Efforts to implicate me in case against Rupesh: Ipsa Shatakshi, wife of jailed journalist

Illustration by Shagnik Chakraborty
14 July, 2023

Ipsa Shatakshi is the wife of Rupesh Kumar Singh, an independent journalist based in Jharkhand who has been in jail since 17 July 2022, for being a suspected Maoist. She is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in law, in the hopes of aiding the legal struggles faced by her family.   

In June 2019, Rupesh was detained by teams of the Intelligence Bureau and the Andhra Pradesh State Intelligence Bureau, from Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district. He was illegally detained for two days and then transferred to the Gaya Police, in Bihar, on 6 June. The police accused Rupesh of being a prominent leader of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Over six months later, Rupesh was released on bail. 

In 2021, Rupesh was back in the limelight, after his name surfaced in the list of individuals whose mobile devices had been compromised by the invasive Pegasus spyware. Among the roughly three hundred Indians on the list, forty were journalists and activists. Rupesh was the first Hindi journalist to be identified in the list. His work is centred on human rights violations and the persecution of tribal communities. Subsequently, it was revealed that at least two other members of Rupesh’s family were also on the list. 

On 17 July 2022, Rupesh was detained again, this time by the Jharkhand Police, from his residence in Ramgarh district. The police alleged that he was engaged in fundraising activities for the CPI(Maoist). According to the police, on 12 April 2022, the Maoist leaders Vijay Kumar Arya, Rajesh Gupta, Umesh Chaudhary, Anil Yadav, an individual named Rupesh, and unidentified others gathered in Samhuta village, in Bihar, for a fundraising and recruitment meeting. Rupesh was charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.