UPDATE, 24th April 2013:
It has now been four months since Aparna’s unconstitutional arrest in December 2012. Since then we at VV along with our network of activists have been working hard to get Aparna and Alok out of Dumka jail. Below is a summary of the efforts over the past few months.
The first step we took in December was to file a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission on 12/12/12, 4 days after the incident. We received an official notification from the NHRC on 9/1/2013 instructing the Director General of Police, Haryana to send in an Action Taken report within 4 weeks from receipt. To this incredulous direction, we wrote and spoke to them clearly indicating that the matter is relevant to Jharkhand and not HARYANA. We have received no information since then.
In January and February 2013, local protests were organized to bring the attention of the State to the unconstitutional methods used to detain activists like Aparna. These protests were led by movements like Visthapan Virodhy Jan Vikas Andolan and Adim Janjati Bhartiya Parishad- Palamu and supported by many more.
On Jan 29th, a delegation of 8 activists including VV’s Anand Hembrom proceeded to the Governor’s office to deliver more than 14000 signatures in support of Aparna, collected through the Urgent Action issued by Amnesty International after her arrest. The delegation was told that the Governor was in Delhi and that no other official was free to meet them. The petition was submitted at the office of the Governor. There has been no official response or acknowledgement.
In the meantime, Jeetan Marandi, Aparna’s husband was released from prison on 31st March. He is now involved in this struggle and attended a meeting of local activist groups in Namkum , Ranchi on 9th April to plan next steps. Jeetan and Aparna’s family along with support from a strong network of activists (of which VV is a part) will ensure coordinated efforts to get Aparna and Alok out of Dumka jail.
After months of hounding the lower courts for Bail and receiving the expected rejection under the pretext of “heavy charges”, Aparna’s legal team has filed the bail application in the High Court in Ranchi on 8th April 2013.
Aparna is an example of the thousands of adivasi’s languishing in the prison’s of Jharkhand under various trumped up charges. Our efforts to assist this struggle will continue till the State begins to take responsibility for its unconstitutional actions. We hope that Aparna and Alok will be released on bail soon, at the very least.
UPDATE, 11th December 2012
Aparna Marandi and her 4 year old son Alok Chandra Marandi , Sushila Ekka and Baby Turi and Satish were arrested at Hatia Railway station, Ranchi on Saturday, 8th of December by the Jharkhand Police. (Read details here- http://tinyurl.com/csukwv4)
They were taken to the CBI office at Morhabadi in Ranchi. They were interrogated there by policemen. At 10 o’ clock at night, they were taken to the women’s police station.
Under the guise of interrogation, the policewomen used foul language and undignified slang. The women were mentally and verbally abused. When the women expressed a basic need, like to use the toilet, they would be lambasted by the brute policewomen.
(Yet anotherpeace loving, justice seeking Jharkhand human rights activist) has been implicated in so-called ‘Maoist Attacks’.
Baby Turi, Sushila Ekka and Satish have been released on the evening of the 10th. Before being released the police tried to force them to sign a document stating that they were released on the 9th. They refused to do so.
Aparna is now being taken to Dumka prison. Her child is with her. Her camera has been confiscated.
Stay tuned for further updates.