RANCHI: Alok Marandi, 6 who has spent almost a quarter of his life behind the bars along with his mother Aparna may have his faith restored on judiciary after his father Jeetan Marandi was finally acquitted by the Apex court of the country this Tuesday. The hapless son of Jeetan and Aparna Marandi had been a part of series of protests along with his mother demanding release of his father.
Such protests spearheaded by Aparna irked the police and she was jailed, thereby pushing innocent toddler Alok behind the bars. Jeetan, a cultural activist and resident of Peertand block of Giridih district was picked up by police in April 2008 on charges of being mastermind of Chilkari ambush in which former CM Babulal Marandi’s son was killed. It was a case of mistaken identity as Shyamlal Kisku alias Jeetan, a known Maoist had led the attack and the red brigade had owned up the killing also.
Despite being convicted with capital punishment by subordinate court, Jeetan from behind the bars and his wife from outside, continued the fight for justice with support of some human rights activists. Jharkhand high court finally acquitted him and four others of all charges on December 15, 2011. Marandi’s turmoil did not end here as he was immediately arrested under crime control act and the state filed an appeal against high court order at the apex court.
After several rounds of hearing double bench of the apex court comprising justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and justice RK Agarwal dismissed the appeal of state government saying that they found no merit in the appeal to reverse the order of Jharkhand high court.
Marandi’s counsel MS Ganesh told TOI that the criminal appeal Manoj Rajwar versus state of Jharkhand was filed by the state government in 2013 and the court after hearing both the sides, upheld decision of high court. “Manoj Rajwar, Jeetan Marandi and two others accused in the case were acquitted of all the charges,” he said.
Expressing gratitude to the judiciary and support of activists, Marandi said that his fight against the system would continue. “I am not going to sit quietly now and would file a compensation suit against the state under SC ST atrocities (prevention) Act,” he said remembering how his family life was disturbed all these years.
Marandi’s turmoil and fight against the system is learnt to have inspired Marathi film -Court which has recently been nominated for the Oscars. Though he continues with his cultural activism he also wants to highlight the part how false witnesses are ‘purchased’ by police to establish cases in the court of law. “I had obtained details about the witnesses through RTI, who vouched against me on behest of the police and was surprised to know that they had criminal background and arranged by the police despite the fact that they had no connection, whatsoever with my case,” he said.
Despite this acquittal Marandi continues to face five more trials, comprising three in Giridih and one each in Ranchi and Dhanbad court. He was framed in several cases during the time he had been fighting for justice from jail.