The arrest of Dayamani Barla by the state government led by Arjun Munda is shocking to say the least for most of Jharkhandis, more so when you consider, that she was sent in the jail by our state government after digging up police case registered way back in 2006, and charging that she has links with Maoists.
If one has to dig deeper to find truth about the case of maoists’ linkage in Jharkhand state, many of the politicians would find themselves inside jail; as local newspapers and even Union Minister Jairam Ramesh had said few months ago that the delineating lines between Maoists and the Jharkhandi Politicians have been blurred, thus alluding to new type of nexus.
So the basic question arises why Dayamani Barla was arrested and still languishes in jail on charges of her links with Maoists, while many of the politicians with close Maoist ties roam scot free, heavily guarded by the taxpayers’ money?
Couple of months ago, our Team FOCUS had approached Dayamani Barla Didi, to write for our on-line magazine, on the various issues confronting Jharkhand and its population.
She politely asked us to wait for few months, as she was busy leading the agitation against the alleged forcible land acquisition at Nagri village, located near Ranchi. In chaste Hindi, she told us, that “Main Abhi Apna Sara Samay To Abhi Nagri Ko De Rahin Hoon, Isliye Aap Logon Ko Intezaar Karna Hoga.” (English translation: I am devoting my entire time to Nagri village, therefore you need to wait.)
We asked her to tell us more about the Nagri village agitation, she said, “Aaj ke din mein, hum Jharkhand ke Adivasi aur Moolvasi logon ke paas sirf Jameen bacha hai, woh bhi Arjun Munda, Hemant Soren aur Sudesh Mahto ki Sarkar jabardasti humse cheen lena chah rahi hai, Kya krishi ki upjau jameen lena theek hai woh bhi tab jab Nagri ke kisan jameen nahi dena chah rahe. Aur yeh log jab paas ki hi banjar bhumi dena chah rahein hain to Sarkar use lena hi nahi chah rahi. Hum jab protest karte hain toh bandook aur lathi ka istemaal hota hai, Nagri gaon ke mahilayon aur bachon ko peeta jata hai, aur purush logon ko Jail mein daal diya jata hai….. Kya Kisan ki rozi-roti, aur ghar baar cheenna theek hai? …..Kya yahi Jharkhand Sarkar hai sirf builder logon ki sarkar hai? Kya yeh sarkar garib logon ki nahi hai?”……..
(In today’s time, the Tribals (Adivasi) and Original Inhabitants (Moolvasis) of Jharkhand are left with only land that too Arjun Munda, Hemant Soren, and Sudesh Mahto’s government forcibly wants to grab it from us. Is it right to acquire fertile agriculture land, when farmers of Nagri village do not want to part with their land. And when these farmers offer their infertile land lying in close vicinity, then the Government does not wish to take it. When we protest, then they use guns and sticks, they beat Nagri’s women and children and they jail the men folks in the jail……Is it right to take away a farmers’ livelihood, their homes?….Is this Jharkhand Government, only works for builders? Isn’t this government responsible for poor people of Jharkhand?”……
Her agitated and angry voice was itched in our memory; she was surely raising some very uncomfortable questions about the conduct of entire state Government machinery in the Nagri case.
Ironically on this grave issue of her arrest, the mainstream media in Jharkhand is either still maintaining the deafening silence or merely mentioning her arrest as mere footnote; barring off-course with an exception of, a couple of newspapers and TV channels.
Many Jharkhandis ask whether the powerful mainstream media has compromised its role in Jharkhand state. We do not really know. But it is also a fact that the biggest advertiser in Jharkhand is Jharkhand government itself, and which media house would want to take a hit on its advertising revenue by raising uncomfortable questions.
On the other hand, it is really difficult to understand the studied silence of the various political parties, especially the Opposition Parties and their political leaders on her arrest. Is it their own insecurities coming to fore?
It may be noted that couple of days ago, Dayamani Barla was granted bail in her maoist links’ case, but she was again booked and jailed in another case related to the ongoing Nagri land dispute case
The words on the streets is that Ranchi District Administration at the behest of Jharkhand State Government would continue to book police-cases against Dayamani Barla, one after another, so as to keep her away from the Nagri land-dispute agitation.
On could safely conclude that, if the iron hand of Jharkhand State came down heavily on the social activist and journalist Dayamani Barla, for leading the agitation in support of Nagri village; then it really points towards the deeper malaise that afflicts Jharkhand Government. Perhaps it is time for all the right thinking people to question State Government’s intentions, and make their voices heard, loud and clear. Or else Dayamani Barla would continue to rot in jail, on one charges or other.
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