'Adivasi struggle' soon

Highlights

Cultural activist to fight against displacement of tribals Also to launch movement for release of...

  • Cultural activist to fight against displacement of tribals
  • Also to launch movement for release of political prisoners
  • Lambasts govts for letting businesses loot forests
  • His wife and son (4) put in jail before his release recently
advaHyderabad: Cultural activist and a secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Jharkhand, Jiten Marandi, on Saturday announced that he would soon launch an 'Adivasi Struggle' against displacement of tribal people and destruction of their cultures in the name of development. He said the governments were hands in glove with private companies � Indian and multi-national � and helping them destroy the forests. He was speaking to The Hans India and HMTV, on the sidelines of a meeting on 'Tribal rights and living conditions in Telangana' conducted by Telangana Forum Against Destruction (TFAD) here. "Tribals are exploited, harassed, displaced and finally the primitive societies are on the verge of extinction following 'biased' development taken up by the governments. It is the need of the hour to launch an agitation against this development formula of the governments at State and Central level," Marandi said. He was released from jail on March 29 after spending nearly five years in connection with the alleged Chilkari massacre case in Jharkhand. His arrest got national attention when he was awarded death sentence. However, a sustained nation-wide campaign was carried out by human rights activists against the judgment and the government. The Jharkhand High Court finally acquitted him recently. He said successive governments in his State entered into many agreements with mining companies to set up industries in tribal areas, without consulting the communities. The affected tribals, who were displaced, were not rehabilitated, and given some monitory benefits. All the forest legislations had been violated in the process, he explained. Marandi vowed that he would not be cowed down by the threats from the government. Even as he was in jail, his wife Aparna Marandi was arrested in connection with a murder case and his four-year-old son Alokchandra Marandi was also spending a jail life along with his mother. Marandi said he thought he would have a family life after his release, but the government conspired to create troubles for him. Alleging that the Jharkhand government arrested several cultural and tribal activists, who raised voice against tribal rights, by foisting false cases, he said he would also fight for the release of political prisoners languishing in the jails. "Among the 7000 prisoners in the jails, a majority of them are activists. As a social activist, is my responsibility to fight for the release of political prisoners. He thanked the rights organisations in AP, which had fought against his arrest. He extended his support to the Telangana movement and the struggles against exploitation of tribals in the region.
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