Jean Dreze arrested in Jharkhand to prevent public meet on 'Right to Food'


March 29, 2019
RANCHI: Reminiscent of British era operations, eminent economist Jean Dreze was arrested by the police in Jharkhand on Thursday for organising a public meeting on a programme called 'Right to Food.' Jharkhand has been in the news recently of kids dying asking for food.

The incident took place in Bishunpura of Garhwa district. "Police came and picked me up alongwith my two other associates, Vivek Gupta and Anuj Kumar, the organiser of the programme, saying we do not have the permission," Dreze told the Hindustan Times.

The police said the programme was being organised in violation of the Model Code of Conduct in force in view of the parliamentary elections. Dreze said the police asked them to sign a bond stating compliance with the Government and that they were not targeting the Government. He said they refused to sign any bond. The police, however, released them after two hours without any conditions.

Dreze said they had, in fact, sought permission for the meeting ten days back but they did not receive any reply.

Jean Dreze is a Belgium-born Indian economist and activist. He has undertaken wide-ranging studies on India's socio-economic problems like poverty, famine and inequalities, especially bungling of public welfare schemes. He is a Visiting Professor at Ranchi University and also teaches at Delhi School of Economics. He was a member of the National Advisory Council during the UPA regime. He has co-authored books with Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and other eminent social scientists.

Hailing from a family of academics in Belgium, he has been in India since 1979 and acquired Indian citizenship in 2002, according to available records.

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