National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements strongly condemns the high-handed and undemocratic passing of the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 by the Bihar Assembly, and the violence meted out to the opposing voices by the police on 23rd March. The process through which the Bill was passed, after humiliating and assaulting elected representatives, goes against all parliamentary traditions and constitutional precedents, while its content effectively turns Bihar into a Police Raj. This happened, ironically, on a day that holds great significance for the people of India. It is on 23rd March that freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were martyred. This is also the day famous socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia was born.

The Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 introduced by the Nitish Kumar government, is an anti-democratic, ruthless, and draconian law through which the Bihar Armed Police has been given unconstitutional and sweeping powers to:

  1. Arrest any person on mere suspicion.
  1. Arrest without a warrant, in the event of ‘threat of attack, use of force or any other intimidation’ against the establishment to which the Special Armed Police is attached. 
  1. Conduct searches and arrests without warrant.

The Bill grants the ‘Special Armed Police’ impunity. No court shall take cognizance of offenses committed by a special armed police officer. That means that even if a special armed police officer commits multiple offenses, the public cannot approach the court for justice.

This Bill gravely undermines the constitutional and legal protection each citizen is granted, and provides legal armour and justification for unbridled state and central powers to suppress any dissent or opposition from human rights activists, intellectuals, students, writers, artists, and any independent voices who oppose or criticize the policies of the government. Undoubtedly, the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 is a harmful, dangerous, and unjust manifestation of authoritarianism and arbitrariness.

The Bill was met with strong opposition, both within and outside the House, where a rally was taken out.  The participants in the rally were subjected to police violence at the behest of the ruling alliance, which includes the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United). Protesters within the Assembly faced similar violence as the police were called to remove them from the session.

Instead of addressing attacks on the Bihar Assembly, an important institution of democracy, the police targeted legislators, including women and older people. This incident is an insult to the votes of crores of people whose elected representative MLAs appear in recorded footage being kicked, dragged and beaten with shoes by the CM’s police. Following the incident, CM Nitish Kumar issued a statement ‘justifying’ the police action, clearly indicating that the Speaker allowed the police excesses, at the behest of the ruling party. All of this also proves that the state and Center are working together to advance draconian police action and legislation that enables police impunity in the state. The incident also exposes Nitish Kumar as a ‘socialist’ when, after such a shameful incident and assault on democracy, he declared a ‘cultural evening and feast’ !

National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements demands that:

(i) the undemocratic Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 be withdrawn immediately.

(ii) the Chief Minister and Speaker issue an apology to the opposition legislators, the House and the people of Bihar for this shameful act in the Bihar Legislative Assembly and acknowledge that their actions have compromised the dignity of the House and democracy.

(iii) the Chief Minister ensures an inclusive, violence-free and appropriate debate in the House before any modifications to the powers given to the police are considered.

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Dr. Sunilam, Adv. Aradhna Bhargava, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti; Rajkumar Sinha, Chutka Parmaanu Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM, Madhya Pradesh;

Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), National Campaign for People’s Right to Information; Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Kailash Meena NAPM Rajasthan;

Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan; Lingraj Azad, Samajwadi Jan Parishad & Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, Manorama, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti; Lingaraj Pradhan, Satya Banchor, Anant, Kalyan Anand, Arun Jena, Trilochan Punji, Lakshimipriya Mohanty and Balakrishna Sand, Manas Patnaik, NAPM Odisha;

Sandeep Pandey (Socialist Party of India); Richa Singh & Rambeti (Sangatin Kisaan Mazdoor Sangathan, Sitapur); Rajeev Yadav & Masihuddin bhai (Rihai Manch, Lucknow & Azamgadh); Arundhati Dhuru & Zainab Khatun (Mahila Yuva Adhikar Manch, Lucknow), Suresh Rathaur (MNREGA Mazdoor Union, Varanasi);  Arvind Murti & Altamas Ansari (Inquilabi Kamgaar Union, Mau), Jagriti Rahi (Vision Sansthan, Varanasi); Satish Singh (Sarvodayi Vikas Samiti, Varanasi); Nakul Singh Sawney (Chal Chitra Abhiyan, Muzaffarnagar); NAPM Uttar Pradesh

