Police Brutality in Latehar

By Gladson Dungdung

Sylvester Minj in Hospital

On 2nd May, 2012, it was 5 O’clock in the evening. We entered into the general ward of Orthopedics Department of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi. After a long search, we found 40 year-old Sylvester Minj, lying on the bed. His son Roshan was sitting on the other side of the bed and eying on his father with hopeless sight. Another care taker, Sylvester’s cousin brother M. Minj was sleeping on the ground near his bed. As soon as we approached them, they became alert. And after seeing us with pen, notepad and camera in hands, they took us for guaranteed as we are Journalists. Sylvester was not able to turn his head in either sides of bed as his head was tied up with the bed’s frame straightly. Since, he wants the world to know about the ordeal he underwent through therefore, he is ready to response each and every question whoever asks him. He is one of the unfortunate villagers, whom the Security forces brutally tortured on April 5. His only crime is; he happens to a cousin brother of late Lucas Minj, whom the forces had killed in a cold-blood murder and buried on the bank of Koel River during anti-Naxal operation on January 31.

Meanwhile, Sylvester started narrating us about the nightmare he faced. He comes from an Adivasi family and lives with his wife Susanna, two sons and three daughters in a village called ‘Khambhikhas (Karamdih)’ comes under Barwadih police station in Laterhar district of Jharkhand. He owns some patches of land, which is the major source of their livelihood. Besides, they also collect minor forest produces and go for daily wage as well. On 5th April, 2012, it was about 3 O’clock in the afternoon, when Sylvester was returning to his native village from Chhipadohar by a passenger Jeep. The Commander Jeep is in common used as passenger vehicle for local travel in the region. There were more than 25 passengers including men, women and children in the Jeep. Since the region is known as Naxal infested area, (I used to call the region as Chidambaram’s red corridor since 2009) therefore, the CRPF and COBRA Jawans of ‘Labra Police Picket’ were patrolling near Bahuda Ghat. They stopped the Jeep and asked the driver to show his driving license. Since, the driver had no license therefore, he could not show them. Thereafter, they asked the passengers to vacate the vehicle and kneel down on the ground for half-an-hour.

Meanwhile, they started asking all the passengers about their locations and came to know about Sylvester being the cousin brother of late Lucas Minj. The Jawans are annoyed with Lucas’ family members and other villagers, precisely, because they have filed a murder case against them in Barwadih police station. They asked Sylvester to come over the road. They caught him and put his head on the ground and asked him to keep his leg straight up in the air. He was kept in that position for half-an-hour. After a while, the CRPF Jawans called the COBRA Jawans, who were standing at some distance, and brief them about Sylvester’s relationship with Lucas. Immediately, the COBRA Jawan became angry like real cobra snake and kicked in his neck. Consequently, Sylvester fell down on the ground and became unconscious. The Jawans were afraid assuming that he might die. Therefore, they poured water on his head till, he returned to the normal condition. When he got back to consciousness, he was screaming due to pain.

Finally, they put him into the Jeep and asked the other passengers to board into the vehicle and let them go. However, the driver was afraid therefore, he stopped the vehicle in a place called Patradih, where Sylvester got down and laid on the ground as he was not able to sit down due to pain. Meanwhile, his sister-in-law Shanti who is a nurse by profession reached to the spot by chance. She was shocked to see his brother-in-law screaming with pain. She brought injection and medicine from nearby a medical shop immediately and injected him. After some time, Sylvester got relief and went to his home.

After a few days, when Sylvester was not able to overcome the pain in his neck, he went to Daltenganj for treatment. However, he knew that no Doctor would be ready to treat him if he tells the truth therefore; he informed the Doctor that he had fallen down in a well. Finally, Dr. Arun Shukla got ready to treat him and asked him to get the X-ray of his neck. The X-ray report revealed about the damage of a bone of his neck. After seeing the report, the Doctor advised him to get admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Ranchi for further treatment. Hence, Sylvester was admitted to the RIMS, Ranchi on April 20. However, he was not aware till we exposed that Kranti Kumar Gardeshi, the Superintendent of Police (Latehar), has deployed his cousin brother M. Minj in an official duty as his caretaker.  He was stunned to know about it. He says, “I never knew this. I thought since he is my cousin brother therefore he has come to look after me in the hospital after taking a leave.” Though, Sylvester does not know that how long he would have to be in the Hospital but he worries about his family members, who might face the same torture in the village.

