Complaint to Odisha Human Rights Commission on CRPF atrocities in Niyamgiri


To, The Secretary,

Odisha Human Rights Commission,

Bhubaneshwar
Date: 11th June 2013
Sub: CRPF atrocities and human rights violations in villages of Niyamgiri mountains
On 3rd June 2013, at around 11am, the Central Reserve Police Force opened fired on a group of three Dongria Kond tribals (1 adult and 2 children) from the interior Batudi village of the Niyamgiri mountains who were bathing in the stream near Panimunda village. A group of adult men and children from Batudi village had gone to bathe to the nearby Panimuda village as the water streams around their village were still dry. Around 11 Dongrias (6 adults and 5 children) were bathing at a higher level of the stream, and one adult and two children were bathing at a lower level. Suddenly, the CRPF opene fired. The two children, Munna Jakesika (14years) and Ravi Jakesika (10years), and Pakru Jakesia (25 years) were present in the area where the CRPF open fired. Their photo is attached. Terrified, three of them started running uphill towards where the the other people were. Bullets flew through Munna, Ravi and Pakru’s sides and above their heads. The adults who were on a higher level of the stream, on hearing the bullet sounds rushed towards where the sound was coming from. They saw Munna, Ravi and Pakru frantically running uphill, as bullets missed them by inches. This open firing by the CRPF lasted for around 5 minutes.
This incident was reported by villagers of Batudi who witnessed the firing to a group of activists (Samarendra Das and Devangana Kalita) who visited the village on 7th June 2013. The names of the 11 people who saw the firing on Munna, Ravi and Pakru, and who reported the incident to us are as follows:
Duku Jakesika: 30yrs
Derku Sikaka: 20yrs
Janju Mandika: 22yrs
Bindu Jakesika: 32yrs
Momo Jakesika: 20yrs
Druku Jakesika: 21yrs
Babula Jakesika: 8yrs
Lanji Kuturuka: 6yrs
Swadevo Jakesika: 10yrs
Manni Kuturuka: 8yrs
Lassu Jakesika: 12yrs
We also spoke to the three people on whom the CRPF had fired. The two children, not surprisingly, were immensely shaken after the experience, and recounted how terrified and scared they felt as the bullets flew on their sides and above their heads. Duku Jakesika, in a powerful statement, said,
“This is an assault on our very lives. The CRPF has no right to shoot at us without any provocation. Villagers bathing in a stream are not Maoists. Little children are not Maoists. These are our mountains, our forests, our land. Because of the CRPF, today, we cannot roam around freely in our own area. We do not feel safe anymore, we have to live in fear and insecurity. Our lives do not matter to the state, they can kill us whenever or wherever.”
This incident in Batudi is indeed a gross violation of national and international human and children’s rights. It is however, one of many similar incidents of CRPF atrocities in the Niyamgiri mountains. CRPF’s ‘combing’ operations have been generating immense fear and insecurity amongst the Dongria Kond, and threatening people’s lives, livelihood and culture. On 5th June in Kesarpadi village, a meeting of Dongrias from various villages was held to discuss on the gram sabha process ordained by the Supreme Court. In the meeting, a Dongria woman, in an interview with Oriya journalist, Amitabh Patra, narrated the following experience of CRPF atrocities,
“Few days back we were gathering forest products near our village. At that time so many armed forces arrived and they pointed guns at us and surrounded us. They started asking “where is Lada (the tribal leader)? Where have you hidden the maoists ? Where have you hidden the weapons? Why are you opposing mining?” Some one from the behind yelled – ‘If you resist the mining you will be killed like dogs’…………….We do not want such development where our lives are threatened every moment by the armed forces! We kept some weapons to safeguard our selves and our crops from wild animals. We do not want to kill the animals, but to drive them away. Occasionally when these animals attack or come too close to us we get killed. They (CRPF) came and barged into our houses, took away our belongings, threw our stored food grains and cooked food, took away our worship weapons and the guns we kept for our protection from wild animals. We have been living and preserving the mountains and the soil and everything around us since centuries. You can see us living in harmony with nature. But since past ten years our peace and life has been disturbed by the company and police. Since the armed forces presence our freedom to move around in our mountains has been restricted. We are living in a state of fear”
The video of the women’s interview can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5D7FAUhNQg&feature=youtu.be . She did not want to reveal her name or village in fear of retribution by the armed forces. She felt without her name and village, it would be difficult for the CRPF to easily locate her, since she lived in the villages inside the forests.
Such atrocities and gross violations by the CRPF are threatening the existence, livelihood, mobility and freedom of the Dongria Kond. The Dongria Kond only live in the Niyamgiri mountains, and such immense repression by the CRPF and the atmosphere of fear and vulnerability generated by this are violations of international standards and protocols for protection of tribal groups.
We demand an immediate enquiry by the Orissa Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights into these violations by the CRPF in the Niyamgiri mountains. These inhuman atrocities need to be immediately stopped, especially in the context of the democratic process of conducting gram sabhas for determining Dongria’s religious, cultural and habitat rights that has been initiated by the Supreme Court judgement on the Niyamgiri mining case. No democratic process can be truly free and fair, in a context of such repression and violation of the Dongria’s basic human rights.
We look forward to hearing from you at the earliest and hope that immediate action will be taken on this matter.
Yours sincerely,
Samarendra Das, Activist, Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti and Foil Vedanta (London)
Devangana Kalita, Independent Researcher and Activist, New Delhi.
Amitabh Patra, Journalist and Activist, Orissa

 

Chhattisgarh- What will Bastar’s children reap from this bloody war of binaries?


SANJAY RAWAT
No kind conflict Tribal kids have no escape from the red war
GROUND ZERO
An Ill Sowing Festival
What will Bastar’s children reap from this bloody war of binaries?
SUPRIYA SHARMA, in Outlook

A few hundred metres short of where the Maoists would launch an attack that would propel them as far as the pages of the New York Times, a young adivasi boy, not more than ten years old, stood in the dull afternoon heat, facing perhaps the biggest dilemma of his life. He knew what lay ahead on the road. He possibly struggled with the burden of what to do about it for a couple of moments before he flagged down a motorcyclist. “All he said was ‘aage kuch hai’,” recounts Om Prakash Singh, a 42-year-old businessman and Congress party worker who was racing ahead of a convoy of party leaders on his motorcycle when he noticed the boy and slowed down to hear him out.

Singh ignored the boy’s words of caution. A few minutes later, he heard an explosion ring through Darbha Ghat. While Singh had safely crossed the bend where 30 kg of ammonium nitrate laid buried, the convoy of about 25 cars had not. An explosion heaved the road. What followed was a bloodbath its survivors are not likely to forget.

But what about that boy? He would remain unknown and unheard. And it is best that way. For he had violated the rule of self-preservation that Bastar’s adivasis drill into their young as early as they learn to speak: see everything, but stay mum.

