Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Freedom Rule of Law

4,000 Adivasis, Charged as ‘Naxals in Jails of Jharkand

Stan Swamy 05 Jul 2021

“4000 Adivasis, charged as ‘naxals’, are in the jails of Jharkhand”  [Hindustan,Ranchi ed., 14 Aug.2017] 


Undertrials
 

(This piece authored by Fr Stan Swamy was originally published on Sept 15, 2017. It is being re-published today in his memory.)

“There are people who cannot take bail. There is nobody for them,” observed SC and ordered prisoners to be freed over trial delays.If a trial takes place, most would be acquitted… the trial deliberately delayed so they remain behind bars for years…                                                                    
 
The news was in the local print media recently. The startling news that after Jharkhand became a separate State, the highest number of arrests of alleged ‘naxals’ have taken place . It went on to say they are languishing in jails because they do not have the money to hire lawyers so they can come out on bail. Nor does the government’s ‘free legal aid’ ever reaches them. They are deliberately kept  in jail for years without trial because if speedy trial takes place, most of them would  be acquitted. The convenient tool the police use is to label them ‘naxals’, add more fake charges and prolong the trial process.

The Supreme Court, in its September 4, 2014 order mobilised judicial officers across the country to visit every prison in their district for the next two months to identify and release undertrial prisoners who have already underwent detention for half the maximum period of imprisonment their offence prescribes under law.

The media has however reported on September 21, 2015, that more than nine months after the Supreme Court deadline expired on the release of undertrial prisoners –all those who had completed half the prison term for the offence they were charged with should be released—the government still did not have any data (or was not releasing it, anyway) on how many such prisoners had actually been released.

Arrests and ‘Surrenders’ during 2015-16:  We get a glimpse of the arrests, the ‘surrenders’ as they appear in local print/electronic media: 1307 Jharkhandis have been arrested and 88 of them are supposed to have surrendered. (Source: Prabhat Khabar, Ranchi ed., 1 Sept. 2017).   

Some independent studies indicate that 27 persons [22 in 2016 and 5 in 2017) were killed in so-called ‘encounters’ by the police. (Bagaicha, Ranchi, documentation)

The assumption that all under-trial prisoners are guilty of alleged crimes is wrong. A serious question that emerges is, about the norm laid by the court that undertrial prisoners who had completed half the prison term for the offence they were charged with should be released. On what basis has the court prescribed this directive is not clear. The underlying assumption that all the under-trials are actually guilty of accused crimes. The reality is that it is not true. Most under-trial adivasi prisoners are not guilty of any crime but simple village folk who are falsely implicated by the police. So there should be no question of serving half their jail-term for crimes they never committed.

A just solution would be to release all under-trial prisoners immediately and speed up their trial process within a specified period. And if the govt fails to do that, they all should be acquitted without any conditions.

A dangerous de-humanising process is on:Practically every day, as we open the news paper or watch local TV channels, we see one or more young men are standing with their faces covered standing behind seated police officers in front of whom there is a table with weapons that are supposed to have been captured along with the ‘naxals’. A write-up describing where and how these ‘naxals’ are apprehended. Rare are the days when this type of pictures are not printed or such descriptions not reported.                  
                                
Is the general public being taken for a ride ?  The sad thing is that the educated general public takes it to be true! But the fact is most of it is not true. Innocent villagers are just rounded up, taken to police station, put in jails, cooked up charges foisted on them.

‘Surrenders’ proven fake.  Fake surrenders is another plot by para-military & police forces to rob the poor Adivasis & Moolvasis and make money out of them.

A staggering 514 innocent tribal youths were made to ‘surrender as Naxalites’ in Jharkhand between 2012 to 1014. A report of the NHRC affirms that some senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers conniving with some Jharkhand police officers have been organising these ‘fake surrenders’ to take advantage of the attractive ‘Naxalite Surrender’ policy. This opens up possibilities of getting awards and even getting promotions for playing this fraud on the poor tribal youths. Some middle men were also roped in who contacted the simple innocent tribals, lured them with promise of jobs and in return took big sums of money from them. Many of the surrendered youths had sold off their family land to arrange for the money to secure the promised jobs that never came. This money was shared with CRPF and police officers. These tribal youths were then lodged in the old central jail of Ranchi who then discovered that there were many many more tribals like them were also cheated and trapped. A senior Officer who discovered this anomaly wrote to the Director General of Police pointing out the seriousness of what was happening. But no action was taken until NHRC brought to light this disgusting affair.

Such is the tale of anguish the 4000 Adivasis languishing in the jails of Jharkhand are trying to tell the rest of the world.

But, is anyone listening ?

4,000 Adivasis, Charged as ‘Naxals in Jails of Jharkand

“4000 Adivasis, charged as ‘naxals’, are in the jails of Jharkhand”  [Hindustan,Ranchi ed., 14 Aug.2017] 


Undertrials
 

(This piece authored by Fr Stan Swamy was originally published on Sept 15, 2017. It is being re-published today in his memory.)

