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Action Alert: Police firing against peaceful adivasis protestors in Jharkhand : Write to CM & NHRC

by Mukta Srivastava, 6 December 2008

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ACTION ALERT

Voice your protest

Write to the Jharkhan CM and NHRC

Against unlawful police firing on peaceful demonstration in Dumka
- Against unjust corporate-led mass displacement of adivasis

We, members of people’s movements unequivocally condemn the unlawful obstruction of the peaceful protest of 7000 adivasis from the Dumka region in Jharkhand and the police firing unleashed against them today afternoon at Kathikund that has left 5 people battling for their life. We are receiving messages from Jharkhand that even now the firing is on and the situation is quite tense and Section 144 has been clamped in the area.

The adivasis in the Dumka region of Jharkhand have been struggling against the plunder of natural resources and destruction of livelihoods by the giant mining corporates and are asserting their right to community control and ownership over their resources, including land, water, fish, forests and minerals. They started a new phase of their Satyagraha today, which also took the form of a Jail Bharo Rally, strongly protesting against this unjust displacement and the false cases being foisted against the local activists and movement leaders, including Amelia Hansda of the Jharkhand Ulgulan Manch Leader and National Convenor, NAPM.

It is notable that in addition to the two strong people’s movements in the region, including the Jharkhand Ulgulan Manch (JUM) and Jharkhand Hulgulan Mahila Manch (JHMM), the mass movements of the local adivasis with local leadership, the Gram Sabhas of the regions, which repeated denied land for acquisition through oral and written means were also fully involved in organizing the non-violent demonstration.

Many leaders of people’s movements, including National Convenors of the NAPM had very recently written to the CM of Jharkhand to take a firm position against the unjust displacement of the people by holding a conclusive and intensive dialogue on the issue and ensuring that all the due process as enshrined under the Constitution and the PESA Act are implemented.

We mark this day of violence and repression as one more Black Day in the history of peaceful people’s struggles in this country agitating for a constitution-based movement for basic rights and call upon all progressive minded individuals and groups to strongly condemn the unlawful corporate-state tyranny.

Mukta Srivastava, Anand Mazgaonkar, Simpreet Singh, Shrikanth
- (9969363065) -(09179148973)

Write to:

Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Shri Shibu Soren
- E-mail: shisoren at sansad.nic.in ; Fax: 0651-2284241 & 0651-2205100.

Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission
- E-mail: chairnhrc at nic.in ; 011-23384863

Underneath are some more factual details emerging from the ground. Contact Emilia at 09430199420 and Baijnath at 09934393663 for more field updates.

From: Jharkhand ulgulanmanch (AT ) gmail.com
- Date: Sat, Dec 6, 2008 at 3:10 PM
- Subject: Two Activists Arrested, Driver of vehcle carrying injured persons taken into custody

Two Activists Arrested, Driver of vehcle carrying injured persons taken into custody

Two activists named in the charge sheet by the police - Bhimlal Sahu and Jonathan Soren - have been arrested by the police near Kathikund, north of Dumka, even as more than 7,000 persons marched on from Shikaripada towards Dumka protesting against the arrest of Ulgulan Manch leaders on various charges alleging illegal detention of government officials and barging into government premises without permission.

This brings the total arrested on these charges six persons among them a woman, Munni Hansda, a member of advisory committee of Jharkhand Ulgulan Manch.

Meanwhile, the driver of the vehicle hired by the agitators was taken into custody for "illegally" taking away to hospital one of three injured persons.

After a short lull, police have begun opening fire on the agitators once again now (3 p.m.).The police have surrounded the agitators who have been rounded up in a maidan near Kathikund.

From: Jharkhand ulgulanmanch (AT ) gmail.com
- Date: Sat, Dec 6, 2008 at 2:46 PM
- Subject: Processes of the Second Hul (revolution/rebellion) have begun

Dear friends,

Johar! Processes of the Second Hul (revolution/rebellion) have begun

Three persons were injured when police opened fire on peaceful agitators near Kathikund in Dumka District of the Santhal Paraganas Region of Jharkhand. The firing was sequel to police setting fire to their own vehicle near Kathikund as a ruse to open fire on a peaceful procession of adivasis over the Jharkhand government taking over their community land for setting a thermal power plant and building a dam across a local river.

The procession of more than 5,000 adivasis from Shikaripada in the northernmost tip of Dumka District and was marching on to Dumka, the sub-capital of Jharkhand in what they termed as the second Hul (Revolution/rebellion in Santhali Language). The Administration had clamped Sec. 144 of the Cr. P.C. banning assembly of more than four persons throughout the district. They had refused permission for road transport (buses and cars), trucks and other vehicles on the highways and other main roads in the district.

The police disappeared after setting fire to their jeep and opening far on peaceful processionists, who after a brief stop continued towards their goal of reaching Dumka.

The procession organised by various gram sabhas in the region was taken out today at the end of a seven-day ultimatum issued by the Mode Manjhi (Traditional Chief of a cluster of villages in the Santhal Paraganas)

The upsurge of PEOPLE’S POWER against STATE POWER began in April last with the Mode Manjhi in cluster meeting at Amgachi-Pokharia declared that all those who supported the erection of the thermal power and construction of the dam would be subjected to Social Boycott.

This was enhanced to carrying another Hul after the Government detained and arrested Jharkhand Hulgulan Manch leaders on the same charges including illegally detaining government officials and intruding into government offices without permission.

Other have also been charge sheeted including Amelia Hansda, Jharkhand Ulgulan Manch Leader, President of the National Adivasi Alliance and member of the core team of the National Alliance for Peoples’ Movements

Ghanshyam and Arun Vinayak