Last year, when I returned to Chhattisgarh after a break of eight months, I was told things were looking up in Bastar. The official figure of lives lost in the Maoist insurgency had plunged to 107—the lowest in eight years. The state had lost the top spot in the casualty table to Jharkhand. Beyond the statistics, I looked around for signs of change. A construction boom was under way in the district headquarters. Bijapur had a swimming pool. Dantewada had a new cricket ground with grass as green as the lawns in Lutyen’s Delhi. People in the towns were breathing easy. Even the villages seemed somewhat better off. At least the ones along the highways.

Then I ventured off the roads and spent a few days inside the large expanse of forests where adivasis live to the sun, the seasons and the rules of the Janatana Sarkar. Here, in the second week of March, the news that an encounter had taken place in Kanchal, a village deep south, just 25 km short of Andhra Pradesh, floated to the village where I was staying. Fear had travelled like radiation, distorting the face of a young boy—let’s call him Joga—who had made plans that morning to take his cows down to sell at a border market. Now, it was no longer wise to go, he surmised. The security forces could still be around. He could be caught, beaten, taken away. At 16, Joga had internalised the twisted logic of the conflict: You may have to pay for what you have not done.

The Greyhounds, Andhra’s elite anti-Naxal force, had stormed Kanchal in the early hours of morning. They had wanted to bust a group of Maoists camping near the river. The Maoists escaped. But a village woman, Kunjam Deve, who was filling a vessel of water, fell to the bullets. Three days after her death, I found Deve’s daughter Bhime, aged 17, standing by the river bed, crying her heart out.

A little tribal boy, all of 10 years, had warned a motorcycle-borne Congress worker of the danger ahead. He wasn’t heard. Or understood.

The summer grew blistering inside the Maoist territory. On April 16, the Greyhounds came further inside Chhattisgarh and killed nine Maoists, including a senior leader, in Puvarti village. A month later, on the night of May 17, in Edesmetta village, men, women and children gathered to cajole the village spirits to send new life their way—the village was celebrating Beeja Pandum, the seed festival marking the beginning of the sowing season—but instead, CRPF jawans turned up to deliver death. Eight villagers died in firing by the CRPF. Three were children.

Regardless of who was killed, the pertinent fact, from the point of view of the Maoists, was that the security forces were frequently entering their terrain, carrying out attacks and outrages, and going away unchallenged and unharmed. “Hatyare sarkari shastra balon par jawabi hamla kar shaheedon ka khoon ka badla lenge (We will avenge the death of our martyrs at the hands of the murderous government security forces),” said the Maoists’ note on the Puvarti encounter. At the bottom of the page, printed in fine red, were thumbnail pictures of the Maoist guerrillas who had perished. How long before a publication rolls off the Maoist press featuring dead government soldiers, I thought.


Shot at CRPF firing killed 3 kids in Edesmetta. This boy survived. (Photograph by Supriya Sharma)

With the clarity of hindsight, one can argue it is not surprising that the bloodied bodies of Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel and not dead soldiers would become the face of a Maoist victory pamphlet. Since the humiliating losses of 2010, inflicted by the Maoists in a mine attack and ambush, the CRPF has come a long way. It is better equipped and trained. It has more camps and boots on the ground. For the Maoists, under pressure to deliver a victory, it was easier to blow up a political convoy than ambush a security patrol. Except, by doing so, they have ensured that when children living in their area are gunned down by the CRPF, no one would care.

Three days before he found himself crouching in a ditch, ducking the spray of bullets coming from the automatic weapons of young adivasi guerrillas, Congress MLA Kavasi Lakhma had climbed a hill to reach Edesmetta, to condemn the killing of the three children and five others and to ask for the CRPF soldiers to be punished. A year ago, Lakhma had his party boss Nand Kumar Patel by his side when they made a similar demand in Sarkeguda, the village where the CRPF troops had shot dead 17 people, including children.

Tasked with breathing life into a comatose Congress when he took over as the state chief in 2011, the mild-mannered Patel had first shown mettle when he had taken on the state government in March that year over a police rampage in Dantewada. The police had burnt homes and granaries in three villages—not for the first time. But for the first time perhaps, the state Congress raised a ruckus. Patel led a delegation to the villages, held up the state assembly for days, and kept the story alive in Chhattisgarh’s newspapers, otherwise not keen to report police violence. The Congress’s repeated attacks ensured that this year, with elections coming up, the Raman Singh government took no chances and swiftly ann­ounced Rs 5 lakh in compensation for the Edesmetta victims. But with dead bodies of Congressmen landing up in faraway districts, there is no opposition left for a future protest.

In the Times of India office in Raipur where I worked, I was the sole journalist. The rest of my office colleagues were young men and women employed in the paper’s marketing department. Some of them were freshly out of college. Born and raised in the city, they had travelled to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Vishakapatnam, but not to Bastar. They sourced bright ads of Bastar tourism but saw it as an area of darkness. It filled them with vague fears. Those fears have intensified this week. The landmine explosion has opened up a bigger chasm between the youth of Raipur and the youth of Bastar.

The Maoists fear that TV will turn the minds of villagers towards consumerism. “Dimaag gol gol ghoom jayega,” said rebel leader.

And yet, never before has the gap been narrower. For the first time, a generation of adivasi children, living and studying in ashramshalas, the residential schools run by the government, is being raised on more than just stale textbook narratives. Along with mid-day meals, satellite TV has been made compulsory in school. Already, the adivasi children and youth have taken to cricket with a vengeance. Young men shop for jeans and sneakers and crave for mobiles and motorcycles. They still love to lock their arms and sway while singing Gondi songs lustily. But at a school annual day I attended in January, they reserved their greatest enthusiasm for the ‘taara rara’ of Daler Mehndi.

Urban radicals may believe revolutionary fire cannot be doused by stoking material aspiration through a culture of consumption. But the Maoists are more pragmatic. The party does not want electricity in its villages, because with electricity would come TV, and by watching TV “logon ka dimaag gol gol ghoom jayega”, as a Maoist commander told me. It is not surprising then that in the football tournament it organised in February, the CRPF gave out solar-powered TV sets with satellite dishes even to teams that lost.

The state’s push to woo the young is unmistakable. It did not begin as coherent policy but as the drive of a young collector who “wanted to do something big”. When he arrived in Dantewada in 2011 at the age of 29, O.P. Choudhary wasted no time in drawing up an ambitious plan to spend Rs 100 crore on building an education city with schools, hostels and polytechnics. While the campus came up, he built a library, a plush auditorium, a cricket ground in the district headquarters. It was no less than a blitzkrieg. Every week, buses brought children from the village ashramshalas to watch movies and play games. And those who had dropped out of school began showing up at a newly created livelihood college to train the in industrial stitching, plumbing, welding, computers, hospitality. When I visited the college in January, a young boy exp­ertly folded a table napkin five times and gingerly stuck it in a glass, looking pleased with his newfound skill.

