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Home / India / Jean Drèze questioned, then released, by police in Jharkhand

Jean Drèze questioned, then released, by police in Jharkhand

The economist was at a public meeting on right to food, his wife said he and his associates were asked to sign a bond and say they had no complaints against the government
Drèze and his associates were holding a meeting without permission from district authorities and were detained for this reason. His wife, Bela Bhatia, an academic and right activist herself, confirmed his release later.
Drèze and his associates were holding a meeting without permission from district authorities and were detained for this reason. His wife, Bela Bhatia, an academic and right activist herself, confirmed his release later.
Telegraph file photo

The Telegraph   |   New Delhi   |   Published 28.03.19, 09:22 AM

Development economist and activist Jean Drèze was detained by Jharkhand police on Thursday, questioned and released when he was in the state holding a public meeting on right to food. 

He was picked up by the police along with two other persons in the Garhwa district of Jharkhand. The three were taken to Bishunpura police station for questioning.

Reportedly, Drèze and his associates were holding a meeting without permission from district authorities and were detained for this reason. His wife, Bela Bhatia, an academic and right activist herself, confirmed his release later.

Bhatia forwarded a message from Drèze that read: “Arrested with Vivek Gupta and Anuj of Dehan in Bishunpura in Garhwa for trying to hold peaceful non-political meeting on pensions and right to food.” 

Bhatia said the three were asked to sign a bond and say that they had no complaints against the government.

Drèze has been critical of the Narendra Modi government several times. In July 2018, he said the Modi government needs to look beyond economic growth. In an interview to PTI, he said that “the government should shed its obsession with economic growth and take a broader view of what development is about.' 

The Belgian-born Drèze, now an Indian citizen who has lived here since 1979, has worked on several developmental fronts. He helped draft some pro-people laws, such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, and the National Food Security Act, 2013.

The three activists were released without any charge against them but the meeting for which they were detained might not happen.Several attempts to reach Jean Drèze were unsuccessful.



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