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Withdraw FIR, "fake" charges against Bihar TU leaders in Araria: NAPM

The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), a top human rights network, has taken strong exception to FIR and "fake" charges registered by the Araria (Bihar) District Police against activists Kamayani Swami, Ranjit Paswan and 150 un-named persons of the Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan (JJSS) for sitting in "peaceful satyagraha" against bureaucratic delays and corruption in Nagar Parishad Araria.
In a statement, NAPM said, On the May 7, 2019 around 200 members of JJSS, a local union of workers and marginal farmers, and residents of Baijnathpur in Araria District, Bihar, gathered in front of the office of the executive officer of Araria Nagar Parishad. Using the satyagraha method as a means of non-violent protest, people were demanding release of money in “Sabke liye Awaas” , “Swachh Bharat” and “Lohia Swachh Bihar Mission”schemes and social security pension scheme.
A representative body of JJSS even met the officials, and later executive officer Dinanath Singh came out of his office to interact with the people and gave assurances. The satyagraha came to an end in the evening.
However, two days later, it came to be known that FIRs had been filed against the satygrahis, a copy of which was procured from the Araria Sessions Court mentioning several charges including that of rioting against Paswan, Swami and 150 unknown people.
"Swami and Pawan are founder members of JJSS and renowned trade union leaders and activists in the area. Paswan is currently general secretary of the union, while Swami is a well known social and political activist, campaigning for right to food, among other issues", the statement said.
"We demand that the grievances of the people brought during the satyagraha be addressed at the earliest and false charges against Swami, Paswan and other unnamed persons should be withdrawn", the statement, signed, among others, by Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh, Dr Binayak Sen, Prafulla Samantara, Meera Sanghamitra, Kavita Srivastava, and Sandeep Pandey, said.

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