But the state cannot create opportunities for all, and even if it could, not everybody would want to take them. Many children who come to study in the state’s ashramshalas eventually want to go back to their villages in the Maoist territory. Their life is inextricably linked to family and community. And after three decades, the rebels are part of the clan. Not many young people would easily break rank. Not for an outside world that has much to offer but not respect.

Two days after the attack, when the clamour for sending new troops to Bastar reached a feverish pitch in TV studios, the CRPF quietly began its long-planned rally to hire adivasi youth. Some 2,000 constables were to be recruited, 280 from each district of Bastar. But over three days, only 46 turned up in Sukma; Dantewada fared better with 233, but only half of them were adivasi. Some would argue it was because of the Maoist attack. But I wondered if it would have been any different at any other time. Between state and rebel, Bastar’s youth have no simple choice; it’s complicated by everything that complicates the lives of young people elsewhere—family, love, ambition, personality. But the choice they don’t seem to have—not now, not unless they leave Bastar—is between war and peace.

In his ten years, the boy who stood on the highway has lived through the bloodiest years of Bastar. It seems unlikely peace would come his way before adulthood.


(Former NDTV reporter Supriya Sharma reported for the Times of India from Chhattisgarh for two years.)

 

Report Of The Killing of Adivasi Civilians by CRPF at Edesmeta in Bijapur District


May 28, 2013

Human Rights Forum

Following media reports that eight adivasis and a CRPF constable had died in an alleged encounter on the night of May 17, 2013 at Edesmeta village in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh, a team of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) from Andhra Pradesh visited the area on May 25, 26 to elicit facts. The team spoke with residents of Edesmeta as well as police officers at Gangulur. There are 67 households in Edesmeta located in six paras (hamlets). The village is in Burgil panchayat of Bijapur block and falls in the jurisdiction of Gangalur police station.

The following is a brief report of the fact-finding team. A more detailed report will be put out in due course:

It is the HRFs view that contrary to the police version of an encounter with Maoists, there was no exchange of fire at Edesmeta on the night of May 17. Eight adivasis, including four minors, all of them male, and the CRPF constable died as a result of indiscriminate and unilateral firing by the CRPF. None of the deceased eight adivasis are Maoists as the police initially claimed. The eight did not die because the Maoists used them as human shields as an improvised police version put out a day later stated. They were killed in gunfire unleashed by a specialized anti-naxalite unit of the CRPF. There was no provocation whatsoever for the firing. Four more adivasis including a minor were injured. This callous brutality is chillingly similar to the slaughter of 17 adivasi civilians (including six minors) at Sarkeguda, also in Bijapur district, on the night of June 28, 2012.

This one-sided firing by the CRPF took place upon a gathering of adivasis of Edesmeta who were performing the beej pondum, the seed festival normally held this time of the year before the rains arrive and sowing begins. About a 100 adivasis had gathered around a small structure containing their dieties known locally as ‘gaama’. The beej pondum on May 17 (Friday) was the last of the four-day long festivities that were held during the evening-night. The adivasis had congregated at the place which is an open field and about a 10 minute walk from the village. The area is ringed on all sides by fairly thick forest. That the adivasis were unarmed civilians would have been clear to the naked eye from a distance since they had going a large fire.

A huge contingent of security forces from Gangulur consisting principally of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, a specialised anti-naxalite guerilla unit of the CRPF) commandos numbering well about 150 personnel surrounded the area from three sides. The CRPF men caught hold of three young men Punem Sukku, Karam Budra and Karam Lakhma who were going towards a chelimi (a water hole) to drink water and also fetch some for the others gathered at the pondum. The CRPF men roughed them up. The terrified three, however, managed to wriggle out and ran into the forest in the direction away from the gathering. The villagers noticed the presence of the CRPF men when the three young men started running. They stopped dancing and almost immediately the CRPF started firing at the gathering. It was about 10 pm.

The initial burst of firing was from the north and it hit Karem Somlu(35), Punem Somu (30) and the beej pondum pujari Karem Pandu (37). They died on the spot. As soon as they heard the shots and saw these men falling, the adivasis began to scream and run with most of them heading south towards the village. The firing continued, this time from the west killing the four minor boys Karam Guddu (10) Karam Masa (16), Karam Badru (8) and Punem Lakku (15). It is entirely credible that the CoBRA constable Dev Prakash was hit by the gunfire unleashed by his colleagues from the west. His body lay next to that of Karam Masa’s. Villagers of Edesmeta the HRF team spoke with stated emphatically that there were absolutely no Maoists in the area and the CoBRA constable was hit in the same burst that felled Masa.

In fact, a few adivasis who managed to survive this massacre and were hiding in the bushes or behind some boulders said they overheard some of the CRPF men shout “stop firing, one of our men has been hit”. After the firing stopped, the CRPF lit up the area with flare guns. They also slapped and beat up a few adivasis. They left about an hour later carrying with them the bodies of Karam Masa and the constable Dev Prakash. They also took away three survivors Karam Aiytu, Karam Manga and Karam Lachhu. All three were beaten enroute Gangalur and at the police station also.

Karam Soma (35) managed to survive as he ran quickly and hid behind a boulder pretending he was dead. Karam Joga, who was hit by a bullet fell close by. Joga pleaded for water a few times and then passed away. After the firing stopped, the CRPF men found Soma and beat him up before leaving.

Those killed in this senseless carnage are:

Karam Pandu (35), the village pujari.
Karam Somlu (35) husband of Somli.
Punem Somu (30), husband of Boodhi.
Karam Joga (36), husband of Somli.
Karam Guddu (10) son of Karam Pandu (killed in firing).
Karam Masa (16), son of Karam Lachu and Somli.
Punem Lakku (15), son of Punem Lakku (late) and Borru.
Karam Badru (8), son of Karam Joga (killed in firing) and Somli.

Injured: Karam Somlu (40), Punem Somlu (20), Karam Somlu (25) and Karam Chotu (10). All four spent well over as day in pain before being given treatment. They are now recovering at the Maharani Government Hospital in Jagdalpur.

As soon as news of the firing and death of their relatives reached the village, the women rushed to the spot. In fact, an old woman Karam Lakki reached the place even before the CRPF men had left. On seeing the bodies of the adivasis, she screamed at the CRPF. She was slapped a couple of times by them before they hurriedly left. After the other women arrived, they carried the seven dead bodies and the four injured back to the village.

Women relatives of Karam Masa and those of the three men picked up by the CRPF after the firing went to the Gangalur police station the next morning (May 18). They pleaded with the CRPF to let their men go. Masa’s body was handed over to his mother after a post-mortem and the three were let off towards the evening.

