Skip to main content

Jharkhand villagers live under constant "trauma, fear", don't stay at night following Oct 1 Hazaribagh police firing

By Our Representative
A high-profile civil society fact-finding team (FFT), set up by the Delhi Solidarity Group, has said in a report that more than a month after the gruesome death of four persons in police firing at Badkagaon, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, villagers are under “constant trauma and fear”, with cops threatening them to “cause further killings if they do not part with their land.”
FFT consisted of Jawahar Lal Kaul (former additional and district judge, Uttar Pradesh); Prof Chauthi Ram Yadav ( Banaras Hindu University); Prof Vinod Kumar (National Law University, Delhi); Priya Pillai (environmental activist); Madhuresh Kumar (National Convener, National Alliance of People’s Movement - NAPM); Himshi Singh (NAPM); and Umesh Babu (Delhi Solidarity Forum).
It visited Badkagaon on November 7-9 to inquire into the incident following protest by thousands of unarmed villagers belonging to 28 villages of of Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, sitting on dharna against “forcible land acquisition” for the state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and a private mining company.
FFT report says, the dharna, whichbegan on September 15, and was supported by local MLA, Nirmal Devi. On the day of the incident, October 1, at around 3 am, police party raided the dharna site and heavily lathicharged for arresting Devi. At 4.30- 5,00 am police forcibly picked her up and moved away.
As the police convoy was moving, the villagers tried to stop the vehicle and free Devi. In this process, it opened multiple rounds of fire indiscriminately, resulting in the death of Mehtab Ansari, 30; Ranjan Kumar Das, 17; Abhishek Roy, 19; and Pawan Kumar, 17, got killed.
Mehtab Ansari,a daily wager, got caught in the police firing, and died on the spot; Abhishek died while he was on the way to bring his younger brother from tuition; Ranjan Kumar and Pawan Kumar were also returning from tuition, when bullets hit them.
FFT says, ever since, the villagers are “extremely terrified”, adding, “Many women and children still do not stay in the village after sunset due to fear of arrest and brutalization. Many villagers are still absconding due to fear of arrest and fake encounters.”
“No FIR has been registered against the guilty police persons”, the FFT says, adding, “No compensation has yet granted to the families of the deceased and the injured”. In fact, the injured are getting their medical treatment in private hospital borrowing lakhs of rupees from private money lenders. They are now under a heavy debt.
“Looking at the records and the testimonies of the victims and the villagers it is clear that the due process has not been followed in the land acquisition process”, FFT says, adding, despite the fact that the Forest Rights Act, 2006 makes it mandatory taking consent of the villagers and the Gram Sabha, it was not obtained. Even the public hearing held was “fake”.
On inquiring about the incident, FFT says, deputy commissioner Ravi Kumar Shukla “tried to justify the killing on the grounds of the exercise of the right to private defense as the villagers had beaten up the circle officer. However, the people’s view was that the circle officer was beaten up by the villagers after the police killed the said four persons.”

Comments

TRENDING

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Why crib? 4.5% is far better than pre-1980 'Hindu rate of growth': Subramanian replies

By Rajiv Shah
Even as sticking to his original argument that India's gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 has been overestimated by 2.5%, renowned economist Arvind Subramanian has said in a fresh paper that his estimate of post-2011-12 growth rate at around 4.5% is surely not "implausibly low", as some of his critics have been arguing following his controversial June paper.

UP's Sonbhadra killing of 10 tribals highlights 'failure' to implement Forest Rights Act

Counterview Desk
On July 17, as many as 10 people, including three women, were killed and 28 injured when a village head and his supporters opened fire on a group of tribal farmers in Ubha village of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh. While the firing took place following a clash between over a land ownership dispute, it reportedly highlights failure of officials enforce Forest Rights Acts (FRA) and Survey Settlement in favour of tribals.

Govt of India 'lying': MGNREGA budget reduced by Rs 1,084 crore in 2019-20

Counterview Desk
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a well-known advocacy group for the rural jobs guarantee scheme, under implementation since 2005, has said that the statement by the Rural Development Minister has a made a mockery of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on the floor of Parliament, revealing the ruling BJP’s “anti-worker and anti-poor bias”.

22,000 children risking lives in India's 'illegal' mica mines, 10-20 die each month

By Rajiv Shah
An investigation by a high-profile e-journal run by a top American digital media and entertainment company focused on young women, Refinery 29 (R29), which based in the Financial District, Manhattan neighbourhood of New York City, has raised the alarm that 9,000 miles away, nearly 22,000 children are risking their lives while working for a paltry sum of Rs 20 to 30 per day in mica mines of Jharkhand and Bihar.

Govt of India seeks to 'subvert' autonomy of adjudicating authorities: RTI amendment

Counterview Desk
India's independent Right to Information watchdog, The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), in a statement, has said that the Government of India’s proposed amendments to the RTI Act to empower the Centre to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners at the Centre and States “seriously undermine” the law.

None of India's ministries, departments have mining children on the radar: MPs told

By Our Representative
A delegation of two civil rights groups, Samata and mines, minerals and People (mm&P), has impressed upon several of India's members of Parliament (MPs) to discuss and raise issues relating to illegal mining, the Samata judgment, children in the mining areas and the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in Parliament, adding, the issue of involvement of gram sabhas in decision making ought to be central for allowing any new projects in forest areas.

Demand to withdraw sedition charge against 30,000 unnamed Adivasis, activists

Counterview Desk
Every 10th Adivasi of Jharkhand’s Pathalgadi area is charged with sedition, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM), a network of activists and people’s organisations, which organised a protest in Ranchi in front of the Governor's house, has said. In a statement following the protest on Monday, JMM has called for larger support to stand up against violations of Constitutional rights of Adivasis and use of sedition law as tool for repression.

Introduced in Lok Sabha, amendment proposals a 'blow' to RTI's federal scheme

By Venkatesh Nayak*
In less than two months of returning to power, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA-III) government has revived its 2018 proposal to curtail the autonomy of the Information Commissions established under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act). A similar attempt was made exactly one year ago but the Bill to assume power to regulate the tenure, salaries and allowances of Information Commissioners across the country was not tabled in Parliament.