PUCL Press Statement on the Arrest of Sri Dandapani Mohanty


People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) condemns the arrest of Sri Dandapani Mohanty, who acted as one of the interlocutors on behalf of the Maoists, both in the abduction of Malkangiri Collector and that of the two Italian tourists. The way the Odisha police arrested Sri Mohanty, violating all rules pertaining to arrest and detention, shows its highhandedness and utter disregard for the law of the land. Moreover, Sri Mohanty’s arrest at this juncture raises several questions which the Odisha government must answer.

Sri Mohanty’s family members have alleged that he was picked up in the afternoon of 8th February by plain clothes policemen from near his residence in Berhampur. The family members were not informed of this by the police. The Supreme Court of India guidelines regarding arrest and detention clearly say that the police officials who carry out the arrest or interrogation should wear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations. It also says that a memo of arrest must be prepared at the time of arrest which should be attested by at least one witness who may either be a family member of the person arrested or a respectable person of the locality where the arrest was made. It is shocking that the Odisha police have been continously violating these principle, particularly, when picking up people allegedly with Maoist activities or when the ‘accused’ are from the marginalised groups. It needs to be noted that in December last year Berhampur police had picked up Sri Sangram Mohanty, son of Sri Dandapani Mohanty, in the same manner. The police had actually picked up Sangram Mohanty from Berhampur town but falsely claimed that he was caught near Kamalapur gate near Mohana. A couple of year ago, Sri Gananath Patra, advisor of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, Narayanpatna, was picked of exactly in the same manner. Apart from these ‘high profile cases’, PUCL has documented several cases in which the police have been blatantly violating the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court of India. The recent custodial death of one Sanjay Dehury on 1st January this year in Jarpada police station of Angul district was a result of such violation.

Secondly, the arrest of Sri Dandapani Mohanty, clearly exposes how the Odisha government has been misusing its power to harass anybody who it finds too uncomfortable. According to media reports, the police have claimed that there are at least 15 cases, including six non-bailable warrants, against Sri Mohanty. Sri Mohanty has been booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and as the media reported, the cases against Sri Mohanty included murder, extortion, burning buses and destroying telephone towers. Surprisingly, some of these cases lodged against Sri Mohanty are related to incidents that took place in 2009 and 2010. Then the simple question we ask is: why didn’t the police arrest Sri Mohanty earlier when there were serious charges against him? Sri Mohanty was no underground Maoist cadre and was openly involved in political activities. Then why did the police have to wait till 2013 to arrest him? And, how was that the Odisha government accepted his role as an interlocutor for the release of the abducted Malkangiri Collector and the two Italian tourists, if Sri Mohanty had murder charges against him, as claimed by the police now? Or, are these cases fabricated by the police to silence Sri Mohanty, who has been quite vocal in raising the issues affecting the Adivasis, including the ongoing repression on them by the security forces, in the name of fighting the Maoists?

PUCL demands that the Odisha government must respect the law of the land, whether it is dealing with the Maoists, their sympathisers or ordinary citizens.

Pramodini Pradhan

Convenor, PUCL-Odisha

Contact no. – 9439200989

 

#India- Do you know about Gangrape case of tribal girl Arati Majhi ? #delhigangrape #Vaw


Arati Majhi,the girl from Gajapati dist. of Odisha,allegedly gang raped by police forces after arrested on so called sedition case in 2010 And still in jail.Lower court had dismissed her rape case on the ground of  police inqury only and denied the bail.

The police force had raided her village house in  search of her older sister who was in Maoist squad .After 
not finding her ,they took Arati to the police station and gang raped her on the jungle way as she compained.Her 
voice is yet tobe listened becuause the policed filed her as a Maoist.

Is there justice for this poor adivasi girl ?

(Her sister was murdered in Basangmali encounter in 2011.)

HC notice to government on Arati Majhi rape case

The Hindu, Cuttak, Jan 8th n

Today the Odisha court   issued notice to the State government asking the government counsel to file counter to a petition filed by Daksha Majhi, who has alleged that his daughter Arati Majhi was gang-raped by the CRPF and State police in custody after she was arrested during a combing operation.

 

CBI enquiry

 

Seeking to quash a lower court order that had rejected his plea to direct the police to register the gang-rape incident and investigate into it, the petitioner has approached the High Court seeking CBI enquiry into the whole incident and for a damage of Rs. 10 lakh from the State government.

When the matter came up for hearing before the single-judge Bench of Justice B.K. Nayak on the day, the government counsel sought at least two weeks time to file the counter.

The HC however, granted one week to the State government and fixed hearing of the case next week after the government counter affidavit is received.

The petitioner, a native of Jadingi village under Adava police station of Gajapati district, has alleged that his 21-year-daughter Arati was dragged from his house on February 12, 2010.

“Police personnel from CRPF and SOG raped his daughter on their way to police station and lodged her in jail after implicating her in false cases and brandishing her as a Naxal cadre”, the petition said adding that since then Arati is languishing in Berhampur jail as an UTP.

The petition further said that when the police refused to register a case against the rape accused, he had approached the R. Udayagiri judicial magistrate court in August 2012, which in the meantime has turned down his petition.

It may be mentioned here that the lower court decided the case late last year only after an order from the High Court.

Orissa – CDRO Statement on the arrests of Samgram Mohanty and Kailash Mandal


December 6, 2012

CDRO strongly condemns and refutes the official versions touted by the Odisha police regarding the recent arrests of Sangram Mohanty and Kailash Mandal from Berhampur town on 5th December 2012. Both have been shown as Maoists and the police claim to have recovered arms, literature and other items from their possession.