The same day meanwhile, another large contingent of security forces came to the village from towards Cherpal. On seeing them, most of the adivasi men fled into the forest fearing they would be subjected to violence. Weeping women shouted at the CRPF men saying “you have butchered our men and children”. The CRPF men, who were on their best placatory behavior, told the women that it was not them but another party from the Gangalur and Bijapur side that had taken part in the firing the night before. It took a long time for them to convince the women to allow them shift the dead bodies for post-mortem. Many women from the village followed the CRPF men as the bodies were carried to Gangulur that evening.

A post-mortem was conducted by a panel of doctors at the Community Health Center, Gangulur the next morning (May 19) after which the bodies were handed over to their relatives. Angry villagers, most of them women, then placed the bodies between the Gangulur police station and the CRPF camp located opposite it and abused the local police as well as the CRPF and threw stones at the police station. That adivasi women pelted stones on a police station in an area where even the presence of the police is highly intimidating to the average citizen speaks volumes. The police merely watched on. Would they have been silent if their conscience was clear and there really was an exchange of fire? The women later took the bodies back to Edesmeta and cremated them the same evening.

According to the villagers, on Monday (May 20), another huge contingent of the police went to the village. A few of the officers addressed the adivasis where the firing took place and apologised for what had happened on the night of May 17. In turn, the villagers told the police that they wanted those who were responsible for the killings punished. When we asked the Gangulur inspector PK Sahu about this he denied that the police had even gone to Edesmeta on Monday.

Police Version:

In the face of this terrible brutality, the security establishment continues to maintain the fiction that the Maoists had fired upon the CRPF men and the latter had to therefore, retaliate. In this version, the fact of the dead adivasis being unarmed civilians is conceded, but the averment is that they were felled by Maoist bullets or they were a tragic outcome of crossfire in which they were used by the retreating Maoists as “human shields”.

The police assert that a special CoBRA unit from Gangalur enroute Pidiya to launch an offensive against the Maoists came under hostile fire near Edesmeta village following which they retaliated in self-defence. While one of their men was killed in the fierce encounter, they managed to kill an extremist and apprehend three suspects. It was only the next morning that they discovered some bodies which could be those of civilians and had evacuated them for post-mortem. Even senior officials in the security establishment touted this falsehood initially. When media reports emerged that a number of civilians including minor boys were killed, the version quickly changed to ‘Maoists used adivasi villagers as human shields to make good their escape.’ Senior officials in Raipur maintained that the CoBRA was a specially trained elite force and that the CRPF had put in place additional precautionary measures after the Sarkeguda incident last year. In effect, what is being conveyed is that the CRPF men exercise maximum restraint and only engage in exchange of fire. Civilian fatalities resulted because of Maoists firing recklessly while retreating!

These assertions fly in the face of facts. The plain truth is that the CRPF personnel opened fire without any provocation upon a gathering of unarmed adivasis celebrating a traditional festival. Edesmeta residents stated repeatedly that the CRPF men could easily ascertain that there were no Maoists in the area and that it was an unarmed gathering of villagers but they fired nevertheless. Several villagers who are still in grief and anger told the HRF team: “They want to finish us off”.

Attacked By Salwa Judum:

Edesmeta village has been subjected to violence during the early months of the Salwa Judum campaign. In the winter of 2005, Salwa Judum vigilantes and the police raided and set the entire village on fire. Three adivasis Karam Budru, Karam Latchu and Karam Lakku were caught by the Salwa Judum on that day. They beat up and inflicted knife and axe injuries on all three. Budru and Latchu died but Lakku managed to survive. This is reflective of the brazen manner in which a combination of the Salwa Judum and State instrumentalities committed illegalities during that period. On that occasion, the adivasis got wind of the impending raid and fled deeper into the forest to save themselves. They managed to survive for about two years after which they returned to the village and rebuilt their homes and lives. All of them are subsistence farmers who also go to the border mandals of Khammam district in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to work as farm labour during the mirchi plucking season for about 2 to 3 months every year.

The State government has awarded a compensation of Rs 8 lakh to each family of the deceased adivasis of Edesmeta. The villagers of Edesmeta are in open contempt of this largesse. They told the HRF team: “We do not want this blood money. We want those responsible for killing our people punished”. A judicial enquiry has also been ordered by the State government to be headed by VK Agarwal who is also probing the Sarkeguda massacre of last June.

Conclusion:

Time and again we have pointed out that the government’s policy of treating the Maoist movement as an outbreak of mere criminality and seeking to “wipe it out” by deploying more and more special forces is deeply offensive of the Constitutional scheme and democratic sensibilities. As has been elucidated in the report of the Expert Group of the Planning Commission in 2007, a detailed and democratic response to the sources of discontent that is at the root of Naxalism is the way forward instead of a ‘law and order’ quick fix. This would per se include viewing and treating the Maoist movement as a political phenomenon and devising political means to address it. It is not our contention that the police apparatus must be a mute spectator to violence committed by the Maoists. They must meet that violence but in a manner that is respectful of the law and the rights of the people. They cannot overstep the boundaries of the law much less indulge in ‘administrative liquidation.’ Otherwise, immense injury would be done to the ‘children of our republic’ as the Supreme Court so poignantly put it.

A judicial enquiry is no substitute for a criminal prosecution. The law of the land and the Constitution will not have it any other way. We demand that:

1. CRPF personnel who participated in the unilateral and unprovoked firing upon unarmed adivasi civilians at Edesmeta village on the night of May 17, 2013 must be charged under Section 302 of IPC relating to murder and other relevant provisions of the penal code as well as provisions of the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and prosecuted.

2. The investigation into these cases must be handed over to the CBI.

3. The Central and State governments must stop the ongoing policy of trying to suppress the Maoists by increased deployment of Special Forces. It must address that movement politically.

4. Governments must respect the Fifth Schedule mandate in letter and spirit and the adivasis’ right to land, forest and other natural resources in their region. Protective legislation meant for the adivasis must be implemented in letter and spirit.

Members of the fact-finding team:

VS Krishna (HRF State general secretary)

G Mohan (HRF State secretary)

SK Khadar Babu (HRF Khammam district president)

K Sudha (HRF Visakhapatnam district committee member)

Bela Bhatia (Researcher, Bombay)

Another Volley of Bullets for Bastar’s Tribals


In a replay of last June’s killing in Sarkeguda, CRPF jawans gun down eight innocent villagers in Edesmeta, reports Anil Mishra

Anil Mishra

1-06-2013, Issue 22 Volume 10

Hapless victims Women display the bodies of their loved ones in Gangalur Hapless victims Women display the bodies of their loved ones in Gangalur

Little did the tribals know that death awaited them at the village temple. On the night of 17 May, they had gathered at Edesmeta village in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district to celebrate a local festival when the firing started. Eight villagers, including three children, were shot dead. The CRPF, which was conducting a combing operation in the area, claims that its personnel retaliated after coming under Naxal fire, but the villagers dispute those claims.

