• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss man arrested in India over Maoist links

AFP/The Local · 30 Jul 2014, 12:19

Published: 30 Jul 2014 12:19 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Swiss man – identified as Jonathan Bold and Jonathan Clode in various media reports – is suspected of participating in a memorial to Maoist militant Thalikkulam Velekkad Sinoj, a senior leader of the communist People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army of the CPI, considered a terrorist organization by the Indian government.

Sinoj died last month when the bombs he was making accidentally exploded, according to Indian media.

The Swiss also attended a political meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to protest against bombings in Gaza, according to reports.

He was charged under the Foreigners Act with violating the conditions of his tourist visa which state that no foreigner can engage in political action in India, reports The Times of India.
"As per visa rules, a foreigner is forbidden from taking part in such meetings," senior district police official N. Vijaykumar was quoted as saying.
"Our officials are questioning him. At times, he speaks in French and in English and appears to be hiding information. We are seeking his remand and will produce him before a magistrate."
Times Now news channel's website showed footage of the bespectacled Swiss citizen, sitting on a makeshift bed and smiling at the camera at a police station in Thrissur district, about 280 kilometres (175 miles) from Kerala state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Local police said they found Maoist literature in the luggage of the 24-year-old, who travelled to India with a woman companion on July 1st.

According to Swiss newspaper Le Matin, the arrested man is a trade union activist from Geneva.

Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA) confirmed that a Swiss citizen had been arrested in India.

Story continues below…

The EDA is in contact with Indian officials over the matter, spokesperson Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told Le Matin.

Indian media reports that the man will face a hearing on Wednesday.
The Maoist insurgency in India has cost thousands of lives. The rebels are believed to be present in at least 20 states but are most active in the states of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
The presence of foreigners in areas controlled by Maoists is a sensitive issue in India. A French group was accused of Maoist ties in 2012 in northeastern Bihar state, just a month after two Italian men were abducted by Maoist rebels in Orissa state.
They were both later released unharmed.
India's Maoist guerrillas, who claim to be fighting for the rights of poor tribal minorities and farmers, have waged a decades-long battle across central and eastern states to overthrow state and national authorities.
They often target police and government officials in deadly ambushes and mine attacks.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available