Skip to main content

Immediately withdraw pending pathalgadi cases, including on late Stan Swamy: JJM

By Our Representative 

According to a recent RTI reply by the Superintendent of Police of Khunti, five pathalgadi cases of Khunti are yet to be withdrawn. It also includes the case registered against 20 activists and intellectuals, including Stan Swamy. Also, according to the RTI reply, another pathalgadi related case was registered in Khunti in March 2020 under the current Hemant Soren government. Of the total 21 cases registered by the Raghubar Das government in Khunti, 16 have been withdrawn.
The pathalgadi movement was istarted by tribals of the Khunti district of Jharkhand as a resistance movement to assert their rights over water, forest and land following the Central government’s two ordinances, promulgated in 2016, which enabled transfer of tribal land to the government as well as for commercial purposes.
As a symbol of their resistance, the tribals erected stones erected, starting with the tribal villages of Khunti district, the birthplace of legendary tribal leader Birsa Munda. The ordinances were withdrawn. Pathalgadi literally translates to 'carving a stone', telling “outsiders” that the they owned jal-jangal-jameen as their constitutional right and not any outsiders.
On 29 December 2019, Chief Minister Hemant Soren, right after taking oath, announced withdrawal of all pathalgadi cases. The announcement was met with widespread appreciation and support.
The earlier Jharkhand government, headed by Chief Minister Raghubar Das, had come down heavily on the pathalgadi movement and responded with severe violence and repression. It had filed several cases against the people associated with the movement and also several Adivasi traditional heads of the villages.
The police filed several cases against about 200 named accused and more than 10,000 unnamed people under wrong charges that include abetment, obstruction to public servants discharging their duty, creation of public nuisance, criminal intimidation and even sedition. 28 FIRs related to pathalgadi spread across Khunti (21), Saraikela-Kharsawan (5) and West Singhbhum (2) districts were registered by the Raghubar Das government.
Even though it took many years for the cases to be withdrawn, it was considered a positive action taken by the Hemant Soren government. “But it is worrying that five cases are still pending. Chief Minister Soren had strongly protested against the incarceration of Stan Swamy by the Modi government, but the fake case registered against him by the Raghuvar Das government is yet to be withdrawn”, says a civil society network Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM) note.
According to JJM, “Victims of repression unleashed in the pathalgadi villages by the earlier government are yet to get justice. Ghaghra’s Asrita Mundu who gave birth to a physically disabled daughter after being beaten by the security forces, during her pregnancy, is yet to receive any compensation.”
“Similarly, action against personnel responsible for the violence (including killing of Adivasis such as Birsa Munda and Abraham Soy) are yet to be held accountable. The police is yet to find the perpetrators of murder of activists and traditional heads associated with the pathalgadi movement such as Ramji Munda, Sukhram Munda and Amit Topno”, it adds.
Believes JJM, “Also, the state government, as per public expectation, is yet to address the issues raised during the pathalgadi movement such as widespread violation of special laws and provisions for Adivasis (PESA, Fifth Schedule, Land Acquisition Act, CNT Act etc.), marginalization of Adivasi world view, exploitation of Adivasis by the police, administration and non-Adivasis and so on.”
Meanwhile, the JJM has demanded the following from the Hemant Soren government:
  • Immediate withdrawal of all five pending pathalgadi cases, action against human rights violations in Khunti and compensation to victims.
  • Strict implementation of special laws and provisions for Adivasis such as PESA, Fifth Schedule, Land Acquisition Act, CNT Act and so on in letter and spirit.

Comments

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry deceptively using geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.