This is not the first time that the CRPF’s trigger-happy jawans have come under the scanner. On 29 June 2012, they had shot dead 17 villagers in Sarkeguda village of Bastar district. They claimed to have sprayed bullets in self-defence after coming under fire from Naxals. But a ground report by TEHELKA had found that the CRPF was guilty of attempting a cover-up (Death. And dark lies in Bastar by Brijesh Pandey and Prakhar Jain, 21 July 2012). Even before the judicial inquiry into the Sarkeguda incident is over, the carnage at Edesmeta took place.

On 18 May, the CRPF told the media in Bijapur that a Naxal and a CRPF jawan had been killed in an encounter in Edesmeta.

When reporters visited Gangalur to cover the incident, the women from Edesmeta reached there carrying seven bodies on their shoulders. The angry women demonstrated and pelted stones at the police station and demanded that the guilty must be hanged.

Edesmeta is a small hamlet located 12 km from Gangalur in Bijapur district. There are around 70 houses scattered across the village, which is accessible only by foot.

According to sources, the tribals in Edesmeta traditionally celebrate Beej Pondum (seed festival) before sowing paddy every year. The paddy seeds are blessed by the village priest first and then the tribals dance around the local deity.

Villagers claim that a new CRPF unit set up a camp in Edesmeta the day after the firing. Sources say the jawans privately acknowledged to the villagers that a mistake had been made the previous night. After this, the jawans asked the women to carry the bodies to the Gangalur police station. During all this commotion, the terrified men stayed away from the village.

Rage A villager attacks the police station Rage A villager attacks the police station

Budhram, the brother of Karam Masa, 19, who was killed in the firing, says the tribals were dancing around the deity at 10 pm when around 300 CRPF personnel surrounded them from three sides. They got hold of Masa, but shot him when he tried to run away. Later, they took his body to the Gangalur police station.

Karam Joga, 28, the priest who conducted the ritual of Beej Pondum, and his 10-year-old son Badru, were among those killed in the firing. Joga is survived by his wife, a son and an old mother who are all inconsolable.

Karam Bhanu, 12, and Punem Lakhkhu, 14, were also killed in cold blood, while Lakhkhu’s brother Punem Somlu was injured. Karam Somlu, 40, Karam Pandu, 45, and Punem Sonu, 25, were the others killed in the firing.

Doctors in Gangalur conducted a postmortem of the bodies but the report has not been released as yet. In all, four villagers were injured in the firing. Karam Somlu, Karam Mangu, Punem Somlu and 10-year-old Karam Chotu have been admitted in Jagdalpur for treatment.

Besides firing indiscriminately, the jawans also beat up the villagers. Karam Aaytu says he was hit with a rifle and taken to the police station where he was again beaten up. He was finally let off in the evening on 18 May.

Thirty-five-year-old Soman was beaten up and then shot; he saved himself by lying motionless with the other corpses. Forty – year- old Karam Mangu’s ribs were fractured as a result of the beating he got from the police.

On 18 May, villagers who sustained bullet wounds lay in agonising pain in the village but were too afraid to go to the hospital for treatment. The police took them to the hospital only when the media highlighted the carnage.

Ashok Singh, the sub-divisional police officer in charge of Naxal operations, told TEHELKA that acting on a tip-off on the night of 17 May, security forces from six locations were dispatched to Pidiya village to nab Naxal commander Madhvi. The 208 battalion of CoBRA (Combat Battalion for Resolute Action) was dispatched from Gangalur and Cherpal. He claims that jawan Dev Prakash Singh was killed in the encounter.

CRPF DIG S Llingo claims that the jawans were crossing Edesmeta to carry out an operation in Pidiya when they came under fire. “When they approached the place, the Naxals opened fire in which one CoBRA jawan was killed and another was injured,” he says. “It was a genuine encounter. A CoBRA unit cannot commit such a mistake because they are trained for such situations.The villagers are making false allegations.”

But the villagers vehemently deny that any such encounter took place. They say that the security forces surrounded them from three sides and started firing and the CRPF jawan was killed accidentally in the firing.

“We have nothing to do with Naxals. A vendetta is being carried out against us for not joining the Salwa Judum (an anti-Naxal campaign),” says Budhru, a resident of Edesmeta who works as a farm labourer. “We were targeted when the Salwa Judum was active. The whole village was set on fire and two people were killed. A road was constructed to the village through the mountains and the forest department used to take bamboo from here. But the road closed after the Judum was started. Even the village school was shut down. Now the forces routinely attack the village.”

After Salwa Judum, Operation Green Hunt was started. “In any case, we would be killed,” says Budhru. “Although the villagers have ration cards and some even go to Gangalur to cast their votes, the government has isolated this village from the outside world.”

In an election year, the incident has immediately taken a political colour. Congress leaders have accused the state government of killing innocent tribals, putting the Raman Singh-led BJP government on the backfoot. Stung by the outrage, the government has announced a compensation of 5 lakh to each victim’s family and ordered a judicial inquiry headed by high court judge VK Agarwal to probe the incident. However, no representative of the government has taken the trouble to visit Ground Zero.

On 22 May, CPI leader Manish Kunjam and Congress MLA Kavasi Lakhama visited Edesmeta and wanted the government to lodge an FIR against the jawans. The leaders said the fact that the state government has offered compensation to the dead proves that they were innocent. However, the angry villagers have refused the offer and have demanded action against the erring jawans.

After the incident, the village is seething with anger at the CRPF. Ironically, the Naxals will benefit from this and the villagers will be targeted further by the forces.

Translated from Hindi by Saif Ullah Khan

anil@tehelka.com

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 10 Issue 22, Dated 1 June 2013)

 

Chhattisgarh – Carrying bodies, tribal women of Bastar lead protests against cops


Ashutosh Bhardwaj : Gangalur, Ehadsameta , Mon May 20 2013,
BasterAn injured outside Gangalur police station. (IE Photo)

Bastar has seen several protests but rarely have tribal women come out and beat their breasts, shouting slogans. Surprisingly, men tried to calm them down, pull them away but these women continued to scream and hurled stones at the Gangalur police station and nearby CRPF camp.Old and young women were protesting while carrying bodies of their husbands and sons, handed over to them around 1 pm on Sunday. They knew only Gondi and Halbi but managed a few Hindi abuses. “Wapas jao… wapas jao..,” they shouted at the CRPF camp as they laid down the bodies at the thana gate and tried to break open its lock. Two old women rattled barbed fencing of the CRPF camps and threw stones at the personnel on guard, forcing them to run for cover. “Raman Sarkar murdabaad, murdaabaad.” Some of them hurled utensils inside the thana. “Stop killing tribals; kill us now, if you dare.”

