Since 2000, advocate Dipti Singh (Munda) has been fighting legal battles to save poor villagers of Jharkhand, especially people of the Munda community, who were misguided by the Maoists or implicated falsely.
Singh, who practises in Ghatsila court, has an impressive record. She has stood in defence of 250 Maoist undertrials. Eighty of them have been acquitted. At present, she is overseeing about 150 such cases.
The only lawyer from the Munda community in this part of Jharkhand, Singh has a master’s degree in law. She is a resident of Choira village of Dhalbhumgarh block in East Singhbhum district.
Her father Kalipada Singh is a farmer.
“Earlier, Mundas enjoyed the supremacy here. But when Santhals came to politics, they tried to downplay the Munda community. Seeking revenge, many joined the Maoists... some were falsely implicated by opponents in cases related to Maoist violence,” Singh told HT.
“These so-called members of the Red Squad are generally very poor and cannot pay lawyers’ fees. They do not have the means to fight their case and fail to appeal in higher courts,” she added.
According to Singh, most of the accused were misguided.
When asked about three of her clients who were convicted and sentenced to life term by district and additional session judge of Ghatsila court this week, Singh said, “I am not satisfied with the recent judgment.”