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Launch of booklet "Against the very idea of Justice: UAPA and other Laws" in 14 states

RANCHI:An online book launch was organized today by Movement against UAPA and Other Repressive Laws, a joint national platform of human rights activists and groups. The book launch is being conducted in 14 states across India including Jharkhand. Adv. Ansar Indori and National Convenor of MURL Sadiq Qureshi hosted the meeting on online platform. Damodar Turi, Jharkhand State Convenor of MURL launched the booklet which contains a comprehensive analysis on UAPA and other laws that are being used to silence dissent in India.

According to independent journalist Rupesh Singh, UAPA cases are severely under-reported in Jharkhand. Rupesh was also charged under UAPA and got bail in the case. During his incarceration he estimated that the number of under trials in sub-jails and central jails could be very high than what is estimated by various researches and media reports. Adv. Rohit Thakur from HRLN who is working in Bokaro area related various instances of gross misuse of UAPA which has been applied even to minors (juveniles) in Jharkhand. Adv. Shyam too related various cases where UAPA has been applied on innocents. Adv. Sonal Tiwari from HRLN told the audience that conviction rate in UAPA is as low as 2% which proves that it is an act that is used to harass innocent civilians. Rishit Neogi, independent social activist and researcher traced the roots of these repressive laws to neoliberal policies that work on the twin logic of development vs. terrorism. Bacha Singh, labour leader from Jharkhand was also incarcerated under this law. He agreed with the organisers of MURL that such a law must be challenged by building a popular movement against it. Adv. Shiv Kumar who has worked for many years in Jharkhand urged social and political organisations to come together and raise their voice against these laws. During his stay in Jharkhand he found that use of repressive laws increased manifold especially after the formation of Jharkhand as a separate state in 2000.

Aloka Kujur from Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha hailed the launch of the booklet as an important milestone in the fight againstrepression in Jharkhand. According to Aloka Kujur, the arrest of Fr. Stan from Jharkhand is a glaring example of the misuse of this law to silence critics of the government. Many more village areas are reeling under the effect of militarization through construction of CRPF camps in their areas. Any opposition to police camps is being met with brute force and repression as we saw recently the killing of three tribal people in Silger in Chhattisgarh. The meeting ended with concluding notes by State Convenor, National Convenor and Adv. Ansar Indori.

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