All the deceased were men; two of them father and sons — Karam Joga and his son Badru (13), Karam Pandu and his son Guddu (14). The other minor boy killed was Punem Lakhu (15).

The agony did not end with their death. The bodies were lying in open field, under 45 degree sun, decomposing, badly swollen and emanating unbearable smell. CRPF men, face covered, guarded them with X-95, AK-47 with an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher.

“Jara pet par chira laga,” a doctor said. He too had his face covered. A man, Suklu, came forward and cut open a naked body. Red worms protruded out from stomach. “Dead bodies become like balloon. When you cut them, they produce fart like sound,” a CRPF cop explained. Relatives of the deceased held the bodies as the doctor examined the bodies with a stick, from a distance.

“Don’t you have another blade, a new one,” Civil Surgeon Dr B R Pujari asked his colleagues. Only two blades were used so far, and five bodies had been cut open from various sides, the doctor thought of changing the blade. But there was none. Suklu did not change surgical gloves through the process.

Pujari admitted that it’s against the law to conduct postmortem in open, that too in police presence, and the entire process was probably illegal. “Under certain conditions, an officer with rank of SDM and above can give permission to conduct it otherwise,” he tried to explain.

SDM Virendra Bahadur Panchbhai said: “The only requirement for postmortem is of adequate light. Other things can be relaxed in special situations.”

An hour later, their women relatives were protesting outside the thana for justice. They had arrived here on Saturday evening when police forcibly brought the bodies along, but now after nearly 24 hours men convinced them to take the bodies back home. The administration arranged for a tractor, but the terrain was difficult and it left them in between. And then began a two-hour-long journey to carry the bodies on shoulders.

Two bodies, father and son Joga and Badru, were kept on the same logs and cremated together. “It’s not unusual among tribals. When a person loves someone a lot, we cremate together,” said a tribal.

- See more at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/carrying-bodies-tribal-women-lead-protests-against-cops/1118025/0#sthash.5gBvcRXp.dpuf

 

The War’s Old-New Theatre #Sundayreading


RAJESH KUMAR
Belly bomb The CRPF jawan in whose stomach explosives were planted
JHARKHAND: MAOIST INSURGENCY
The War’s Old-New Theatre
Jharkhand overtakes Chhattisgarh as Maoists ratchet up their strikes here

A State Of Unrest

  • Of 409 Maoist killings in 2012 (296 civilians, 113 securitymen),  Jharkhand accounted for 160
  • This was way above 107 in Chhattisgarh, 45 in Orissa, 43 in Bihar, 41 in Maharashtra or 13 in AP
  • Not just mainline CPI (Maoist) but splinter groups are in overdrive
  • Proximity to other Maoist-affected states, tribal exploitation, political instability make the state fertile ground for Maoist recruitment and activity.

***

No sooner had the Union home ministry identified Jharkhand as the state worst affected by left-wing extremism in 2012 than Maoists gunned down 11 policemen in the Katiya forest of Latehar district. It was almost as if the January 7 massacre of 10 CRPF and one Jharkhand Jaguar jawan was expressly meant to underscore the government’s admission of the sharp ascendancy in the trajectory of Maoist violence in the mineral-rich state.

The clouds of war—civil war to be precise—indeed hang low over Jhar–khand. One needn’t venture deep into the countryside; the siege within is evident virtually at the doorsteps of urban  zones like Ranchi, Dhanbad, Jam­sh­ed­pur, Daltonganj, Chaibasa, Gomoh and Giridih. On a road journey through these areas, Outlook witnessed surreal scenes straight out of a war movie: searchlights revolving menacingly atop fortified CRPF camps; monstrously ugly mine-protected vehicles or MPVs, desig­ned to coolly withstand a 21-kilo (TNT) blast; sniffer dogs straining at the leash; helicopters ready for takeoff at the bark of a command, and boots pounding the ground like there’s no tomorrow.

Indeed, Jharkhand witnessed more killings by Maoists last year than even Chhattisgarh, whose forested Bastar region is regarded as the epicentre of left-wing extremism in India. Out of 409 Maoist killings in 2012 (296 civilian and 113 security personnel), Jharkhand accounted for as many as 160; ahead of Chhatti­sgarh (107), Orissa (45), Bihar (43), Maharashtra (41) and And­hra Pra­desh (13) by a huge margin.

The unacceptably high death toll in Jharkhand’s killing fields last year was capped, as 2013 dawned, by the Katiya bloodbath—unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry after Maoists confessed to pla­nting explosives in the belly of a slain jawan to maximise casualties. And on its heels came a landmine blast in Bokaro’s Jhumra Hills, which left a dozen CRPF jawans severely wounded during combing operations. All this is igniting fears in the security establishment that Jharkhand, along with Bihar’s contiguous Gaya and Aur­ang­abad districts, will upstage the iconic Abujmarh as the bloodiest and biggest theatre of red revolt against New Delhi.


Photograph by Rajesh Kumar

But why is left-wing extremism in full bloom in this tribal state? Telesphore Toppo, the 73-year-old Archbishop of Ranchi and obviously a man of peace, has a blunt explanation: “Jharkhand was created to protect the interests of tribals. But political parties from the word go started exploiting the very tribals whose cause they were supposed to espouse. When Maoists first sneaked into Jharkhand, conditions were ideal for sowing the seeds of rebellion. The seeds they scattered flowered in no time because the ground was fertile. Even today there is no justice in Jharkhand although the state’s coffers are overflowing. And there can’t be peace without justice. Tribal men go to Punjab or Haryana in droves to toil in brick kilns, while the women slog as domestic help in Delhi. Those who are left behind join the Maoists.”

According to Fr Toppo, the tribals—comprising 28 per cent of Jharkhand’s population—are easy pickings for Mao­ist recruiters not only because of their poverty and backwardness but also due to the excesses committed by security forces. He recalled the killing of a tribal girl by CRPF during Operation Green Hunt in 2010. The victim’s legs and hands were tied to a bamboo pole as though she was not a human being but an animal that had been hunted down. Such barbarism and savagery fuel tribal rage, intensifying the armed conflict between the Maoists and the state.

“Out of 24 districts,” says Jharkhand director-general of police Gouri Shankar Rath, “21 are Maoist-affected today; earlier Maoists were active only in 18 districts.” He is packing his bags for a retired life, but could well be re-employed because he is perceived as a battle-hardened warrior against left-wing extremism. “I have been bat­tling Maoists for 12 years,” he goes on to say. “Forty per cent of my police force is deployed against them. But Maoism hasn’t lost its appeal; in fact, it’s growing dangerously. Now, statistically, we are the worst-affected state.” This is a pity, because, “barring Mao­ism, on other fronts—caste, communal, agrarian and educational—we are more peaceful than other states.”

