Candlelight march for fair trial for designer Anand Jon


New Delhi : Around 300 people, including law students, professionals and the family members of Anand Jon, held a candlelight march here to demand fair trial and fresh probe into the charges of rape and sexual harassment for which the US-based Indian designer has been imprisoned.

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“Most of the plaintiffs have changed their statements in court more than once and the court has not received any concrete evidence against Anand Jon,” said Shashi Ebraham, his mother, at the protest rally at Jantar Mantar Tuesday.

Anand Jon was arrested in the US March 6, 2007 on charges of rape and sexual harassment of more than a dozen models and he has been in jail for the last 23 months. The charges were made when he was just 15 days away from making a deal for the launch of his high-end designer brand “AJ”.

The designer has come out clean in the lie detector polygraph test, while none of the plaintiff models has gone through the test.

His mother also alleges that the US prison authorities are violating human rights.

“He has been kept in a small six by four feet cell, which is against the human rights of the victim Anand Jon. We have petitioned various NGOs, human rights groups and even the government in the US and India, but it has led to no positive response. Where should I go now?” asked Ebraham.

His family cannot afford the high bail amount of $2.5 million.

“It is important for Anand Jon to get a fair chance. He is rotting in hellish conditions and that too without proper witness or evidence against him. In this way, the law enforcement agencies in the US themselves seem to have taken law in their own hands which comes as a rude fact to us here in India,” said youth activist Aditya Raj Kaul.

Kaul has been actively campaigning for speedy justice delivery system in Indian courts in Priyadarshini Mattoo, Jessicca Lall and Nitesh Katara cases.

“We urge the Indian government to intervene in this matter and seek help from the Indian Embassy in the US to assist the legal team of Anand Jon for a fair re-trial,” added Kaul.

Anand Jon’s family members and friends plan to meet US President Barack Obama to seek his intervention.

“The candlelight march was held to protest the unfair trial, biased treatment, violation of human rights and for the demand of fresh investigations and fresh fair trial in the case of Anand Jon,” said Deshratan, a senior student at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.

The march was led by the Law faculty students.