“Bihar Police planted Electronic Detonators and guillotine in my husband, Rupesh’s car in order to prove him a Naxal activist whereas he is a freelance journalist and researcher who writes in favor of Adivasis and marginalised communities. He is being framed for exposing the unholy nexus between some corporate houses and the state government,” said wife of journalist Rupesh Kumar, Ipsa Shatakshi to National Herald over the phone.
As per Shatakshi, Rupesh Kumar, a Bokaro based freelance journalist and activist-cum-researcher had been arrested by the Bihar police on June 4 from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand whereas the police claimed that the journalist was arrested from Gaya.
“Police kept my husband for two days in illegal custody. Then they showed that he was arrested from Gaya on June 6,” said Shatakshi.
Along with Rupesh, one of his relative Mithilesh and his driver Mohammad Kalam were also arrested by the Bihar police.
According to the police, all three were charged under Sections 414 and 120B of the India Penal Code, along with other sections under the Explosive Substances Act. The Bihar police also slapped section 10/13/18/20/38 of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against them.
Rubbishing claims made by the Bihar police, Ipsa reiterated, “Rupesh was picked up by the Bihar police from Hazaribagh. He was blindfolded and then was taken to a nearby camp of the notorious Cobra battalion where explosives were planted in his car by the police.”
Shatakshi said explosives were planted in Rupesh’s car under the direction of Deputy Superintendent of Gaya, Ravish Kumar.
The Bihar police claimed that Rupesh was editing a magazine named “Lal Mati” to promote Naxalism, to which Ipsa said, “Police cooked up the story. There is no such magazine in whole Jharkhand. You can check with any senior journalist or resident of Bokaro about the magazine. It is a fictional magazine created by the police.”
According to Ipsa, Rupesh’s arrest is part of a larger conspiracy which is being played out in the jungle and the areas where minerals are found in Jharkhand.
“Their purpose is to silence the voice of dissent and criticism,” she added.
“He is being framed for writing in favor of Adivasis,” said Ipsa, adding that policemen questioned him about the articles and stories he wrote, “exposing corporate loot undergoing in Jharkhand under the BJP rule.”
According to Shatakshi, during the interrogation, policemen asked Rupesh to quit “negative journalism” and think about his family which qualifies as a veiled threat.
Shatakshi told NH that she met her husband on June 9 in Sherghati jail, Gaya.
“Although we have applied for the bail but do not know how long this will go on for. He was planning to write two books on the plight of Adivasis and the loot of the minerals by the corporates but police arrested him in false charges,” said Shatakshi.
“His dream of writing books is shattered but he is very firm and resolved. He used to say when you stand for the causes of poor and the marginalised, the establishment will try to crush you. That is exactly what has happened,” said the wife of an alleged “Naxal-journalist.”