Leafing through a classified report, Rath reels off the names of Maoist groups—besides the mainline Communist Party of India (Maoist)—that are on the rampage across Jharkhand: the Peo­ple’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), Tritya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TSPC), Shashtra People’s Morcha (SPM), Sangharsh Jan Mukti Morcha (SJMM) and Jharkhand Prastuti Com­mittee (JPC). “In 2011, the Com­munist Party of India (Maoist) was responsible for 59 per cent of the violence. Last year, it dipped to 44 per cent. But splinter groups, particularly PLFI and TSPC, went into overdrive in 2012, making Jharkhand the worst-affected state in the whole country.”

Rath is not finished yet. “It’s our misfortune,” he says, “that we’re surrounded by Maoist-affected states—Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, and bey­ond, Andhra—giving Maoists strategic depth. Another major handicap is our dense forests. Of course, Maoism is no ordinary law and order problem. It’s tied to governance and development—or rather the lack of it! We are saddled with widespread displacement due to mining activities and industrialisation, creating favourable conditions for left-wing extremism to flourish. And to top it all, Jharkhand is politically so unstable; no government here has lasted for five years; there have been eight CMs in 12 years and President’s rule has been clamped on it thrice. So there we are.”

Caste and cash have split Maoists into many groups. It’s resulted in a free-for-all by Maoist and non-Maoist forces.

As Jharkhand entered its third bout of President’s rule in January, New Delhi appointed two bureaucrats to advise Governor Syed Ahmed. The choice of advisors—former home secretary Madhukar Gupta and ex-CRPF DG K. Vijay Kumar (see interview)— clearly show that fighting Maoists is a top priority. Kumar has been given charge of the home department; he is now virtually the home minister of Jharkhand. He has at his command 78 companies of CRPF and 100 companies of state police to take the battle into the “enemy” camp. The “enemy” is the Communist Party of India (Maoist)’s Bihar-Jharkhand-North Chhattisgarh regional committee which is believed to deploy no less than 1,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in dalams, or armed squad formations, in Jharkhand.

The subtext, though, is more intriguing. There are divisions in both camps, to put it mildly. The Maoists are split into several groups because of two primary reasons—caste and cash. They fight pitched battles over extortion rights, collection of levies and area domination; the conflict leaves many ultras dead. S.N. Pradhan, the crafty IG (operations), admits taking full advantage of Maoist disunity at every step.


Deadly tread Security personnel carry a cop injured in a landmine blast in Bariganwa

Significantly, this finds an echo on the other side: there is a lot of bad blood between the central security forces and the state police. A senior CRPF officer told Outlook: “Instead of leading us, the state police expects us to do everything, from planning to execution. But after we plan an operation and tell the state police to accompany us, they promptly report sick. They expect us to literally carry them on our shoulders. Are they babes in the woods? No. They are a bunch of shirkers who shed crocodile tears when our boys die in encounters.” Central forces also grudge the huge budgets state police have for modernisation; they criticise the “insurgency industry” Maoism has spawned, hinting at a nexus between the police top brass and suppliers. It’s a case of sour grapes, insist Jharkhand police officers, shrugging off accusations.

Of course, while Maoists truly are in an advantageous position in today’s Jharkhand for a variety of reasons, they are no angels either. No doubt there are dedicated ideologues at the top fighting for the oppressed and the downtrodden with all their might. But at the middle and lower levels there are criminals galore masquerading as Maoists. They have no regard for the human rights of either villagers or security personnel. Senior leaders do try to rectify recalcitrant cadres. Classes are held to inculcate comradely values. But very few undergo a change of heart. There are desertions when discipline is enforced. There are plenty of rotten apples even in the Communist Party of India (Maoist) basket but the splinter groups Rath lists are, by all accounts—including confessions of arrested goons—nothing but extortion rackets run by brandishing weapons snatched from police armouries or dead law-enforcers.

Highly-placed officials admit that Jharkhand is witnessing triangular and even quadrangular contests for supremacy. In the fray are state forces, mainline Maoists, breakaway Maoists and outright criminal groups. Sometimes it’s difficult to fathom who is fighting whom. Security forces have an advantage in any multi-cornered contest while villagers are usually at the receiving end. There is large-scale displacement of the poor because of mining and hydroelectric projects. Displace­ment is accompanied by police repression. State oppression is an open invitation to Maoists to feather their own nest. New projects anyway entail new roads and infrastructure. Pitched battles are fought for bagging contracts. Maoist and non-Maoist forces extort money from contractors; it’s an increasingly violent free-for-all under the shadow of industrialisation, urbanisation and criminalisation.

Alex Ekka, director of Ranchi’s Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), told Outlook that fanning Maoism are the MoUs being signed by the government with MNCs. “The state is so servile to big business houses in the era of globalisation that it’s giving MNCs land belonging to tribals. When tribals resist land-grabbing, paramilitary forces are sent to silence protesters. The security forces invariably behave like an occupation army which gives Maoists a golden opportunity to come forward as saviours of the oppressed. In reality, the much-touted Saranda Action Plan (SAP) is a ploy to remove hurdles in the path of foreign and Indian companies eyeing the iron ore-rich region. Maoism is bound to flourish when the state tramples upon the interests of indigenous tribespeople.”

The bomb Maoists planted in the belly of the dead CRPF jawan—which they admitted to doing in a four-page Hindi press release—was not debated as vociferously in the electronic or print media as it should have been because both time and space were hijacked by the LoC beheadings. But a civil rights campaigner who for some strange reason prefers anonymity offered a very original argument in favour of the belly bomb. He said it’s as innovative as ramming planes into the World Trade Center. Just as the wtc attacks were necessitated by America’s crimes against innocents abroad, the belly bomb, he argued, was retribution for the reign of terror unleashed by security forces on Indian soil.


By S.N.M. Abdi in Jharkhand

 

 

PRESS RELEASE- Notice to BIHAR Govt and CRPF to vacate the Hospital premises within a month


Notice to BIHAR Govt and CRPF u/s sec 3(2) of Forest Rights Act 2006

to vacate the Hospital premises within a month

Thousands of women, children and men in Adhoura Block, Distt Kaimur, protested against the illegal occupation of hospital by para military force over a decade, thus denying the basic facilities to the people of this area. The notice was served to all the departments to seriously implement the spirit of FRA and to start all the development work that does not exist in the hilly terrain of Kaimur region. This notice was served by the ” Forest Rights Committee” elected under the FRA. Till date there is not even a single village that is connected by the road in this region. The Block headquarter Adhoura too does not have roads. The forest people of this region have focused on the issue of development to start with the implementation of FRA.

