Chief Minister, Jharkhand
3, Kanke Road, Ranchi,
Jharkhand – 834008, India
Re: Request to take urgent action to protect rights in custody of human rights defender Aparna Marandi.
Dear Chief Minister
Aparna Marandi, a long-time Human Rights defender who has been repeatedly targeted by the state government for her activities, was arrested on 8
December. She is being detained in Dumka Jail of Jharkhand State and is at imminent risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
, accompanied by her four year-old son Alok and three others, was approached by plain clothes policemen after boarding a train from Jharkhand to Hyderabad
on 8 December. Aparna, who has sought to free her activist husband from detention for nearly four years, was arrested for her alleged involvement in two
different protests, one which occurred six years ago, and another which took place on 30 November. All were taken into custody at Ranchi women’s police
station where they remained until 10 December. They were not presented before a magistrate within 24 hours - in violation of Indian law - and were
allegedly subjected to ill-treatment while in custody.
The three other individuals, one a child of 16, were released on 10 December after being forced to sign statements stating they had been arrested on 9
December, instead of 8.
Aparna Marandi and her son were reportedly brought before a magistrate in Ranchi on 10 December and then remanded to police custody and taken to Dumka
jail. There are concerns that she may be held incommunicado. Her friends and fellow activists have attempted to contact the police station at Dumka to
determine her whereabouts and condition, but as of 14 December police have refused to disclose any information. Authorities have also not responded to a
request for details of the charges brought against Marandi.
We urge you to :
-Protect Aparna Marandi and her son from torture and other ill-treatment
-Initiate an independent and impartial investigation into the police behaviour and allegations of ill-treatment during Aparna Marandi and her companions’
detention between 8-10 December at Ranchi women’s police station, and hold those responsible for such ill-treatment accountable
-Desist the practice of arbitrary arrest and detention of individuals in Jharkhand
- Investigate the detention of two children - 16-year-old Satish and four-year-old Alok - in violation of both the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of
Children) Act (2000) and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a state party and thus obligated to uphold.