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Jharkhand activists 'targetted' for challenging corporate loot of resources in tribal areas

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights group Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), even as “vehemently condemning the raid on anti-displacement activist Damodar Turi, Jailed Journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh and Majdoor Sangthan Samiti (MSS) activists Bacha Singh, Nageshwar Mahto and Sanjay Turi”, has regretted that “India has become a prison for any dissenting voice.”
Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who compared “pen wale” with “bandook wale” (pen wielding, gun wielding), suggesting books in India have become a weapon and so does the brain, in a statement, CASR said, the ongoing “series of raids on activists is unquestionably a violation of the fundamental rights of activists.”
Claiming “a pattern of raiding and arresting is visible”, and calling it “rise of reactionary and undemocratic methods of silencing peoples’ voices under this Brahmanical Hindutva fascist regime”, CASR insisted, “There is an urgent need to forge a broader solidarity of all the democratic and progressive forces, the oppressed and exploited masses to stop these kind of blatant fascist attacks.”


On 2th May 2023, NIA raided the houses of several activists in various places of Jharkhand. The series of raid started early morning around 5 am , with the first house being of Damodar Turi.There were almost 150 local police with NIA to carry out this raid. Journalist Rupesh Kumar’s house was also raided, despite him being currently in jail under UAPA case. During the raid, several belonging of activists were broken, books and phones were taken away.
This is not the first time that Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti (MSS) has been targeted. In 2018, MSS was illegally banned on the pretext of being a Maoist frontal organization. Following the ban, Damodar Turi, an anti displacement activist, was also arbitrarily arrested and slapped with UAPA for being a member of MSS. Where as Damodar Turi was never a member of MSS and had only once went to deliver a speech in MSS’s program. After 4 long years of legal battle, Ranchi High Court declared the ban on MSS as illegal and uplifted the ban.
While Damodar Turi has been actively vocal against the corporate loot of people’s resources and their displacement, MSS has been active for over three decades in organizing contract workers in the coal mines of Dhanbad, Giridih and Bokaro. The organization has constructed a hospital at Madhuban, Giridhi for free medical assistance of poor and the workers. The resistance and pro people construction of an organized working class organization, which is presenting a people’s model of development, starkly in contrast to the corporate-state’s model of development based on resource loot and displacement, is a threat to the state’s narrative of portraying itself as pro development and the resisting forces as anti development. To crush this alternate idea of people’s power and people’s devolopment, the governments in power have used bans to outlaw opposition and dissent. This recent clampdown is also part of a larger attempt to crush those who dare to resist the Jharkhand government’s anti-people policies.
A pattern of raiding and arresting is visible, either in the case of journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh or of others
Journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh was also arrested in a frivolous case for this purpose only, as he has exposed the destructive impact of imperialist development on the people of Jharkhand, spoke against the foreign loot of country’s resources and displacement of adivasi people. He has also extensively worked on bringing to light, the conditions of working class in these regions of Jharkhand, dominated by mining giants. It is in the interest of these mining giants and corporate loot, that anti displacement activist, journalists and working class organization is being attacked. These activists have been targetted constantly because they challenge the regime’s anti people approach, be it the illegal displacement of tribals for corporate loot of resources or curbing the rights of workers. When Prime Minister gives a statement stating “Pen wale aur bandook wale” -- books also become a weapon and so does the brain. India has become a prison for any dissenting voice. And hence raids like this have become a norm in this fascist state. NIA is now an agent to curb any dissenting voice. These on going series of raids on activists is unquestionably a violation of the fundamental rights of activist.
A pattern of raiding and arresting is visible, either in the case of journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh or of other activists. We see the rise of reactionary and undemocratic methods of silencing peoples voices under this Brahmanical Hindutva fascist regime. There is an urgent need to forge a broader solidarity of all the democratic and progressive forces, the oppressed and exploited masses to stop these kind of blatant fascist attack and resist Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism.
CASR strongly condemns the raid on activists of MSS and Damodar Turi and calls upon all the democratic forces to stand in solidarity with struggling forces of Jharkhand.



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