Solidarity with Jean Dreze and Bela Batia PDF Print E-mail
NCHRO Tamil Nadu

Chennai: NCHRO  condemned the attack on the development economist Prof. Jean Dreze and his partner Bela Batia, a human rights activist living with tribal people and working for their benefits. A statement issued by Prof A Marx,the chairperson of the human rights body said that two days back a group of people came to the place nears Jagadalpur in which Bela Batia is living, shouting slogans against her and instigated the people around against her. They had also threatened the owner of the house in which she is living. Fortunately, since people around were very friendly with Bela Batia nothing serious happened on that day. The real reason behind the attack is that Bela is responsible for filing a complaint against the security forces who had raped and unleashed sexual violence against some tribal women few weeks before.


Jean Drez, her life partner is also targeted by them. A pamphlet was also distributed on that day branding both of them as “foreign agents” and “Maoists” and are “trying to tear the country apart”. Prof. Jean Drez is a development economist who has done a lot of research on eradication of poverty, hunger and right to education and other social issues. He was teaching in London School of Economics and is now associated with Ranchi University and Delhi School of Economics. He is also a close colleague of the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and scholars like Angus Deaton and Nicholas Stern. Nothing is true in the allegation that he is close to Maoists are Naxalites. He condemns not only state violence but also the violence let loose by armed revolutionaries.. In fact one of his associate Niyamat Ansati who was fighting against corruption was killed brutally by Naxalites few years back.

Prof Jean Drez was staying in India from 1979 onwards and became an Indian citizen in 2002. He is a bitter critique of many aspects of the neo-liberal policies practiced by the former and present regimes.

The NCHRO strongly condemns the hate campaign and harassment against the social activists Jean Dreze and Bela Batia. We demand that those responsible for these vilification campaign and harassments should be identified and arrested. The state should provide security to the activist couple.


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