Prasenjit Bose and others
Social Activists and HRD
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on March 24, 2022, regarding the illegal detention, illegal arrest and intimidation of HRDs protesting a Greenfield coal mine in Md Bazar block of Birbhum district. The acts of repression occurred on February 20 and 21, 2022.
On February 20, 2022, a peaceful meeting was held by the ‘Birbhum Jami Jiban Jibika O Prakriti Bachao Mahasabha’, which ended at 4.30 p.m. without any untoward incident. No uniformed police personnel were present at the meeting, while it was in progress. The ordeal started after the meeting ended.
HRDs who had travelled from Kolkata to participate in the protest were stopped twice on their way back by local political leaders and were threatened and physically assaulted by them. The HRDs called several people, including the SP of Birbhum, who in turn also abused and threatened them.
The police arrived at the spot on the second instance and transported the HRDs to the Md Bazar Police Station at around 7.00 pm, where they were then detained illegally until 11.30 pm. They were released on personal bonds after HRDs Mr. Prasenjit Bose, Mr. Ananta Hansda, Mr. Robi Tudu reached the police station.
The police stated that all the HRDs were in danger and Mr. Sandip Chattaraj, Officer in Charge, Suri Police Station would escort them to a safe area from where they could proceed towards Kolkata. Instead, Mr. Chattaraj took the HRDs to Siri police station, where they were arrested without following any procedures. The HRDs were forced to sign arrest memos at 3 am. on February 21. On February 21, 2022, they were produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate and were remanded to judicial custody. The fabricated charges against them included serious crimes such as kidnapping, torture and an attempt to murder. The HRDs were released on bail on March 1, 2022.
The illegal detention of the HRDs amounts to abduction by the police, which along with the illegal arrest under fabricated FIRs are a gross abuse of the HRDs’ fundamental right to life and personal liberty granted by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution as well as a complete violation of their human rights as guaranteed by national and international laws.