PUCL Bulletin, July 2002

Jharkhand PUCL:
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 State.
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

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