Human Rights Law Network
Mr. Ahmed Raza
The Jharkhand Unit based at Ranchi was established in 2007 to fight for justice for tribals, Dalits, women and the poor, the most vulnerable sections that suffer abuses the most. The Ranchi office has one journalist/activist and two tribal lady lawyers – a great asset in order to be able to address the tribal issues from the Adivasi perspective. The Jharkhand Unit works on all HRLN Initiatives but the particular emphasis is on women and Adivasis. Given the resource and mineral rich make-up of the state, HRLN Jharkhand is one of the most active units working on forest rights and related issues of displacement, environmental degradation and workers’ rights. Additionally, it spends a significant amount of time addressing issues such as rape, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, property rights, torture, human trafficking and migration.
The orders on several cases are still awaited but, regardless of the outcome of these orders, Ranchi team has already positively affected the lives of many individuals and marginalised communities in the state.
Future goals include taking more land rights issues, filing PILs on issues related to environment and defending women tortured for allegedly practicing witchcraft. Lukewarm efforts by the government to implement the Witchcraft Prohibition Act, 2001, has prompted HRLN Jharkhand to take a lead in protecting women who have suffered physical and mental torture for being branded as witches by a society where superstitions still run deep.