The facts are otherwise. Sangram Mohanty, a thirty year old engineer turned businessman was busy in a motor repairing garage on 5th December in Berhampur town. When returning home in the morning, he was intercepted by plain clothed policemen in a Bolero jeep and hustled into the vehicle. This was corroborated by a local butcher who was a witness to the interception. Mohanty was first taken to the Reserve Police Barrack near Berhampur town and then, in another vehicle, transported to Mohana PS in Gajpati district, not far from the area where the recent fake encounter had taken place. His advocate was refused permission to meet him and late at night he was produced with his face covered before a first class judicial magistrate at R Udaigiri. After production, he was taken to judicial custody where he has started his hunger strike protesting his arrest. Although the magistrate reprimanded the police for covering Mohanty’s face, his bail petition was rejected as the magistrate claimed that it went beyond his purview.

It is necessary to add that Sangram Mohanty is the son of Dandapani Mohanty, convenor of Jan Adhikar Manch who has twice acted as interlocutor for securing the release from the Maoists, the collector of Malkangiri in 2011 and two Italian tourists abducted in 2012. He has been legally fighting for 657 persons lodged in 19 districts who have been arrested as Maoists by the police. He and his family have been repeatedly threatened and intimidated by the police over the last two years. His house was ransacked and raided by the police in 2010 and false cases were foisted under UAPA in February 2012. Most recently, he and his family have been receiving threats after his public condemnation of the fake encounter. Sangram Mohanty’s arrest is clearly a way of intimidating Mr Mohanty and his family.

In another instance, Kailash Mandal, a tribal and cultivator was picked up by the police on 2nd December in the evening from the bus stop at Berhampur town where Mandal had come for business. Mandal’s father contacted Dandapani Mohanty the following day and the latter sent SMSes to all officials in Odisha in connection with Mandal’s disappearance. Coincidentally, Mandal too was produced with Mohanty on the night of 5th/6th at R. Udaigiri.

CDRO demands:

* Immediate and unconditional release of Sangram Mohanty and Kailash Mandal.
* Action against the police for keeping Mandal in illegal detention for over three days, for arresting Mohanty and Mandal without procedure, for producing them with their faces covered, and for refusing permission to Mohanty’s lawyer from meeting him.
* Immediate end of harassment to Dandapani Mohanty and his family from the state forces.

Asish Gupta & Kranthi Chaitanya
Co-ordinator, CDRO

 

Odisha jail warders’ fast unto-death stir enters fourth day


Published: Thursday, Dec 6, 2012, 16:20 IST
Place: Cuttack | Agency: PTI

The fast-onto-death stir by jail wardens in Odisha entered the fourth day today even as over 50 striking warders were shifted to hospitals after falling ill during their hunger strike. The state government appealed to striking warders to call off their agitation saying the Chief secretary will hold a discussion with the State Anomaly Committee on December 15 vis-à-vis with the pay parity demand by them.

IG Jail S S Hansda also made a similar appeal on Wednesday saying the government is actively considering the demands of the striking warders and they should immediately call off their strike and join duties. He, however, maintained that jails across the state have made alternative arrangements to man the cells while the warders are on strike.

Nearly 1,500 warders in about 91 jails of the state launched indefinite hunger strike on Monday demanding better pay and cadre recognition. For over a decade now, the jail warders are demanding pay parity with police constables and status of class IV employees of state government. Warders pointed out that the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) in 2003 had ordered for pay parity of the jail warders with that of police constables immediately.

While 92 warders of Choudwar circle jail are on fast-onto-death strike, two of them were rushed to SCB medical college and hospital here on Tuesday night after they were taken ill. However on Tuesday, at least 16 other striking warders were shifted to various hospitals. Reports reaching here said that ailing warders from Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Kendrapara, Balaswar and many other places were shifted to hospitals as their condition deteriorated.

 

Orissa – Police file false cases against Dandapani Mohanty, Nachika Linga and three other CMAS activists


 Feb 21, 2012–                                   A note received from Dandapani Mohanty

Chasi Mulia Sangha (CMAS) is going to hold a meting at Narayanpatna. All the tribal communities will be attending the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to save the tribal language, culture and territory. Also, the objective is to provide education up to the 8th class in tribal language. In this context, two tribal students Landa Tadingi and Chakra Tadingi along with Suka linga, the younger brother of Nachika Linga, came to Berhampur to contact guests and for preparing the leaflets for the meeting. While they were returning, they were arrested by Berhampur Police at the Berhampur railway station on 17th February 2012.

The police recovered from then the fortnightly newspaper named Janatantra (Regd. No. ORIORI/2001/5588), Swaviman (Regd No. RNI-70589/98), 2000 copies of the pamphlet titled “Adivasi Jeevan Vasa Sanskruti Surakshya Pai Samabas Ku Safal Karantu” (d. 21.2.2012) and three books written by the environmentalist Prafulla Samantray, one handycam, two sarees and one blanket. They were charged using a fabricated case no. GR/241/12 under Sec-10,13,18,20,39,40 UAPA 124/A/IPC. The FIR has been lodged against Dandapani Mohanty (convenor of Jana Adhikar Manch), Nachika Linga (CMAS President) and the other three who were arrested by police.

CMAS is a democratic organization, organizing the tribal people in a democratic manner in order to raise their voices for implementation of the government’s policy in tribal areas. Since last four years, CMAS has organized many meetings in a democratic manner. Many intellectuals, social workers have attended these meetings. CMAS is not at all a banned organization. Unfortunately, Odisha police has treated the democratic organization and democratic peoples as terrorists and are trying to suppress the democratic voices, The police has now foisted a fabricated case under UAPA act against Dandapani Mohanty & Nachika Linga. So I appeal to all the democratic minded people in country to raise their voices against state violence and demand before that the government must withdraw the fabricated case against the five of us.