P. Chennaiah,Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union-APVVU, Ramakrishnam Raju,United Forum for RTI and NAPM, Chakri (Samalochana), Balu GadiBapji Juvvala, NAPM Andhra Pradesh;

Jeevan Kumar & Syed Bilal (Human Rights Forum), P. Shankar (Dalit Bahujan Front), Vissa Kiran Kumar & Kondal (Rythu Swarajya Vedika), Ravi Kanneganti (Rythu JAC), Ashalatha (MAKAAM), Krishna (Telangana Vidyavantula Vedika-TVV), M. Venkatayya (Telangana Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union-TVVU), Meera Sanghamitra, NAPM Telangana;

Sister Celia, Domestic Workers Union; Maj Gen (Retd) S.G.Vombatkere, NAPM, Nalini Gowda, KRRS, Nawaz, Dwiji Guru, Nalini, Madhu Bhushan and Mamatha Yajaman, Susheela, Shashank, NAPM Karnataka

Gabriele Dietrich, Penn Urimay Iyakkam, Madurai; Geetha Ramakrishnan, Unorganised Sector Workers Federation;  Suthanthiran, Lenin, Inamul Hasan, Arul Doss,  Vikash NAPM Tamilnadu;

Vilayodi Venugopal, CR Neelakandan, Prof. Kusumam Joseph, Sharath Cheloor, Vijayaraghavan Cheliya, Majeendran, Magline, NAPM, Kerala;

Dayamani Barla, Aadivasi-Moolnivasi Astivtva Raksha Samiti; Basant Hetamsaria, Aloka Kujur, Dr. Leo A. Singh, Afzal Anish, Sushma Biruli, Durga Nayak, Jipal Murmu, Priti Ranjan Dash, Ashok Verma, NAPM Jharkhand;

Anand Mazgaonkar, Swati Desai, Krishnakant, Parth, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti; Nita Mahadev, Mudita, Lok Samiti; Dev Desai, Mujahid Nafees, Ramesh Tadvi and Bharat Jambucha, NAPM Gujarat;

Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan sangathan; Jabar Singh, Uma, NAPM, Uttarakhand;

Manshi Asher and Himshi Singh, Himdhara, NAPM Himachal Pradesh

Eric Pinto, Abhijeet, Tania Devaiah, Caroline, Diana Tavers, Emil, Francesca, NAPM Goa

Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha; Kaladas Dahariya, RELAA, Alok Shukla, Shalini Gera, NAPM Chhattisgarh; and Amod

Samar Bagchi, Amitava Mitra, Binayak Sen, Sujato Bhadro, Pradip Chatterjee, Pasarul Alam, Amitava Mitra, Tapas Das, Tahomina Mandal, Pabitra Mandal, Kazi Md. Sherif, Biswajit Basak, Ayesha Khatun, Rupak Mukherjee, Milan Das, Asit Roy, Mita Bhatta, Yasin, Matiur Rahman, Baiwajit Basa, NAPM West Bengal;

Suniti SR, Sanjay M G, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe, Mukta Srivastava, Yuvraj Gatkal, Geetanjali ChavanBilal Khan, Jameela, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan; Chetan Salve, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Pervin Jehangir, NAPM Maharashtra;

J S Walia, NAPM Haryana;  Guruwant Singh, Narbinder Singh, NAPM Punjab;

Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan; Mahendra Yadav, Kosi Navnirman Manch;  NAPM Bihar; Sr. Dorothy.

Rajendra Ravi, NAPM; Bhupender Singh Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini; Anjali Bharadwaj and Amrita Johri, Satark Nagrik Sangathan;  Sanjeev Kumar, Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch; Anita Kapoor, Delhi Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union; Sunita Rani, National Domestic Workers Union; Nanhu Prasad, National Cyclist Union; Madhuresh Kumar, Priya Pillai, Aryaman Jain, Divyansh Khurana, Evita Das; Anil TV, Delhi Solidarity Group, MJ Vijayan (PIPFPD)             

For any further details, contact: napmindia@gmail.com


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