Featured image: the activist Damodar Turi. Source: Scroll.in
We publish this press release we have received.
23 September 2023
Condemn the scare tactic to suppress pro-people democratic organisations in the name of Maoist Link Investigation in Jharkhand.
On 20th September, 2023, certain news portals made a claim that state police and crime branch of Jharkhand government are initiating investigation into suspected Maoist link of 64 organisations, majorly comprising of organisations working on question of democratic rights, tribal rights, women, peasant and working class etc. The very next day, a joint statement was issued by some of the named organisations, to Director General of Police, Jharkhand; denying the allegations by clarifying their commitment to the democratic cause and the demands of the local people. The said statement also demanded clarification regarding the allegations made in the media report, however, no such clarification has been furnished by the police.
It is important to understand that in previous months, in an NIA raid probing so called “Maoist links” in Jharkhand, various anti-displacement and labour activists such as Damodar Turi, Bacha Singh and others were raided. They are targeted under the presumption that Visthapan Virodhi Janvikas Andolan (VVJA) is a “Maoist Front”. Furthermore, other activists raided along with Turi and Singh are founding members of Jharkhand Jan Sangharsh Morcha (JJSM). It is pertinent to mention that both of these joint fronts are named in the said media reports. Therefore, looking at the recent crackdown on anti displacement activists in Jharkhand; coupled with recent NIA Clampdown in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, slapping of UAPA on Anti-displacement activists of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti and arrests of Dozen of people protesting against rapacious mining and displacement in Mali Parbat ranges, Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh and Kaimur Mukti Morcha in Bihar; all exposes state’s modus operandi in matters of anti-displacement movements. So it will not be an over assessment to say that building an atmosphere of crackdown might be underway in Jharkhand, in light of these media reports.
What is even more concerning and eye opening is the naming of organisations like APCR, RYA, CPI-ML- Red Star who are known for working on various issues across the country and have separate ideological positions than the Maoists. Even more ironical is the naming of a Gandhian organisation like Ekta Parishad . The list is long and stretches across ideological and issue based spectrum. If the agencies are actually probing such allegations or if its even a “red scare” tactic, the list is so broad and encompassing ideological as well as organizational boundaries to make it evident that State is adamant to suppress any force that resists displacement and corporate loot. It is clear indication that no force will be spared in the state’s attempt to create “red scare” and brutal crackdown to increase the loot of our resources, by domestic as well as foreign corporates. The state is justifying the intensification these crackdowns and corporate loot simultaneously, all in the name of eliminating the Maoist Movement and development.
Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) demands that the DGP and Jharkhand government must issue a clarification on such claims, assure that no such witch-hunt will be carried out; and stop raiding and harassing the people opposing displacement. We also call upon all democratic progressive forces and justice loving people to stand united against such crackdown on Anti-displacement movement to protect our resources, environment and the people’s livelihood.
FORUM AGAINST CORPORATIZATION AND MILITARIZATION, DELHI