NCHRO demands judicial enquiry into arrests of adivasi youths in Jharkhand

The NCHRO Fact Finding Committee Report on Jharkhand being released in Delhi

By Pervez Bari for

New Delhi: A Fact Finding Committee of NCHRO (National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation), which visited Jharkhand on March 23 and 24 in its Fact Finding Report has demanded a judicial enquiry into arrests of innocent adivasi youths in large numbers in Jhakhand.

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The NCHRO has urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) that it should take note of these arrests and take necessary action against the state government.

In a joint Press conference held at New Delhi on Monday, Prof. A. Marx, chairman, NCHRO, Reny Ayline, National Secretary, and Adv. Ansar Indori, national executive member, who were members of the Fact Finding Committee which visited Jharkhand, shared their experience and released the report on the occasion. The NCHRO team members met some of the organization leaders, relatives of the people in jail and some social activists and spoke to them on the real situation that prevails now in Jharkhand.

The NCHRO’s Fact Finding report has included other demands which are:

(a) The illegal ban on Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti (MSS) and Popular Front of India (PFI) should be immediately lifted and those arrested in related cases just to justify these bans should be released and the cases against them should be immediately withdrawn. People arrested in related cases are Themhirdur Rahman (PFI), Ubairdur Rahman (PFI), Ajay Hembrum (MSS), Mohan Murmu (MSS), Daya Chand Hembrum (MSS) and Damodar Turi (Vistapan).

(b) The draconian British imperial Law CLA 1908 should be immediately repealed.

(c) All the under trial prisoners should be released on bail immediately and a special court to be formed to dispose their cases.

Meanwhile, it can also be mentioned here that the present BJP Government in Jharkhand has arrested more than 4000 persons, mostly adivasis, for their participation in people’s movements and also has banned many organizations fighting for the rights of the people. Recently two such movements MSS and PFI were banned in the same lineup.

MSS is a registered labour organization functioning in the mining and industrial areas in Jharkhand with more than 20,000 miners as its members from 1985 onwards. It is fighting for the rights of the workers. While PFI is also a registered organization functioning from 2006 onwards in almost all southern states and also in some states in North and East in the country.

Since past two years, the BJP government has been threatening to ban PFI. On February 15, 2018, the Union Minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said that the Kerala government has sought a ban on the PFI. The next day the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan refuted the statement saying that they never sought a ban on any organization including PFI. The next day the minister said that the DGP of Kerala had spoken about such a ban in the annual DGPs conference. However, this was also refuted from the office of the DGP, Kerala.

In this background on February 22, 2018 the Raguber Das government in Jharkand announced the ban on PFI.

Both of these organizations are banned by invoking Section 16 of the draconian Criminal Amendment Act (CLA) which gives power to the government to ban any organization. However, the BJP government ruling Jharkhand said that PFI is influenced by Islamic State and some of its members had joined in it. But the government has not given any proof for its statement.

The Fact Finding Committee members met and spoke in Jharkhand people which included Fr. Stan Swami of ‘Bagacha’, movement fighting for the rights of the tribals, Debi w/o Damodhar Puri, the activist now arrested after the ban on MSS, Nadeem Khan, a CPI (ML) activist, Tridip Gosh, a retired engineer and HR activist, Hanzla Sheikh, state vice president of the banned PFI, and many others.