Guest Post by Kamayani Bali Mahabal
Debanjan Sarangi , , documentary film maker, writer and human rights activist has been arrested in the early hours around 6.30 AM on March 18, 2016, by the Odisha police in Kuchaipad village in Kashipur block of Raygada district of Odisha. The defender has been arrested with the help of local police on the basis of a non-bailable warrant issued against him in a previous case of the year of 2005.
Debaranjan Sarangi along with others went to Kuchaipad village in Kashipur block of Raygada district of Odisha to participate in the FUNERAL of activist late Mr. Laxman Majhi on March 16, 2016, evening. The rituals were completed on March 17, 2016. While other persons accompanied the defender returned on the same evening,
Debaranjan decided to stay back in the village for another day. In the early morning on March 18, 2016, he went out to a nearby riverside and while he was coming back, he saw two police men in civil clothes who came to him and took him. They did not allow him to change his clothes and forced him to go along with them in his lungi to the nearest police station at about 6.30 AM.
Later his friend Mr. Bhagaban Majhi went to the police station to hand over his cloths at around 7 AM. After a while around 7.30 AM he was shifted to Kashipur police station. According to the sources, he was detained at Jaraguda police station for interrogation. It is learnt that Tikiri police arrested him in an old case warrant with GR case no: 12 of 2005 under Sections 147,148 and 506 of Indian Penal Code. HRDA has been informed that the case is related to a protest and agitation against Utkal Alumunia Company in Kashipur block of Raigada district which took place in the year of 2005. During that period a non-bailable warrant was issued against the defender under section 506 of IPC which is apparently being executed now after a gap of 11 years. He was produced before a local magistrate court and has been taken on judicial remand till March 28, 2016.
Human rights groups in the state have accused the police of fabricating cases against Debaranjan Sarangi to intimidate and immobilize him. Debaranjan was in Malkangiri district on August 8 and 9, 2015 to shoot a documentary film on changing life and problems of tribals and during his visit to Malkangiri district he was harassed and intimidated by the police.
Debaranjan Sarangi is being framed and maligned for rating voices for the tribals of Odisha. He has been the target of state monitoring and surveillance.
Debaranjan Sarangi is an anti-mining activist, writer and a documentary film maker. He is an active member of Ganatantrik Adhikar Surakyaa Sangathan (GASS), a human rights organisation in Odisha. He was also a part of a joint fact-finding exercise along with the well-known human rights activist and Human Rights Forum (HRF) founder-member (late) K Balagopal in the summer of 2009 that looked into police violence on adivasis in the name of curbing the Maoist movement in the districts of South Odisha.
Debaranjan spent almost eight years with the anti-mining movement of the Adivasis in Kashipur, which inspired him to make a documentary film “At the Crossroads” on the oppressed tribals of South Orissa and their struggles with the state. The hapless adivasis and dalits of the region are caught in the crossfire between the state and the Maoists, rendering their existence completely unstable and miserable. He has been part of extended fact-findings that investigated attacks on Christians in Kandhmal in Odisha and Karnataka and on massacres of civilians by the paramilitary in South Chhattisgarh.
As a prolific writer and human rights activist, he has been writing extensively on unbridled mining practices, displacement, police impunity, communalism, atrocities on dalits, women and adivasis in the state.
PL SIGN PETITION FOR HIS RELEASE https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Chief_Minister_Odisha_Release_AntiMining_Activist_Debanath_Sarangi/