Remembering Tapkara Martyrs

Dayamani Barla

A memorial meeting at was held in Tapkara, Jharkhand, to remember the police firing that took place on the 2nd February, 2001.Everyone spoke about how they must continue to fight, for the constitution, for democracy, and to protect adivasi and mulnivasi rights, as well as their lands, the environment. There were many references to recent events in Jharkhand, as well as invocations for unity, considering the upcoming elections.

Dayamani Barla, activist and journalist, reminded the audience, and the manch, where there were members from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress, independent adivasi associations, that we had about ‘a hundred days left for the election,’ and urged the audience and the parties to work together.

On February 2, 2001, Jharkhand police opened fire on a peaceful protest meeting in Tapkara, Jharkhand. The meeting was part of a protest against the proposed Koel Karo Hydroelectric dam project. The police fired on around 5,000 people, mostly from the Munda adivasi community. The firing left eight protesters dead and injured many others.

The resistance is widely praised for forcing the government to withdraw the hydroelectric project. However, the Tapkara firing is also remembered as a symbol of police violence against nonviolent protesters.


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