MAC: Mines and Communities

Urgent News: Stan Swamy is raided by police

Published by MAC on 2019-06-12
Source: Statement by Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (2019-06-12)

Wide condemnation of assault on Indian mining activist

Stan Swamy has regularly featured on our website, for his telling articles on Adivasi resistance to Indian mining, especially in his home state of Jharkhand. And we have deplored police actions against him and fellow activists [see, for example: India's Adivasis have right over natural resources ].

Earlier today (12 June) he was once again raided at his home, and much of his materials, held on computer, seized - although he has never been arrested.

The following statement by a human rights organisation is a clear indictment of this persecution - no doubt stimulated by the recent return to government of Narendra Modi and the BJP, with even more power than before.

It's possible that today's police assault may result in a final court closure of the fabricated case against him - one based on shoddy accusations that he's a pro-Maoist.

But this is the shabby pretence of a "democratic" India, where nothing is certain.

Meanwhile, others remain locked in jail, with little sign that they will soon be released - or could face a legitimate trial.

[Comment by Nostromo Research]

________________________________________________________________________

Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha condemns repeated raids on Stan Swamy and
arrests of other human rights activists

Statement by Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha 

12 June 2019

Today, at around 7:15 am, an eight-member team of the Maharashtra police
once again raided the Bagaicha campus in Namkum near Ranchi, the residence
of 83-year old Stan Swamy, a well-known activist of Jharkhand. The police
searched Stan Swamy’s belongings for about 3.5 hours. It took Stan Swamy’s
hard disk and internet modem and forced him to give his email and Facebook
passwords. Thereafter, they changed the passwords and seized these
accounts. The Maharashtra police had raided Stan Swamy’s residence last
year as well on 28 August 2018 as well.

Stan works for the rights of Adivasis and other underprivileged groups in
the state. Among other issues, he works on displacement, corporate loot of
resources, the condition of undertrials and PESA. Stan has been a vocal
critic of the government’s attempts to amend land laws and the land
acquisition act in Jharkhand, and a strong advocate of the Forest Rights
Act, PESA and related laws. He is an exceptionally gentle, honest and
public-spirited person. Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha has the highest
regard for him and his work

The Mahasabha is shocked by the intimidation and arrests of activists and
public intellectuals who are critical of the government and the ruling
party at the Centre. Last year, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh
Raut, Shoma Sen, and Rona Wilson were arrested on 6 June 2018, and they
continue to be held imprisoned in the Yerwada Central Jail. On 28 August
2018, the police arrested five more activists - Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun
Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao and Gautam Navlakha. They too are
yet to be released. These imprisonments are nothing but an attempt by the
government to strike terror among those who are fighting for the rights of
the marginalised.

The central government and media houses close to the BJP claim that the
human rights activists were part of a Maoist conspiracy related to the
Bhima-Koregaon incident. This concocted story seems to be part of a larger
propaganda, based on terms like “urban naxals”, aimed at stifling any
criticism of the government. The raids and arrests are part of the
government’s growing attempts to stifle dissent and intimidate those who
are fighting for justice.

Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha demands an immediate end to the raids,
dropping of all false charges against human rights activists across the
country and release of those who are arrested. These harassments are
politically motivated and wholly unjustified.

*For further information, please write to: jharkhand.janadhikar.mahasabha@gmail.com

Or contact **Soloman (8757690775), Aloka Kujur (8986683426), B B Choudhary (7838001177) or Siraj
Dutta (9939819763).*



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