Thursday, March 31, 2016

Film Makers, Writers, Cultural Personalities and Activists Demand Release of Deba Ranjan Sarangi

Film Makers, Writers, Cultural Personalities and Activists Demand Release of Deba Ranjan Sarangi

Dear friends,

I am enclosing the list of endorsements I have received so far. Please send further endorsements to Kamayani. Her email id is: 

Any further endorsements must reach her tonight, so that she can organise all endorsements properly and send it to us by tomorrow 7 pm. The idea is to release it in different parts of the country by April 2nd morning in a decentralised manner. You are welcome to use your press contacts and social media platforms once you get the final list of endorsementstomorrow night. Translations of the text in regional languages are also needed.

If there are any corrections on the endorsements or any names which are left out from this list, please inform Kamayani.

I express my sincere thanks to all of you for the overwhelming support to release of Debaranjan Sarangi.  The endorsements I have received so far are:

1.       Arundhati Roy , Writer

2.       Aruna Roy

3.       Mani Shankar Aiyar , RajyaSabha Member , Former Union Cabinet Minister

4.       Mallika Sarabhai , Padma Bhushan Award Winner, Dancer, Actress

5.       AnandPatwardhan , Film Maker

6.       TeestaSetalvad , Journalist & Human Rights Activist ,Mumbai

7.       Prof. Ram Puniyani, Writer ,Mumbai

8.       JavedAnand , Journalist ,Editor , Communalism Combat

9.       SandeepPandey , Human Rights activist , Magsasay award winner, Lucknow

10.   Sanjay Kak, Film Maker ,New Delhi

11.   Kedar Mishra , Writer , Art Critic , Odisha

12.   Prof. Anjali Monteiro ,Film Maker

13.   Prof. Uma Chakravarti , Academician

14.   Prof. K P Jayasankar ,Film Maker

15.   PankajButalia , Film Maker

16.   Rajeev Ravi , Camera Person , Feature Film Director

17.   Rahul Roy , Film Maker

18.   Vinod Raja , Documentary Film Maker

19.   Rakesh Sharma , Film Maker

20.   Amar Kanwar , Film Maker

21.   Dunu Roy , Researcher

22.   Sadanand Menon ,Writer

23.   Nityanand Jayaraman, writer, social activist, Chennai

24.   Gabriele Dietrich , National Alliance of People's Movement , Madurai

25.   DeepaDhanraj , Documentary Film Director

26.   Ajith Kumar , National Award winning Editor

27.   Dr. Mira Shiva , Health Activist

28.   Biju Toppo , Camera Person

29.   Navroze Contractor , Camera Person

30.   P Baburaj , Film Maker

31.   SreemithSekhar ,  Film Maker, Calicut

32.   Meghnath , Film Maker

33.   GeetaSeshu, Journalist , Mumbai

34.   ArundhatiDhuru ,Activist,Lucknow

35.   Ashok Chowdhury, NFFPM

36.   Kumar Prashant ,Chairman ,Gandhi Peace foundation,New Delhi

37.   Leo Saldanha , Researcher,Environmental Activist , ESG

38.   MadhumitaDutta , Activist- Researcher,Chennai

39.   ShripadDharmadhikary ,Researcher,ManthanAdhyayan Kendra

40.   C R Neelakandan , Writer ,Social Activist , NAPM

41.   Nicholas Barla

42.   Ajay Kumar Singh, Human Rights Activist, Odisha

43.   Sandeep Kumar Pattnaik

44.   Abhishek Kumar Dash

45.   ChandranathDani , Advocate ,Odisha

46.   Goldy George , Researcher , Dalit Activist

47.   EnakshiGanguly , Co-director, HAQ Centre for Child Rights ,New Delhi

48.   Irfan Engineer , CSSS

49.   Ovais Sultan Khan , Activist

50.   Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ, Human Rights Activist ,Ahemdabad