On 9th feb 2013, thousands of women, children and men assembled under the banner of Kaimur Mukti Morcha, National Forum of Forest People and Forest workers and launched a massive struggle against the government of Bihar for not implementing FRA in this region. The rally was organized that started from Dr. Viniyan Ashram at 12PM that first went to Block premises where recently STF Bihar has been in illegal occupation in the hall of Block where the training of anganwadi workers take place. The notice to vacate the premises was sticked on the wall of the block conference hall where STF jawans were camping. The mass rally than proceeded towards police station ADhoura, the station officer was nervous to see the massive gathering and came out of the police station to welcome the rally. He allowed women to stick the notice demanding the hospital and schools premises to be vacated by the para military forces and the state forces. The photos are attached. The mass rally than proceeded towards the old premises of hospital that virtually has no facility and is in ruined condition. The notice as also pasted there too.
The kafila of women than proceeded to the forest range office where seeing so many women the forest staff fled from the range office. Women sticked the notice there. It was announced by the people that the forest range office now belongs to forest rights committee and they will form federation of these committees and open their office in the range office as none of the forest staff is working for conservation of forest. They are involved in loot of the forest resources. After pasting the notice the rally proceeded towards Block office and asked the BDO to inform the District Magistrate that they want their Act to be implemented within a month and start all the development work in a month period. They also announced that all the forces camping in the school, hospital and block premises should vacate the premises within a month.

After sticking notices to all the departments the mass rally proceeded towards the new hospital premises that is situated on the main approach road to Adhoura, where the CRPF is camping. The Station officer immediately came with the local police force and tried to stop the rally by saying that no one in allowed to enter the ” prohibited area” where CRPF is camping. The FRC postholders said that they were not going to prohibited area rather they are going to their hospital to vacate it from illegal occupants. The protesters also argued that the only approach road to a very backward area cannot by prohibited area and if it is so than SO, PS Adhoura should give in writing. The station officer had to allow the rally to proceed ahead. . Just 100mt before the hospital, the road was blocked by CRPF jawans who were in posture to attack the rally. Their postures were condemned by the protestors since their demand was a legal demand and move of CRPF jawans were uncalled for. Sensing the commotion the Station officer urged the protestors to stop there and present their memorandum and allowed a delegation to stick the notice to vacate the premises on the gate of camp of CRPF. Around 20 women escorted by the SO and local police, with shouting slogans went and pasted the notice on the gate of hospital and proclaimed that if the hospital premises is not vacated within a month than the hospital will be taken over by the people. They also said that they will continue their dharna till the hospital services are resumed in this area.

The mass rally was converted into a big mass meeting at the Birsa Chowk in Adhoura block where many leaders of Kaimur Mukti Morcha, NFFPFW and FRC representatives gave ultimatum to Bihar government to seriously implement all the legislation that is geared towards the development of the local tribal and forest people. Ashok chowdhury, Gen.Sect NFFPFW said that if the hospital and other development activities are not resumed in Adhoura block within a month they will raise this issue with the Parliamentary Committee, the loksabha speaker being the MP of this Constituency. He also said that the anti people behavior of para military forces will be reported to the Home ministry. The speakers also said that now they will talk to the political representative rather than talking to officials who are totally insensitive to whole of this issue.

BDO while addressing the public gathering said they will soon send these demands to the district officials and promised to arrange a high level meeting on implemenation of the Act by end of february.

This action by the FRC’s brought lot of confidence among the local people especially women. There were lot of rumor spread by the dalals of CRPF, police and feudals that the protestors will be taught lesson, they will be shot at and they will arrested etc. But the paramilitary forces, police were speechless in front of women power and they were on the back foot rather than being offensive. The mass rally and the public meeting was very well organized and disciplined. Moreover this move got a popular support by the entire civil society of the Distt Kaimur and created a deep impact. We are quite sure that within a month the para military forces will certainly vacate the hospital premises, so as the schools and block conference hall that is in possession of these forces. There is now SC ruling also that no schools, hospitals and public building should be provided to forces.


NFFPFW / Human Rights Law Centre
c/o Sh. Vinod Kesari, Near Sarita Printing Press,
Tagore Nagar
Robertsganj,
District Sonbhadra 231216
Uttar Pradesh
Tel : 91-9415233583, 05444-222473
Email : romasnb@gmail.com

http://jansangarsh.blogspot.com

 

#India- Woman in Assam committed suicide after sexual assault by CRPF #Vaw


A 23 year old woman committed suicide yesterday after being sexually assaulted by a CRPF jawan on duty at Nepalpara, Chirang, Assam. She was married and her husband was mentally ill. She was living with her parents and was running a small grocery (pan) shop in front of the parental residence. Taking advantage of the absence of people near the shop, the jawan raped her and tried to run away. The woman could manage to shout for help and villagers caught the CRPF jawan. Officers of CRPF arrived at the venue and made promises of payment of compensation. Unable to face the social stigma, the woman committed suicide yesterday.

SOURCE- ://amarasom.glpublications.in/Details.aspx?id=12149&boxid=114419671

 

 

 

Firing at Maoist camp: #NHRC seeks reply from #Chhattisgarh govt


Official seal of Chhattisgarh

Official seal of Chhattisgarh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published: Thursday, Dec 27, 2012,
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTIThe National Human Rights Commission on Thursday sought a reply from Chhattisgarh government on reports of alleged firing by para-military personnel on a Maoist camp in which a teenager was killed about a fortnight ago.The commission, taking suo motu cognizance of reports of the death of the teenager and arrest of nine others, issued notices to Chhattisgarh’s chief secretary and director general of police and sought a reply in four weeks, a statement from the rights’ body said.

According to reports, on December 12 about 240 CRPF men raided a day-long camp being held by Maoists near villages Sitram and Bala in Paralkot reserve forest area which 20 tribal children were attending.

The CRPF personnel rounded up the villages and allegedly fired at the children, in which a teenager Chainu Mandawi, was killed while nine others were arrested.

A few armed Maoist cadre, who were present in the camp, managed to escape. Police had rounded up the children and sent them to a remand home, the NHRC said.

‘Can 17 lives be paid for with free rice?’


Kamla Kaka
Kamla Kaka, 25, Tribal Activist

Why were you angry with the CRPF?
At night on 28 June, we were attending a seed festival in our village when CRPF personnel surrounded us and started firing. Many of us lay down on the ground. Those who stood with their arms raised, shouting, “We are not Naxalites, we are villagers,” were killed. In all 17 were killed, including a 12-year-old girl. Then they set our village on fire. So when the CRPF returned later to distribute rice, I could not hold back my anger.

But they had come to distribute food.
Tell me, does the government distribute food to Naxalites? If we are Naxalites, why do they come to distribute relief materials? The rice may last us a few days, but will that really change our lives? Can 17 lives be paid for with this rice?

What do you plan to do?
I met the district collector, and then Chief Minister Raman Singh. I invited the CM to visit our village. However, he said that he will be unable to do it as long as the investigation is on. When I asked him to take some action and move the CRPF out of our village, he left without responding.

Atul Chaurasia is Chief of Bureau, Tehelka Hindi.
atul@tehelka.com