Sylvester is not only one unfortunate brother of late Lucas who faced brutal torture but Lucas’s elder brother William Minj is also is the queue, who was also tortured by the CRPF and COBRA Jawans on April 5. The Jawans reached to Nawarnago village in the morning and caught William alleging him as an informer of the CPI-Maoists. They abused him, kicked on his leg and beat him with the butt of guns. Consequently, he got severe injuries in his body. Finally, the Jawans left him in the village and went away. Later, William got treatment and overcome from the pain. However, he didn’t file case against the Jawans in fear of being victimized by them again. The Jawans victimized William because he had exposed the brutal killing of his younger brother Lucas and he had also dared to file a case against them in Barwadih police station despite pressure and threat by the Barwadih Police. Since, then has become villain in the eyes of the Security Forces.

According to William, the security forces rule over the region with terror of police uniform and gun. He says, “They would pickup anyone in the name of investigation and torture in the police station and CRPF camp.” Another victim Sudama says that the security forces had picked up his wife, daughter and niece, and kept them in the CRPF camp for whole night. When he was coming to Ranchi for filing a complaint against the security forces, they caught and beaten him. They have also threatened to face a dire consequence if he lodges complaint against them. Sudama’s daughter Smita says that the CRPF Jawans had picked up her after the Saraswati Puja and put her in the CRPF camp for whole night and questioned her. When she responded in Hindi, they claim that she is a Maoist therefore she knows Hindi. Finally, they let her go but asked her not to file a case against them otherwise they’ll kill her father Sudama. The family is living under the threat of being tortured again.

It seems that the brutal killing of innocent Lucas Minj has become a milestone in the region for police torture. Lucas had been killed during the joint operation of the CRPF, COBRA and District Police against the Naxalites codified as “Operation Mocks” held in the last week of January this year. According to the reports, the CRPF, COBRA and Police Jawans had discovered a Naxal camp near Nawarnago village on January 31, 2012. After demolition the camp, they proceeded further in search of Naxalites. Meanwhile, they saw Lucal Minj, who was rearing cattle near Koel River. They questioned him and asked about the Naxal locations but he could not respond them as he was a dump person. The Security Forces assume him as a Naxalite and fired on him. Consequently, he got bullet injury in his head and died at the spot. Finally, the Security Forces covered up his dead body with sand on the bank of river and went away.

In the evening, when Lucas did not return to his home, the family members started searching for him but didn’t find even after a week. On February 6, some villagers went for fishing in the Koel River and saw a part of leg coming out of the sand on the bank of the river. They pulled out the dead body and identified as the dead body of Lucas. They found bullet injury in his head. They informed the family immediately. After sometimes, the Barwadih police also reached to the spot though the villagers had not informed them. The Police threatened them to bury the dead body immediately and don’t inform anybody about it otherwise they’ll send all the villagers to Jail after branding them as Naxals. The Police forced them to bury the dead body. Consequently, the villagers buried the dead body in fear of the Police atrocity. However, the family members approached to the local people’s representatives for raising the issue of brutal killing of Lucas. The protest began and the news also appeared in the media. After getting support from the leaders and media, Lucas’s elder brother William went to the Barwadih police station on February 12 for filing a case against brutal killing of his brother. As a result, the police filed a case under section 302, 34, 201 and 27 of Arms Act against the unknown persons with the intention to shield the Police COBRA and CRPF Jawans and alleged that the Naxals have killed Lucas. However, when the villagers argued that since, the Security forces had covered the region than how is it possible for Naxals to enter into the regions and kill him? The police failed to answer the villages.

When Sylvester stop speaking, we could able to convince, M. Minj, who was in the official duty as care taker of Sylvester. He started revealing the fact. We were stunned to know the hidden truth. He is younger brother of Lucas and working as a Constable in the Jharkhand Police. He had six brothers and 5 of them have jobs in different places of the state. Lucas was dump but physically fit therefore he was only one who was engaged in agriculture work among the brothers. M. Minj is posted in Itki police station of Ranchi district. He said, “I’m in official duty to take care of my cousin brother.” I’ll be here till my brother is completely recovered,” he added. He accepted that there is a huge pressure from the Superintendent of Police (Latehar) not to say anything on the case of Lucas. He also says that if he keeps quite on the killing of Lucas and brutal torture of his family members, the Maoists can also target me as he is a police Jawan. He says, “Everybody in the village is afraid of the Police therefore they chose to keep quiet and face the torture.” It was shocking that M. Minj has been living under the threat of either losing job or life. If he opens his mouth on the brutal killing of Lucas and torture of other family members, he would lose his job and if he chooses to keep quiet, the Naxals may kill him alleging for taking side of the Police.