51.   Harsh Kapoor ,SACW

52.   Binu Mathew , Editor, Countercurrents

53.   Jose Kavi , Editor , Matters India

54.   NiveditaMenon , JNU , New Delhi

55.   Jagadish G Chandra , New Socialist Alternative

56.   Amudhan R P , Film Maker

57.   KritikaAgarwal , Camera Person

58.   Joe Athialy , New Delhi

59.   Benny Kuruvilla , Researcher , New Delhi

60.   A K Ramakrishnan , Professor , JNU , New Delhi

61.   PushpaAchanta , Journalist & Writer , Bangalore

62.   Benny Benedict , VIBGYOR International Film Festival

63.   Deme Oram , Tribal Activist , Sundargarh , Odhisha

64.   TapanPadhi , President, Mission Justice

65.   Razi , Film Director , Designer

66.   V S Roy David , National Adivasi Alliance

67.   Ananyaa Gaur , Musician

68.   SudhirPatnaik ,Writer, Editor, Odisha

69.   Wilfred D'costa , INSAF

70.   Adv. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Activist

71.   SoumyaDutta, Bharat Jan VigyanJatha& India Climate Justice

72.   K P Sasi , Film Maker, Activist

73.   Vini Varghese , Assistant Director, Documentary Films

74.   PradeepEsteves, Activist, Context India

75.   Dr.NeshatQuaiser , Associate Professor , JamiaMilliaIslamia , New Delhi

76.   Shamsul Islam

77.   NeelimaShrama

78.   VibhutiNarainRai , Writer

79.   Ramesh Kamble , University of Mumbai

80.   Prof .ArvindSivaramakrishnan

81.   Karuna D.W., Researcher Chennai

82.   Arun Khote, PMARC

83.   Charul Bharwada, Artist n Researcher, Ahmedabad

84.   Vinay Mahajan, Artist n Researcher, Ahmedabad

85.   Mahi Pal Singh , Editor, The Radical Humanist , Former National Secretary PUCL

86.   Sharmila , IIT Bombay

87.   Rosemary Viswanath

88.   Ishwarbhai Prajapati

89.   Sultana Kamal, Human rights activist, Bangladesh

90.   Aklima Ferdows Lisa , Assistant Coordinator , Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK)

91.   Vasanthi Raman , Social Scientist and activist , New Delhi

92.    Firdaus Ahmed

93.   Achyut Yagnik , Writer and Social Activist

94.   Ashok Shrimali , Secretary General mines mineral & People

95.   Meera Velayudhan , Researcher

96.   Virginius Xaxa

Film Makers, Writers, Cultural Personalities and Activists Demand Release of Deba Ranjan Sarangi


We the undersigned film makers, writers, professionals in the area of art & culture, academics, activists and social organisations are deeply shocked to hear about the arrest of independent documentary film maker, writer and human rights activist Deba Ranjan Sarangi.  We  strongly condemn the arrest view it as part of an overall strategy of the Indian State to curb  freedom of speech, freedom of expression of artists, writers, film makers and cultural personalities. We also condemn it in the  context of the overall suppression of dissent and suppression of human rights defenders in the era of strong facilitation of the forces of communalism and globalisation by the Indian State  and in particular, by the Odisha government.


Deba Ranjan Sarangi was arrested on March 18, 2016, by plainclothes policemen from the Kucheipadar village of Rayagada District, Odisha. Debaranjan was in Kucheipadar to attend a funderal ceremony of one of his friend's  father. He was arrested with a non-bailable warrant issued by the court of JMFC, Kashippur in pursuance of a case registered in Tikri police station of Rayagada district in 2005,  when Debaranjan was actively involved in the struggle of the Adivasis in Kashipur to protect their lands from the invasion of the bauxite mining companies.


Deba Ranjan Sarangi has been a consistent and passionate voice against injustice both within and outside Odisha. As a writer, film maker and human rights activist, he has highlighted and critiqued policies of destructive development, unbridled mining practices, displacement, police impunity, atrocities on Dalits, Adivasi issues , growth of communal fascism in Odisha, violence on women and farmers' suicide in the context of acute agrarian.


As per the reports, Deba Ranjan Sarangi was detained at Jaraguda police station for interrogation. It is learnt that Tikiri police arrested him in an old case warrant with GR case no: 12 of 2005 under Sections 147,148 and 506 of Indian Penal Code. HRDA has been informed that the case is related to a protest and agitation against Utkal Alumunia Company in Kashipur block of Raigada district which took place in the year of 2005. During that period a non-bailable warrant was issued against the defender under section 506 of IPC which is apparently being executed now after a gap of 11 years. If the police machinery was really convinced about these fabricated cases on Deba Ranjan Saragi, there was no need to take 11 years to arrest him, since Debaranjan was active as a film maker and a writer during the entire period.


Writer and documentary film maker Deba Ranjan Sarangi who has spent his precious time for the struggles of Adivasis in Odisha is also a member of Ganantrik Adhilkar Surakya Sangathan (GASS). His films include: 1. At the Crossroads, 2. The Conflict: Whose Loss Whose Gain, 3. From hindu to Hindutva, 4. Visit to Basaguda.

We the undersigned hereby strongly reiterate that it is not possible to silence the voice of dissent, the expressions of our conscience or even the reporting of facts by intimidation, imprisonment or through fabricated cases. We remind the authorities that the arrest of Debaranjan Saragi is a clear violation of Articles 14, 19, 21 and 22 enshrined in the Indian Constitution in defense of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and human rights. Authorities have also violated the safeguards mandated by the Supreme Court in various decisions regarding the arrest of an individual.  Such arrests are not only undermining Indian democracy, but also the flourishing growth of all artistic creativity. Deba Ranjan has been put behind bars because he had the courage to show what he witnessed to the world through his expressions of film making, writing and speech. He is neither a Maoist nor a terrorist. We call upon the Odisha government to address the issues raised by the human rights defenders in the State of Odisha rather than imprisoning them and crushing the voices of film makers. We call upon the Odisha government to desist from such disgraceful attempts of  violating the Indian Constitution and Indian democracy.


Therefore we demand the immediate release of Debaranjan Sarangi and an immediate dropping of all false charges against him. We also  appeal to the civil society to circulate this information widely within your reach.

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