India: Journalist Arrested Over Alleged Maoist Ties
The arrest of a freelance journalist in Jharkhand in eastern India has raised concerns among human rights activists and his family members, who say he was targeted for reporting on issues of marginalized tribal communities.
- The arrest of a freelance journalist in Jharkhand in eastern India has raised concerns among human rights activists and his family members, who say he was targeted for reporting on issues of marginalized tribal communities.
- Rupesh Kumar Singh was arrested on July 17 for alleged links with the banned left-wing armed group, known as the Maoists, that has been in conflict with Jharkhand for decades and is primarily active in India's tribal-dominated states.
- According to Singh's wife, the arrest was in connection with a first information report (FIR) under which some suspected Maoists were arrested, though she alleged Singh was not named in the original FIR.
- Two days before his arrest, Singh wrote a report on industrial waste being dumped on agricultural land belonging to the Adivasi tribal community.
- The report was published in the Hindi portal Janchowk, whose editor cites Singh's reporting as the reason for his arrest. Singh's arrest has been criticized by left-wing political groups and activists in the region.
- This isn't Singh's first arrest; in June 2019, police in the neighboring Bihar state arrested him on various charges, including under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), with which he is also charged currently.
Sources: Indian Express, Al Jazeera, Scroll, and Wire.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Hindustan Times. This is part of a continued effort to crackdown on Maoist insurgents who have caused an enormous amount of violence in India for decades. The government is justified in doing all it can to protect the lives of its citizens, and its intervention has and will continue to curtail the strength of the insurgency.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Counter Currents. Singh's arrest is an attempt to silence him under the guise of keeping Jharkhand's streets safe. The Indian police are violating Singh's human rights by harassing him in retaliation for his reporting. This is clearly a case about freedom of the press. Singh should be commended for his willingness to report on the state-imposed repression.