It was utterly painful and shocking for us to hear the pain, suffering, agony, anxiety and helplessness of Sylvester and his family members. This family has been in the line of fire for the heinous crime they were never party to. But what is their crime is; they have been constantly demanding justice for Lucas and other members who have faced the police torture in the country, where its constitution promises for social, economic and political justice to everyone without any discrimination. We promised Sylvester to file a case to the National Human Rights Commission, spread message about the brutality he faced and hopefully meet him again. What else could have we promised him when the Indian state is determined to deny justice to the people like him who face torture, humiliation and being killed?

Ironically, just two days before, Jairam Ramesh, the Union Minister (Ministry of Rural Development), had visited Latehar and announced a development package of Rs 450 crore for the district in the name of wiping out the Naxal menace by serving the development cola. We have clapped for him in so many occasions praising that he is a daring minister, who visits to the Maoist infested regions. However, I have never seen him visiting to any police torture victim, which makes him no different from the ruling elite for me. In fact, in the whole debate of Naxalism, the issue of justice is nowhere. The violence and development have over shadowed the issue of justice, which is the root cause of growth of the Naxalism in the country. Secondly, the grievances redressal mechanisms are either absent, defunct or in the pocket of a few bigwigs. The simple example is, a poor person has no access to police station for filing an FIR and by change if he/she is able to file FIR, the culprit will never be arrested. And if the culprit is with police uniform, one cannot even imagine to getting justice in the largest democratic country. The torture, brutality and killing seem to be destiny of the marginalized people, whom the state is determined to keep at the margin forever.

Gladson Dungdung is a Human Rights Activist. He can be reached at gladsonhractivist@gmail.com

Sex workers cannot be mothers – says Satara police #WTFnews

Anu Mokal, a pregnant woman was beaten up by Police in Satara, Maharashtra. She was so severely beaten  that she had a miscarriage and lost her baby. No Law in the country allows Police to physically assault a women. This case is worst because male cops have assaulted a female victim.

Her fault, being a sex worker

Actually, i feel very demoralized because if the police had done this to a non sex worker everyone would be up in arms. NO body reacted after it appeared in the papers in Satara, too. When they met me Durga said, if it was a `gharguti’ [wife] woman everyone would protect her womb, [ vanshacha diva – heir] but because it is a sex worker her fetus is not considered sacred or that she has a `vansh’, as a `bad woman’. That is what the police and society think, in any case.- Meena Seshu of SANGRAM
On 2nd April, around 7:30 PM, Anu Mokal accompanied by Anjana Ghadge were taking dinner for her friend Jaya Kamble who was undergoing treatment in the local civil hospital. When they were passing the Satara bus stand area, senior police inspector Dayanand Dhome started yelling at them using abusive language. When they told him that they were only taking food for their friend, he called them liars and without any provocation, Dhome and his subordinates started beating Anu and her friend Anjana Ghadge.

Dhome repeatedly said that women like Anu are a ‘shame’ to him while he continued to kick her. Anu fell down and pleaded that she was four months pregnant but they continued kicking and beating her. She was then forcibly taken to the police station. Anu and Anjana were detained and put in a lockup from where Anu and Anjana were routinely taken to civil hospital for treatment. Anu told the doctor she was pregnant and he prescribed medication, but the police didn’t allow her to buy nor did they give the medication to her.

On 3/4/2012 they were produced before the magistrate and were released after a payment of Rs 1200 fine for an offense not known to them or specified. They were taken to the civil hospital again by members of Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad [VAMP], a network of sex workers and Anu received medication.

But on 5/04/2012 night, she suffered a miscarriage. The miscarriage is quite likely to have resulted from the trauma of the thrashing by Dayanand Dhome and his subordinates. She has filed a complaint against Inspector Dhome and his colleagues with the Superintendent of Police K. M. M. Prasanna. However, her complaint and visit to the SP have been in vain.

