Jharkhand CM appeals to opposition parties to unite for release of Stan Swamy

UAPA is increasingly being used to brand Dalits, tribals, the marginalised, and intellectuals as Maoists, said Social economist Jean Dreze.

Published: 21st October 2020 07:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2020 07:00 PM   |  A+A-

Jesuit priest and social activist Stan Swamy. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

RANCHI: Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday appealed to the opposition parties and social organisations to get united for the release of 83-year old Jesuit priest and social activist Stan Swamy. 

Soren, who was unable to join a virtual press conference organised by the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Ranchi, said that during a time of autocracy and misrule, they must come forward and unite together against it.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had on October 8 arrested Swamy in the Bhima Koregaon case in which violence erupted at an event to mark 100 years of the Bhima-Koregaon battle on January 1 in 2018, leaving one dead and several others injured.

Condemning NDA government at the center, Soren said that the BJP, which is a "champion" in divide and rule policy, is trying to attack the unity and democratic values of the Constitution.

“Without any hesitation, I can say that the Country at this point of time has come to a junction where its unity, democratic values, federal structure as well as the constitutional intuitions are being attacked regularly by some forces under a conspiracy. Therefore, it is our responsibility to protect this country,” said the Chief Minister. 

Soren also alleged that the NDA government at the centre is trying to suppress voices of the poor, downtrodden and tribal people in Jharkhand. It is quite evident that there is an agenda under which they are trying to disturb non-BJP states through different agencies, he said. 

“This is really a serious issue which compels us to pause and think which direction the Country is heading towards? It is really shocking that Stan Swamy, who has been trying to guide the poor, backward and tribal people of Jharkhand for the last several years, has been arrested by NIA,” said the Chief Minister.

Soren further added that peaceful protests by different organisations have failed to deter the central government and doubted if this movement changes track and take a different shape. 

Social economist Jean Dreze pointed out that there are several draconian laws, such as the UAPA and certain state laws, are increasingly being used to brand Dalits, tribals, the marginalised, and intellectuals as Maoists. He also called upon the parties to give a pre-commitment to repeal such laws if they came to power, as part of their commitment to democracy at large.


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