Adivasi Professor Arrested For Facebook Post On Right To Eat Beef

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NEW DELHI — Jeetrai Hansda, a professor at the Government School and College for Women, Sakchi, in Jharkhand was arrested on Saturday. A lawyer from the team handling Hansda’s case told HuffPost India that a complaint was filed against him in June 2017 based on a Facebook post he had written.

However, he was finally arrested yesterday. The lawyer, who did not want to be named, said he suspected the arrest was made after the elections were over so that the BJP did not anger the Adivasis and lose their votes before the polls. The BJP won 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand this year, same as 2014. The government at the state is also led by the BJP under Raghubar Das.

A diary was filed against Hansda’s Facebook post in 2017 and after ‘investigating’ the complaint, inspector Anil Kumar Singh of Sakchi police station lodged the FIR. Hansda’s lawyer said that though he was asked to appear in the police station, he wasn’t arrested back then. He was only arrested yesterday and continues to be in police custody. Hansda had also moved for anticipatory bail, which was rejected.

Hansda is a prominent Adivasi activist and theatre artist and his Facebook post asserted his community’s right to eat beef.

The FIR lodged at the Sakchi police station in Jamshedpur, stated that Hansda had written a Facebook post asserting that the adivasi community in India has had a long tradition of eating beef and ceremonial cow sacrifice. It is their democratic and cultural right to consume the meat, he said. The post also said that they oppose India’s laws on eating beef and that his community also consumes peacocks, the country’s national bird. He also expressed his unwillingness to follow Hindu customs.

He was booked under sections 153 (A), 295A, 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for insulting religious feelings and attempts to promote enmity between groups of people. 

Shortly after the complaint was filed against Hansda, Dasmath Hansdah, the chief of Majhi Pargana...

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