PUDR condemns the killing of Niyamat Ansari in Manika PS area of Latehar district, Jharkhand by members of the CPI (Maoist) on 2 March 2011.
Niyamat Ansari and his colleague Bhukan Singh have been active for over a decade raising issues of right to food and employment guarantee. Niyamat was the convenor of the Manika block unit of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and the MNREGA Support Centre.
The activities of these activists led to the exposure of corrupt practices of local contractors and the grabbing of NREGA funds. Their complaints had led to the registration of an FIR against the contractors on 2 March itself. Over the past several months, Niyamat and Bhukan had been facing regular threats.
The involvement of the CPI (Maoist) party in the brutal killing is most horrifying. The press statement by that party gives flimsy grounds to justify the attack. It is expected from any organisation that claims to struggle for a more just society to have a greater respect for life.
There is continued threat to the life of Bhukan Singh, who managed to survive the attack since he was not present in the village at that time.
In the light of the above, PUDR demands:
- That the persons responsible for the murder of Niyamat Ansari be handed over by the CPI Maoist so that they be tried for their criminal actions
- Bhukan Singh be provided protection and that the CPI (Maoist) publicly apologize for the criminal action and declare that no harm shall come to Bhukan Singh.
Harish Dhawan & Paramjeet Singh