Economist Jean Dreze ‘detained’ and released by Jharkhand Police
Noted economist Jean Dreze on Thursday was detained and then released by Jharkhand Police after he refused to sign a bond and declare that he had no grievances against the government
Well known Indian economist of Belgian origin Jean Dreze and two of his companions, Vivek and Anuj, were released by Jharkhand Police on Thursday after a few hours detention at Vishnupura police station in Garhwa.
They were asked to sign a bond and declare that they had no complaints against the Government. But they refused to sign any bond or give anything in writing.
Dreze and his companions were picked up and taken to the police station for allegedly not obtaining permission from the police for a meeting of villagers on ‘Right to Food’. People close to Dreze claimed that permission had been sought but no information was given to them whether the permission had been denied.
In fact the team did participate in a meeting of villagers last night and were to attend another meeting today.
As the news of the economist’s arrest spread, Twitter erupted with outrage.
The police also tried to confiscate the economist’s mobile phone and for some time he was not allowed to use it. They were told that they would have to apply for bail and that the administration would be filing an FIR naming the three. They were also advised to look for bailors.
In a text message, the economist stated, “We want permission to hold the meeting today itself. Even evening. A big meeting was held in the same village last night…”. The SP of Garhwa advised the economist to apply for permission to hold a meeting on some other day.
With public pressure building up, the police station was apparently asked to release the three activists.
Dreze, now an Indian citizen, had arrived in India in 1979 as a 20-year old and obtained his Ph.D. from Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi. He has authored several books on development economics and co-authored books with Amartya Sen. He is currently a Professor of Economics in Ranchi University.