A joint statement issued by activists and intellectuals has stated that the ban imposed by Jharkhand government on Popular Front of India in the state is anti-democratic and demanded that it be revoked immediately.
The present ban on Popular Front under section 16 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1908 in Jharkhand is part of the political vendetta unleashed on the organization due to its interventions with regards to human rights violations, hate speeches, mob lynching incidents and police atrocities. It seems that the BJP government of Jharkhand is unhappy with Members of the organization in Jharkhand because they helped the victims’ families for filing cases in lynching incidents like those in Jamtara, Latehar, Ramgarh and Seraikela. Also they have filed cases in few incidents of police atrocities.
There are not any known criminal cases in the state against the Popular Front members. But the organization is fighting 14 cases in the state including against mob lynching and police atrocities. It is amidst this that the press release with official seal announcing the ban appeared on the government website.
It is learned that following the ban the police are targeting and harassing Popular Front members in certain regions of Jharkhand. The office was sealed and extensive police raids were conducted. Since the ban, the activities of the organization are stopped in Jharkhand. But it is reported that new cases were registered against some leaders and members.
By targeting or proscribing a particular organisation that stands for people’s rights and justice, a repressive government sends the message to all civil rights groups and mass movements that any voice of dissent and any act of empowerment would not be tolerated. This is bare infringement of constitutionally guaranteed rights. Hence we request all human rights groups, political parties and minority organisations to come forward against such fascist moves. We also demand Jhakhand government to withdraw from such repressive moves on organizations based of rumours and false allegations.
Prof. K. Sachidanandan, Journalist O. Abdullah, KEN Kunjahammed, Appukkuttan Vallikkunnu, NP Chekkutty, Dr. J. Devika, KK Kochu, Jamal Kochangadi, A. Vasu, A.Sajeevan, Gopal Menon, K K Baburaj, Rupesh Kumar, A S Ajith Kumar, V.R Anoop, Dr. Varsha Basheer, AA Wahab, Dr. Dhanya Madhav, V. Prabhakaran, Reny Ailyine etc signed the statement.