Pass the order revoking the fake case slapped against social activist Mangla Rajbhar
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I have not yet forgotten the pain in the voice and tears in the eyes of Mangla and his wife. When I met them on 5th April, to ensure that Mangla moves to a safe place, his wife asked me does the government behave in this way with a person who has dedicated his life for the service of Mushahar and other marginalised groups? The moment keeps flashing in my eyes and her words shakes me from within and gives me lots of pain deep inside.
On April 4, 2020 at 11:14 pm, I had filed a complaint to national Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and demanded strict legal action against the accused on the basis of a news published in ‘Jansandesh Times’ regarding the ruckus in Thana Rampur village under Phoolpur police station, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh of India pertaining to the distribution of food grain, in which several persons including the Police sub inspector were wounded. Link of Hindi petition to Government:
Considering the gravity of the case, I had referred to the said news item and tweeted to the Uttar Pradesh Police and the Uttar Pradesh Government praying that if the matter was true, it was quite unfortunate and that the rule of law should be restored.
On reading the copy of the FIR, I came to know that a case number 0103/2020 IPC had been filed against our activist Mangla Prasad Rajbhar of Ahirani,Kuwar and the Musahars of Thana Rampur under police station Phulpur under sections 147, 148, 149, 30, 308, 323, 504, 506, 395, 397, 332, 353, 33, 427, apart from section 7 of Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1932 and section 2 and 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
After one month of incident, we received information that two FIRs registered for the same incident in the same police station of Varanasi, India. We already mentioned and informed about first FIR that a case number 0103/2020 had been filed against our activist Mangla Prasad Rajbhar of Ahirani,Kuwar and the Musahars of Thana Rampur under police station Phulpur under sections 147, 148, 149, 30, 308, 323, 504, 506, 395, 397, 332, 353, 33, 427, apart from section 7 of Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1932 and section 2 and 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. This first FIR was filed by Sub Inspector of police Mr. Laxman Prasad Sharma on 4.40 AM of 5 April 2020. FIR mentioned 26 accused along with 40-50 unknown people. It is noted that 25 accused are Musahars from the same village and on 26 number, FIR mentioned the name of Mangala. According FIR, investigating officer was Mr. Sanjeet Bahadur Singh of the same police station but the case was transferred to another police station after our intervention.
Yesterday on 14 May, 2020, I found another FIR for the same incident. FIR number 0104/2020 filed on 13:04 of 5 April 2020 at same police station by a non state actor Mr. Vipin Kumar Singh S/O Late Kailash Nath Singh R/O Village: Rampur, Post: Thana Rampur,Police Station: Phulpur, Varanasi ( It is same village of incident) under 147,148,149,323,504,506,336,307 IPC. FIR mentioned 29 accused. The 27 accused are Musahars. Name of Mangala Prasad Rajbhar mentioned on number 28 and 29 described name of Mr. Dheeraj Singh S/o Shri Janardan Singh as accused. It is surprising that the name of Mr. Dheeraj Singh is not mentioned in the first FIR and second FIR 0104/2020 mentioned his address is unknown. It is clear manipulation on part of police because Mr. Dheeraj Singh is upper Caste Thakur from the same village, but his address mentioned as unknown. It is also important that his name is not mentioned in the first FIR.
Another important point is that Rampur is quite a distance from Mangla Prasad’s native village Kuwar. If Mangla had at all ventured to the other village, he should have taken the main state highway, while the police picket were already deployed at regular intervals due to the lockdown.
The truth is after the announcement of the 21 day lockdown, Mangla Prasad Rajbhar had been following the ‘work from home’ model and advocating for the food security with the government and the administration for the deprived sections, especially the Mushar and Nat, while disseminating information through his mobile phone about the state government schemes and the announcements by the hon’ble chief minister. This benefitted a large number of Musahar and other deprived sections in Badagaon and Pindara blocks, and the ration was made available in a peaceful manner.
Besides, he brought to notice the shortage of food in the Koiripur Mushar habitation through Facebook, which also prompted a news item in the Jansandesh Times regarding the local children subsisting on ‘Akri’ (a type of small grass/plant). Later, the administration promptly distributed the ration in the area. “Mangala Rajbhar came on police radar when he raised the issue of starvation among Musahars. Since PM Modi’s name also got highlighted in the coverage, police hatched a conspiracy and implicated him in a false case”.
It is grossly wrong to assume the presence of Mangla Prasad on the spot. A few influential people in the area, who always act against the spirit of the constitution and equality nurse enmity with him. They oppose any work which is aimed at the development of the Mushar community. His name has been included in the FIR with a view to harassing him at their instance. It is because he has been persistently been raising the issues of human rights violation in the area with the administration and NHRC.
Mr. Mangala Prasad Rajbhar, a postgraduate in chemistry, who works among the musahars. He documents their woes and has been relentless in trying to bring fore their issues as a senior functionary of the People’s Vigilance Committee for Human Rights (PVCHR), a Varanasi-based non-profit working among the musahars and working on the mother and child health issues among the Musahar and other deprived sections in Badagaon and Pindara blocks. At the same time, he represents our organisation in the local NGO Committee on ‘Special Juvenile Police Unit (SPJU). Last year, he was trained as a ‘master trainer’ along with the district police and administration officials by the Uttar Pradesh government under the ‘Kavach’ programme’ run for the girl safety awareness.
He attended such programmes along with then additional director general of police (ADG), Varanasi zone, district magistrate, senior superintendent of police, nodal officer of the ‘Kavach’ campaign apart from other senior officials, held at various government and non-government schools, which was appreciated by one and all.
His contribution in disseminating the information regarding health issues at the ‘CM Arogya Mela’ held at the primary health centre on Sundays is well recognized by the local administration. The hon’ble chief minister, local legislator Dr Awadhesh Singh, health and family welfare director, district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma, chief medical officer Varanasi Dr B B Singh had participated in the CM Arogya Mela on different Sundays and lauded the contribution of Mangla Prasad. In fact, at one such occasion he was garlanded by the legislator Dr Awadhesh Singh to acknowledge his work.
Meanwhile, Manvadhikar Jan Nigrani Samiti (Peoples ‘Vigilance Committee on Human Rights/PVCHR) has sent a letter to the UP Director General of Police (DGP) to withdraw the fake case filed against Mangla Rajbhar. Link of Petition to Director General of police in Hindi.
Therefore, you are requested to Police, Chief Minister and NHRC urgently intervene in the matter and institute an inquiry by a high level independent agency of sate or the investigation team of the NHRC, so that the guilty are punished under the law and the constitutional rights of the human rights activist is restored with the withdrawal of the fake cases against him.
Human Rights defender and #CoronaWarrior Mr Mangla Prasad Rajbhar has an unblemished past record of community engagement round the year. May I request you to personally intervene in the case and help dispelling the element of biasness. I am sure and hope with your intervention justice and human dignity will prevail.
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