January 18, 2012
We, the undersign strongly condemn the harassment of social activist and human rights’ defender, Dayamani Barla by the Jharkhand Police. Dayamani, a well known and noted journalist-turned-activist and human rights’ defender based in Jharkhand, is one of the leaders of anti-displacement movements. She is also part of many organisations, movements and federations, INSAF and NAPM.
On 14th January, in the evening, a Police Mobile Van of Chutya Thana (Ranchi) landed at her hotel on Club Road, Ranchi, and started to harass her staff asking about her links with anti-social elements. The Sub-Inspector making the ‘enquiries’ had neither no written permission or order. The following day, when Ms. Barla, met SSP Ranchi, Mr. Saket Kumar at his residence to ask why she was being harassed in this manner, his response was that the allegations were being made on the basis of an complaint and the fact that she participated in the “Free Jiten Marandi Convention”, in which Varavara Rao was also present.
Harassment of activists on flimsy pretexts and on grounds that they exercised their Constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights is a dangerous trend and will be resisted robustly by human rights activists everywhere.
We stand in solidarity with Dayamani Barala.
1. Kavita Srivastava, National Secretary,PUCL
2. Manisha Sethi, President, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA)
3. Harsh Dobhal, Human Rights Law Network
4. Mahtab Alam, Coalition for Protection of Human Rights’ Defenders (CPHRD)