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International Campaign Against War on the People in India

 

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BackYou are here: ResistanceStatements Long Live the United Struggle of the People for the Acquittal of People's Cultural Activist Jiten Marandi and others!

Statements

Long Live the United Struggle of the People for the Acquittal of People's Cultural Activist Jiten Marandi and others!

Let us demand that the police and the politicians who were hand in glove in fabricating evidence against him be brought to book!

Let us continue our struggle for the abolishment of Death Penalty as a form of Punishment by the State!

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS, 16/12/2011--We at the CRPP are proud to share the good news of the acquittal of people's cultural activist Jiten Marandi and 3 others, Manoj Rajwar, Chatrapati Mandal and Anil Ram, who were framed in the notorious Chilkhari case where on 26 October 2007 cadres of the CPI (Maoist) party allegedly killed 19 members which included the son of former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Babulal Marandi. What the papers later reported was that the 19 members who were killed belonged to the vigilante gang-a la Salwa Judum of Chhattisgarh-Nagarik Suraksha Samiti which was propped by Babulal Marandi and was wreaking havoc in the lives of the poor people of the region. By now the grave injustice to Jiten and 3 others through political conspiracy and vendetta which took the form of acts of impunity of the police and the powers that be which was brought to the notice of the world by CRPP and other democratic and freedom loving sections has been vindicated through the acquittal of all the four by the High Court of Jharkhand.

It took exactly 3 years 8 months and 3 days for the sustained campaign from all democratic and progressive sections of the masses of the people to realise the final acquittal of Jiten Marandi and 3 others. Further the case slapped on Jiten Marandi and the consequent award of death sentence to him and 3 others is a pattern in the method of impunity that the so-called guardians of law indulge in to perpetuate an undeclared emergency in the length and breadth of the subcontinent where the poorest of the poor are fighting against a sustained policy of loot and plunder of their resources, their lives and livelihoods.

It is high time that we demand that those who are responsible for such acts of impunity be brought to book.

For the anger and anguish that raged among the people of this subcontinent who rallied strongly and consistently for the acquittal of Jiten also showed the acceptance of Jiten as a people's artist, as someone who could convey through his songs and performances their plight and their dreams. And that is why for once the collective will of the people could challenge this act of impunity of the powers that be which is going unabated in many parts of the subcontinent in the form of false cases, re-arrests, non-production in the court for long durations without any valid reason, torture, disappearance, fake encounters, rape, the list is long.

Once again as in all such instances of acts of impunity of the state, here again we can see the growing tendency of the state to criminalise all forms of dissent let alone the criminal nexus of the police-politician-judiciary in twisting procedures and norms that can safeguard the rights of the accused-especially when he/she is a political prisoner. The words of the defence counsel of Jiten Marandi are more eloquent than the judgement: "The police was not clear when they started their hunt for Jiten Marandi. The Devri police station had sent a letter (letter no. 205/08 dated February 21, 2008) to the In-Charge at Nimiyaghat police station which asked that a search and arrest warrant be issued in the name of the accused Jiten Marandi alias Shyamlal Kisku who hails from Nimiyaghat. It is clear that instead of arresting the Jiten Marandi that police was searching for, they arrested a different Jiten Marandi."

The fight for the acquittal for Jiten Marandi should be carried forward against such increasing instances of criminal frame-up of people that the state targets, especially who are known for their political dissent against the anti-people policies of the state in the form of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG). Our struggle in this context becomes incomplete unless and until we demand unequivocally the abolishment of death penalty as a form of punishment (deterrent or retributive punishment) under the pretext that this will put an end to all the evils of the society. As long as the lived reality of inequality endures in the Indian subcontinent through the systematic dog-eat-dog policies of various governments, such a reality may be weighed against the consequences its legal system evokes in its people's name. If the Indian state continues to embrace [capital punishment] in the name of retributive or utilitarian values, then inequality remains not just a "tolerable" value for the government and the policy makers who vouches by a system based on greed and unrequited accumulation. Inequality remains a value that is acted upon and thus preserved inextricably through the state's persistent willingness to use the punishment of death.

So friends, the struggle is on...to put an end to impunity of the state; to abolish death penalty as a form of retributive punishment of the state; to revoke all draconian laws; to ensure the unconditional release of all political prisoners. We at the CRPP salute all who stood firmly for the acquittal of Jiten-who is also one of the secretaries of CRPP-and 3 others and in the process rallied the public opinion against such gross injustice committed against the poorest of the poor just because they refused to take it and stood firmly where all can lead a dignified life free from all forms of oppression and exploitation.

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani, Working President

Amit Bhattacharyya, Secretary General

 

Rona Wilson, Secretary, Public Relations

 

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS,

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025