Father Stan Swamy who passed away on July 5 devoted his life to upholding and defending Adivasi Rights. Here’s a report by him and the Bagaicha research team comprising PM Antony, Jitan Marandi, Damodar Turi, Renny Abraham, Marianus Minj, Sudhir Kerketta and Xavier Soreng that traces why a disproportionately large number of Adivasis are incarcerated in Jharkhand.
According to the study’s findings, “Disproportionately large numbers of Adivasis, Dalit and other backward castes (generically referred to as Adivasi-Moolvasis) have been trapped in several false cases especially when they try to assert their constitutional and human rights that are often violated by those who consider themselves “upper” castes/ classes and the state system that serves the interests of those who follow the highly manipulated and prejudiced logic of “uppers” versus “lowers” in Indian society.”
The study backs this finding saying, “This argument is corroborated by discussing the very poor responses from Jharkhand’s jails to petitions served under the Right to Information Act 2005, presenting relevant data gathered from 102 alleged Naxalite under-trials from eighteen districts of Jharkhand and by sharing personal experiences of several alleged Naxalite under-trial detainees in Jharkhand’s jails.”
According to the study, “About 46 per cent of under-trials under study belong to the age-group 29-40 years and 22 per cent belong to 18-28 years. Adivasis or Scheduled Tribes constitute 69 per cent of the respondents. About 42 per cent of respondents belong to Sarna Adivasis; 31 per cent Hindu, 25 per cent Christian and two per cent are Muslims.” Moreover, “Regarding the location of arrests, the data shows that about 57 per cent was arrested from their homes; 30 per cent was arrested from nearby towns or on journey; 8 per cent had surrendered at the court after being informed by the police about their being charge sheeted. Five per cent of the respondents was summoned to the police station to be arrested.”
The entire study may be read here: