Arrest of Rupesh Kumar and legal action against Himanshu Kumar is illustration of ascendancy of neo-fascism

Rupesh Kumar

Jharkhand’s Saraikella Police arrested journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh from his house on July 17th, 2022 at noon. The police force along with magistrate attacked the house of Rupesh’s at Ramgarh, and his family members were interrogated in the name of search. Though police had search and arrest warrant, arrest warrant was not shown in anticipation of public resistance. Later, he was arrested in case number – 61/21, in an eight month old case. He has been victimised by demonic UA(P)A.A perfect illustration of neo-fascism operating.

Rupesh as a freelance journalist, poet and social worker, with utmost consistency projected the plight of people from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Bihar through ground level reporting, and consistently raising his powerful voice in protest programmes. His forthright exposure of atrocities has become a thorn in the flesh of the rulers. News of state persecution on indigenous peoples, CRPF assassinating ordinary indigenous people by labelling them “Maoist”, the attempt to loot their water-forest-lands has long been done by various corporate groups, aided by various parliamentary parties. He has been a valiant fighter for the rights of indigenous, Dalit, minority people with the news presentation uncompromisingly. As a result, naturally he has become the target of both the central and state governments.

Rupesh has many a time faced the wrath of state repression.. He was framed in June 2019 on false charges of Maoist activity. After being locked in Bihar jail for six months, the state was forced to release him due to lack of evidence.

CRPF murdered an ordinary tribal named Motilal Buske in 2017 and claims Matilal is a “Maoist Guerrilla”! Rupesh’s Investigation verified   Matilal was an ordinary villagers and published detailed articles in “The Wire”. After this he was enraged with the government. In a meeting he claimed, he was being monitored. His words are proven true in 2021. Last year, news of state surveillance on Rupesh and his family members leaked. According to facts, Israel’s infamous spyware “Pegasus” was deployed in surveillance them.

The charges brought against him are section 420/467/468/471 of IPC, 17 CLA Act & 10/13 of UAPA. Things which have been seized from his house include his personal laptop, mobile phone & papers of his vehicle. From family sources we have come to know that the arrest warrant shown by the police personnel was issued on February. But Rupesh has never been informed of this.

Earlier in 2019 when Rupesh was travelling from Jharkhand to Bihar for his work of Journalism, he was kidnapped from the road & was later arrested by the Bihar police. They planted explosives in his car thereby implicating him in fabricated charges. He was in jail for six months before he could get bail in 19th December, 2019. Till date Bihar police has not been able to give chargesheet in that case.

Later on when the central government was accused of doing surveillance on the members of rights organisations & various political parties using the Israeli spyware Pegasus, the names of Rupesh & his life partner were prominent in the list of people under government surveillance. Along with other victims Rupesh moved a petition in the Supreme court against that illegal act of surveillance. He has already registered his testimony in the Supreme court in this case. There is news that the court will pronounce its judgement in the case very soon. Just before that Rupesh has been arrested in a totally fabricated case.

In same context, the Supreme Court has ordered the Chhattisgarh government to take legal action against Gandhian social worker Himanshu Kumar with a fine of Rs 5 lakh rupees against him for “criminal conspiracy” charges. State Security Force conducted a murder case in the name of anti-naxal operation in Dantewara, Chhattisgarh in 2009. About ten innocent indigenous people were killed. Himanshu filed an application in the court seeking justice against the murder of that state. This was his “crime”.

Himanshu Kumar has been in the forefront of confronting the fascist brutality of the Congress and the central BJP IN Chattisgarh or Dantewada, on the tribal community. He sent shivers down the spine of the ruling classes in their very backyard, when exposing the falsely staged encounters and the grip economic plight of the adivasi community.I can never forget his participation i various programmes from 2011-2016 in Punjab of the Democratic Front against Operation Greenhunt ,where at the very root or core, he projected the ascendancy of neo-fascism ,projecting the interconnection of the socio-economic plight with the barbaric police attacks. In 2009 16 Adivasis were murdered by the police.Himanshu Kumar intensified wrath against injustice at its boiling point. Without doubt one of country’s bravest democrats in challenging state sponsored fascism its strongest point.-who I personally met in an anti-fascist convention in Uttar Pradesh.Although a Gandhian and not a supporter of Maoist ideology, without any qualm she spoke in admiration of teir resistance against the Coprporate tyrants, just like Arundhati Roy.

Apparently, all these events are inter connected. State’s merciless repression on democratic and human rights movement and activists continues like the flow of Ocean water .A continuous barrage of arrest, fake encounters, opposition resistance in the name of resolving operations is ongoing; or undemocratic behaviour like interference in individual freedom, are a routine occurrence. Not only the fascist BJP but the Chhattisgarh Congress in suppressing democratic and revolutionary movements, Jharkhand’s “tribal” mask government, the revisionist left democratic alliance government of Kerala, or Trinamool government in the face of “development” of Bengal, are virtually o the same metal.

All democrats should leave no stone unturned in condemning the undemocratic behaviour of Saraikella police towards journalist comrade Rupesh Kumar Singh and the arrest of Himanshu Kumar. Democratic organisations and individuals should display the utmost contempt and organise active protests against such gross violations of civil rights.

The manner Rupesh has been framed and legal action undertaken against Himanshu Kumar illustrate how neo-fascism is sharpening its tentacles day by day ,to claw all dissent.

In Delhi Revolutionary Workers Party of India organised a protest at  joined  Revolutionary Youth Organisation ,Disha Students organisation, Vishwadalay Student Federation and by by Nandita Narayan ,Saroj Giri  of Delhi University. The main speaker was leader Yogesh, of RWI.The activists projected the fascist designs of the rulers  through staging encounters and framing democratic activists.

Revolutionary Students Front also gave a statement at the Jadavpur University campus as well as the Bhagat Singh Chatra Morcha in Benares University campus  and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, against interrogation of  Rupesh Kumar Singh. They explained the issue in context of neo-fascism of the BJP party as a whole and the socio-economic loot of the corporate.

The Civil Liberties and Democratic Rights movement has to be strengthened at the very core and related or integrated with the merciless economic exploitation of the oppressed masses of the nation. Absence of a strong civil liberties movement is paving way for many a democrat to languish behind prison bars, being framed.

Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has travelled around the country to study mass movements  and in touch with civil liberties groups.

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