A tribal man identified as Birsa Majhi S/o Rameshwar Majhi was harassed by the police on false accusation of being a Maoist in Bokaro district of Jharkhand. The victim is a resident of Lalgarh village under the Gomia police station in Bokaro district of Jharkhand and a poor labourer. The Jharkhand Police have wrongly framed him as a Maoist and announced a bounty of Rs 1 lakh on him. Birsa, his wife, and eldest son are illiterate and two children can barely read. He was recently summoned to the local police station and asked him to surrender as a Maoist. Hence, he may be arrested by the police any time on the charges of being a Maoist. He is too poor to afford legal fees. The false case filed against him has made the situation for his family worst. In 2005, Birsa along with some neighbours was wrongly accused in a case of witch-hunt when they had gone to negotiate a dispute with the in-laws of their sister. A neighbour of the in-laws informed the local police that they ‘party’ people meaning Maoists. Birsa and the others were sent to Tenughat jail. They got bail within a month. All of the accused, except Birsa, have since been acquitted. A few years ago, when Birsa had gone to Andhra Pradesh for work, all meagre belongings of his family were taken away during a kurki-jabti (attachment).
It is pertinent to mention that filing of false cases against tribals and attaching their properties by the police constitute “atrocities” under section 3 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) has moved the National Human Rights Commission for its intervention and demanded immediate withdrawal of the cases against Birsa and constitution of a judicial inquiry as to how he was framed in a false case.