Jharkhand police on Thursday arrested renowned economist and social activist Jean Dreze and two others for organising a meeting for ‘right to food’.
“Economist and activist Jean Dreaze has been arrested in Garwa district of Jharkhand and is held at Vishunpura Police Station, for organizing a meeting on the right to food,” tweeted journalist Saurav Dutta at 11.17 am.
Academics and social workers took to Twitter to register their protest against the action.
“Shocking to know that economists like Jean Dreze are a threat to the nation and need to be arrested. I hope sanity prevails soon and he and others are released. He was only busy organizing a meeting on right to food. How can fight against hunger be a crime?” tweeted Prof Irfan Habib.
“Jean Dreze is a saint-economist, a potential Nobel awardee who lived in slums, written and done more for the poor than any economist, shunned all power and glory, took up Indian citizenship, is a pacifist. Nothing can be more shameful than arresting him,” Yogendra Yadav noted.
Attacking the BJP government, Youth Congress tweeted: “Jharkhand saw multiple starvation deaths last year. Today, economist, academic & activist Jean Dreze has been arrested for organising a meeting on right to food. India’s fight against hunger seems to be a crime for the BJP! Shameful.”
Dreze, who conceptualised MGNREGA scheme for UPA I, has co-authored books with Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.