First State Convention
The ongoing process of separating Jharkhand PUCL from Bihar PUCL was completed
on 28th April, 2002 when Jharkhand State branch of PUCL held its first
State Convention at Jamshedpur. Delegates from Ranchi, East Singhbhum,
Durnka, Palamau, and Deoghar districts of the State attended the convention
along with eminent dignitaries like Mr. Asgar All Engineer, noted scholar
and human rights activist. Dr. Y.P. Chhibbar, General Secretary, National
PUCL, Dr. Prabhakar Sinha, Vice-President, National PUCL, Mr. Ram Chandra
Lal Das, Advocate and President Bihar State PUCL, Mr. L.H Jenamoni, representative
from PUCL, Orissa and Mr. Ajay Dutta, Advocate and representative from
PUCL, West Bengal.
Addressing the Convention Dr. Y.P. Chhibbar outlined the historical background
of PUCL and reemphasized the need to maintain its credibility and impartiality
whereas Dr. Prabhakar Sinha in his address first focused on the important
issues of the region and thereafter delved on the organizational procedures
and practices. Noted Scholar and former Vice-President of National PUCL
Mr. Asghar Ali Engineer addressing the delegates made an attempt in brief
to trace the historical background of Communalism in India and in the
backdrop of serious threat posed to the Secular-Democratic Polity of the
country by the exponents of Hindu Rashtra in the aftermath of Gujarat
Riots suggested strategy to counter the challenge.
The delegates of Jharkhand felt the urgent need to formulate effective
strategy to combat human rights violations in the State with special reference
to the violation of civil and socio-economic rights in large scale displacement
caused by big Dams and other development projects being implemented in
The convention concluded with the endorsement and announcement of 5-member
State Committee for Jharkhand State PUCL, which comprises Mr. Subroto
Bhattacharjee as President and Mr. Saukat Ali Khan, Palamau, Mr. Shashibhushan
Pathak, Ranchi, Father P.A. Chako, Durnka and Mr. Nishant Akhilesh, Jamshedpur
as organizing Secretaries.
Addressing the valedictory session at ADL Society Hall at Jamshedpur in
the evening attended by intellectuals, human rights activists and noted
citizens of the Steel City the Chief Guest and eminent scholar Mr. Asgar
All Engineer said that one of the major challenges before PUCL is to fight
against communalism, which is the root cause of violence in the country.
Citizenship should get priority in a democratic country instead of religion.
Claiming the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat as pre-planned he said it was
a gross violation of human rights and the guilty must be punished. Dr.
Y.P Chhibbar and Mr. Ram Chandra Lal Das also addressed the gathering
on the occasion. -- Nishant Akhilesh, PUCL Jharkhand