Maoists as 'political prisoners': CPI welcomes order

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja today welcomed a Kolkata court's declaration that nine suspected Naxalites arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the CPI (Maoist) arms manufacturing case as 'political prisoners', saying prisoners must be treated with dignity as human beings and their requirements must be understood when they are kept in prison. The CPI leader further said that India is a modern civilized nation where there are talks about jail and police reforms. Several jailed Maoists will now be entitled to privileges of a separate cell, home-cooked food, access to newspapers, books and other reading material, meeting with relatives and advocates and greater freedom inside jail compared to other prisoners.