Siri Fort in New Delhi the Recipient of the Osian's Lifetime Achievement Award, renowned filmmaker Mrinal Sen signed the petition condemning Ajay TG's arrest.

Demanding Ajay TG's release, Mrinal Sen said, "I am with you. I wish I was 30 years younger so I could have physically joined you all in this campaign to secure the release of Ajay TG."

Earlier this week filmmakers, artists and activists distributed hundreds of RELEASE AJAY TG pamphlets at the opening ceremony of the 10th Osian's Cinefan - Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, in New Delhi.

Filmmakers across the country are now organising several Release Ajay TG film festivals where Ajay TG's films will be screened. Ajay TG's recent film 'Anjam' about the life and work of Dr Binayak Sen will also be screened.

Dr Binayak Sen, eminent doctor and social worker in Chattisgarh and General Secretary of the PUCL, was arrested in May 2007 and is still in prison. Both Dr Binayak Sen and film maker journalist Ajay TG have been charged under the Chattisgarh Special Public Security Act (CSPSA) .

The following is the text of the statement issued by the Committee for the Release of Ajay TG and endorsed by the trustees of The Public Service Broadcasting Trust:

We the undersigned strongly protest and condemn the arrest of independent documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist Ajay TG on the 5th of May 2008 by the Chattisgarh Police.

We reiterate that it is not possible to silence the voice of dissent, the expressions of our conscience or even the reporting of facts by intimidation, imprisonment and the politics of branding.

We feel that legislation's like the Chattisgarh State Special Security Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which are used to make such arrests, undermine not just democracy but also the flourishing of all artistic creativity.

Ajay TG has been put behind bars because he had the courage to show what he sees and tell what he feels in his short films. For that he is now in prison. He is not a member nor was he ever a member of any Maoist organisation. Dr Binayak Sen was also arrested an year ago on similar charges by the Chattisgrah police. Dr Sen has been denied bail and is in prison for over an year.

We demand the immediate release of Ajay TG from prison and the dropping of all charges against him.

Ajay TG has a right to make films.

Ajay TG has the right to show his films.

We have the right to see his films.

Contact : AMAR KANWAR Email :

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