PUDR statement on possible arrest/detention of activists in Jharkhand

December 9, 2012

Peoples Union for Democratic Rights expresses grave concern over disappearance and a possible arrest/detention of Aparna Marandi, Baby Turi and Sushil Ekka along with two minors Alok Chand Marandi (4 years) and Satish from Hatia Railway Station in Ranchi, Jharkhand on evening of 8.12.2012 . All of them had come to this station to board Tapaswani Express in their route to Hydrabad for participating in a public convention.

It is to be noted that Aparna Marandi , Alok Chand Marandi and Satish are related to a leading cultural activist of Jharkhand Jiten Marandi as spouse, son and nephew. Both Jiten and Aparna have been relentlessly campaigning against mining interests, ‘devlopment’ led displacement as well as larger climate of repression in Jharkahand villages accompanying the operation Green Hunt. Jiten Marandi was earlier framed along with three others, by the Jharkhand police in false cases of Maoist related violence in which 19 people were killed and the lower court had awarded him and others with death sentence. The Jharkand High Court however found the charges against them unsubstantiated and had acquitted them in December 2011.

Baby Turi on the other hand is an elected representative and is Mukhiya of Jitpur panchyat in Dhanbad District of the state. Sushila Ekka is a social activist and hails from Badka village in Hazaribagh District.

PUDR strongly condemns this deplorable step of the Jharkhand Police and demands that the whereabouts of these five people be immediately made public. Securing the life and liberty of its citizen is utmost function of the government. We therefore hold Jharkhand government complicit in this mysterious disappearance and grave transgression of fundamental rights of citizens.

PUDR sees this incidence of disappearance as a chain of events that links to continuous process of repression in the state of Jharkhand, in light operation Green Hunt that has forsaken the constitutional governance in the state.

Paramjeet Singh, Preeti Chauhan
Secretaries