“There are people who cannot take bail. There is nobody for them,” observed SC and ordered prisoners to be freed over trial delays.If a trial takes place, most would be acquitted… the trial deliberately delayed so they remain behind bars for years…                                                                    
 
The news was in the local print media recently. The startling news that after Jharkhand became a separate State, the highest number of arrests of alleged ‘naxals’ have taken place . It went on to say they are languishing in jails because they do not have the money to hire lawyers so they can come out on bail. Nor does the government’s ‘free legal aid’ ever reaches them. They are deliberately kept  in jail for years without trial because if speedy trial takes place, most of them would  be acquitted. The convenient tool the police use is to label them ‘naxals’, add more fake charges and prolong the trial process.

The Supreme Court, in its September 4, 2014 order mobilised judicial officers across the country to visit every prison in their district for the next two months to identify and release undertrial prisoners who have already underwent detention for half the maximum period of imprisonment their offence prescribes under law.

The media has however reported on September 21, 2015, that more than nine months after the Supreme Court deadline expired on the release of undertrial prisoners –all those who had completed half the prison term for the offence they were charged with should be released—the government still did not have any data (or was not releasing it, anyway) on how many such prisoners had actually been released.

Arrests and ‘Surrenders’ during 2015-16:  We get a glimpse of the arrests, the ‘surrenders’ as they appear in local print/electronic media: 1307 Jharkhandis have been arrested and 88 of them are supposed to have surrendered. (Source: Prabhat Khabar, Ranchi ed., 1 Sept. 2017).   

Some independent studies indicate that 27 persons [22 in 2016 and 5 in 2017) were killed in so-called ‘encounters’ by the police. (Bagaicha, Ranchi, documentation)

The assumption that all under-trial prisoners are guilty of alleged crimes is wrong. A serious question that emerges is, about the norm laid by the court that undertrial prisoners who had completed half the prison term for the offence they were charged with should be released. On what basis has the court prescribed this directive is not clear. The underlying assumption that all the under-trials are actually guilty of accused crimes. The reality is that it is not true. Most under-trial adivasi prisoners are not guilty of any crime but simple village folk who are falsely implicated by the police. So there should be no question of serving half their jail-term for crimes they never committed.

A just solution would be to release all under-trial prisoners immediately and speed up their trial process within a specified period. And if the govt fails to do that, they all should be acquitted without any conditions.

A dangerous de-humanising process is on:Practically every day, as we open the news paper or watch local TV channels, we see one or more young men are standing with their faces covered standing behind seated police officers in front of whom there is a table with weapons that are supposed to have been captured along with the ‘naxals’. A write-up describing where and how these ‘naxals’ are apprehended. Rare are the days when this type of pictures are not printed or such descriptions not reported.                  
                                
Is the general public being taken for a ride ?  The sad thing is that the educated general public takes it to be true! But the fact is most of it is not true. Innocent villagers are just rounded up, taken to police station, put in jails, cooked up charges foisted on them.

‘Surrenders’ proven fake.  Fake surrenders is another plot by para-military & police forces to rob the poor Adivasis & Moolvasis and make money out of them.

A staggering 514 innocent tribal youths were made to ‘surrender as Naxalites’ in Jharkhand between 2012 to 1014. A report of the NHRC affirms that some senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers conniving with some Jharkhand police officers have been organising these ‘fake surrenders’ to take advantage of the attractive ‘Naxalite Surrender’ policy. This opens up possibilities of getting awards and even getting promotions for playing this fraud on the poor tribal youths. Some middle men were also roped in who contacted the simple innocent tribals, lured them with promise of jobs and in return took big sums of money from them. Many of the surrendered youths had sold off their family land to arrange for the money to secure the promised jobs that never came. This money was shared with CRPF and police officers. These tribal youths were then lodged in the old central jail of Ranchi who then discovered that there were many many more tribals like them were also cheated and trapped. A senior Officer who discovered this anomaly wrote to the Director General of Police pointing out the seriousness of what was happening. But no action was taken until NHRC brought to light this disgusting affair.

Such is the tale of anguish the 4000 Adivasis languishing in the jails of Jharkhand are trying to tell the rest of the world.

But, is anyone listening ?

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

India

Kashmiri Pandit Protest continues for seventh day

Multiple Protests continue, for more than seven days, over Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat’s murder in the Valley. Supported by Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Sikhs, the protestors have come forward to accuse the BJP led administration of sending people, who are desperate for jobs, in risky areas with no security and a meagre salary.

India

Kashmiri Pandit Protest continues for seventh day

Multiple Protests continue, for more than seven days, over Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat’s murder in the Valley. Supported by Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Sikhs, the protestors have come forward to accuse the BJP led administration of sending people, who are desperate for jobs, in risky areas with no security and a meagre salary.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives