Cultural Activist Utpal Baski arrested and produced before the court

, TNN | May 15, 2012,

RANCHI: Cultural activist and executive member of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) Uttpal Baski was produced before the chief judicial magistrate Giridih on Sunday following pressure mounting from the outfit and other human right activists.

Denying allegations of unlawful detention, Giridih additional superintendent of police (ASP) Sanjay Kumar said Baski was arrested on Sunday morning and produced before the judge the same evening.

Asked about charges under which Uttpal was booked, Kumar said he was a member of Jharkhand Aven, a banned outfit, and was involved in the propaganda work of Nari Mukti Sangh, another banned outfit of the CPI (Maoists). “He admits being the member of the bannedJharkhand Aven and that is sufficient for his arrest under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” he said. The ASP, however, unable to cite the exact charges under which Baski was booked.

RDF national president and known Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao intervened in the matter and demanded unconditional release of Baski.

Issuing an appeal to democratic organizations and individuals to raise their voices against the alleged illegal act of the police, Rao said Baski was a singer and a composer. “He is a tribal cultural activist who was elected to the all India executive committee in the first conference of the RDF held on April 22-23 in Hyderabad,” the letter reads.

Rao’s letter mentions that Baski was arrested by Giridih police near Dumri More on May 7 when he was returning from Ranchi after appearing in a court case. “Cultural activists of Jharkhand Aven were waiting for him in a village when he was detained by Dumri police around 3pm on May 7 from a public bus in which he was travelling,” Rao said.

Local human right activist Damodar Turi said one of his associates and co-passengers on the bus informed members of Jharkhand Aven that Baski was forced to get off the bus and taken into custody.

Jharkhand Aven is a revolutionary cultural organization whose general secretary Jeetan Marandi was sentenced to capital punishment by a court in connection with Chilkhari attack in which former chief minister Babulal Marandi‘s son Anup Marandi was killed.

The judgment was later reversed by the high court and Marandi was acquitted of all charges related to Chilkhari case.

Earlier, soon after the arrest of Jeetan Marandi, police arrested Baski under UAPA. He was in jail for almost a year and recently came out of prison on bail. He played an active role in campaigns taken up by Jeetan Rihai Manch (Release Jeetan Front) for his acquittal.

The efforts were successful and Jeetan was acquitted by the high court.

Jeetan Marandi still behind Bars,after being acquitted by Jharkahnd HC


After being acquitted from the Jharkhand High Court in Chilkhari murder case and securing bail in other three cases, Jeetan Marandi had long been waiting for his release from the Birsa Munda Central Jail (BMCJ), but the battle has not ended yet. He will have to fight more to secure his release from the jail.

The jail authorities cleared that he has not been released as his release order has not reached them yet. “Even if we get his release order, we cannot allow him to go as charges under Crime Control Act (CCA) have been imposed on him in Giridih,” said Narendra Singh, jailer of BMCJ.

The State Government has imposed CCA against him in Giridih. Now Jeetan will have to wait till he is cleared from the CCA. “Jeetan got to know about the charges under the new Act imposed on him when he was asked to sign in a document in the jail by the jail authorities. He was told that the CCA has been imposed on him,” said his friend Sushant, who met Jeetan on Wednesday at the prison.

“I met him today in jail where he told me that the Act has been imposed on him, we also checked and found it to be true,” added Sushant. Jeetan has been in jail for the last four years.

The Jharkhand High Court had acquitted the four accused in Chilkhari murder case on December 15, 2011. Giving them the ‘benefit of doubt’ the court said that it could not punish these people on the basis of the witnesses who themselves are of criminal background. Jeetan, Chattar Mandal, Manoj Rajwar and Anil Ram were first awarded death sentence by Additional Sessions Judge at Giridih on June 22, 2011. Jeetan Marandi and other three were convicted under Sections 143, 342, 379, 149, 120B, 30, 149, Copyright Licensing Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act along with Section 302.

According to the close associates and relatives of Jeetan, “his acquittal has made the government ‘dejected’ hence they do not want him to come out of jail. As soon as he comes out the jail, he will expose the State government,” said Sushant.

Meanwhile, Jeetan’s lawyer SK Murary said that Jeetan could be kept in jail for 12 more days as it is valid for 12 days only. “The Court will send it to the State Govt for its approval. The state government will then have to send it to the advisory board comprising High Court Judge and District Judge within three weeks to consider how justified is his detention,” said Murary.

Despite its dispatch on March 16, 2012 from the Giridh Court, Jeetan’s release order had not reached the BMCJ till Wednesday, further strengthening fears of Jeetan’s family and friends that the Government has a strong intention to keep him behind bars.


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