SANGRAM the organisation that runs the Maharashtra State AIDS Society HIV/AIDS prevention project with women in sex work and sexual minorities in Satara District also sent a written complaint to Home Minister R.R.Patil, DSP Prasanna, Satara and Regional DIG Tukaram Chavhan, demanding that action be taken against Dayanad Dhome and others, but to no avail. DSP Prasanna told a delegation from VAMP on 30/04/2012 that an enquiry is instituted but would not commit as to when we can expect a result.

Anu and Anjana are are asking for justice and their right to get a hearing. Anu feels that the miscarriage due to severe beating and the subsequent trauma are not taken seriously because she is a sex worker. In fact, the police had the audacity to tell these women that sex workers cannot be mothers.

We Demand

1. The Inquiry in the case be expedited and the report be made public

2. Inspector Dayanand Dhome be suspended with immediate effect.

3. A Grievance committee be set up by the Maharashtra Government, which includes members from the field of sex work, women rights, police, law, so that such incidents are not repeated and they get speedy justice.

4. The Maharashtra Government which runs the HIV/AIDS programmes with sex workers have a policy on Police violence against sex workers male/female and transgender.


Joint Statement on Travesty of Justice in BATHANITOLA JUDGEMENT

We are deeply distressed and shocked at the judgment of Patna High Court (Bihar) on 16th April 2012 acquitting the upper caste/feudal murderers of the ghastly Bhatanitola Massacre in 1996. This is not only a severe miscarriage of justice but a massacre of the very notion of justice. Thus it is akin to the judicial massacre of the poor dalits and muslims of Bathanitola. This Patna High Court judgment not only makes a mockery of the lofty slogans of the Indian ruling classes like dignity , democracy, human rights, justice right to life and dignity but also shamelessly exposes the class/caste biasness of various organs of the Indian State including the judiciary. The upper caste landlord, contractor, mafia, bureaucracy, police, and political executive nexus is quite evident.


On 11th April 1996 Ranveer Sena, the private army of the upper caste landlords cold bloodily murdered 21 people poor dalits and muslims in Bathanitola in Bhojpur distict, Bihar. 3 toddlers (one of them only 3 months old), 6 children, 11 women were cruelly butchered by the Ranvir Sena .


This barbaric massacre was done in broad daylights in the presence of a large contingent of police; this clearly indicates the nexus between police and upper caste landlords in Bihar. The day after this ghastly massacre Kisun Choudhary registered a FIR in Sahar Police Station against 33 people involved in the massacre. In 2010 the Ara Sessions Court  has convicted 23 people for this massacre sentencing three to death and 20 to life imprisonment. But the Patna High Court has overturned the conviction and acquitted all the accused.


The fact that, 16 years after this massacre not a single person stands convicted for the brutal and barbaric slaughter of innocents, raises disturbing questions about whether the oppressed and the poor victims of massacres can expect justice in our courts.


It is relevant that the massacre was preceded by a series of attacks and a campaign of open terror against the people of Bhathani Tola by the Ranveer Sena, which enjoyed the support of several powerful politicians and parties. In spite of repeated intimations and appeals to the district police and administration no preventive action was taken. When the blood bath played out for hours and the mob of perpetrators used swords and guns to butcher people and set fire to homes, the police remained a mute and passive spectator. This complicity of the police and administration within the perpetrators continued after the massacre, leading to the weakening of the case against the accused, as noted by the Patna High Court. Shamefully, the three police eye witnesses to the massacre deposed in court as witness for the defense.


The verdict of the Patna High Court, acquitting the butchers of Bathanitola has shaken our faith in the judiciary and blatantly exposed its class/caste prejudice in this case.


In the past, respected judges of various courts have given similar verdicts of the cases of large scale massacres. In the decades of 1980s and 1990s many dreaded private armies of the upper castes, such as Brhmarshi Sena, Satyendra Sena, Savarna Libration front, Sunlight Sena, and Ranveer Sena had committed dozens of massacres. The victims of these massacres were the poor dalits and some of the most backward sections of the society. For example, the Ranveer Sena alone killed 116 people (with a large fraction of them being women and children) in 3 massacres of Laksmanpur Bathe (1997) Shankar Bigha (1999) and Miya Pur (2000).


The nexus between upper caste landlords, police and the judiciary is evident not only in the recent acquittal of the butchers of Bathanitola but also the acquittal of dreaded upper caste gangsters in the past. Ranveer Sena’s head Bramheshwar Singh had personally led over a dozen such massacres in Bhojpur, Jahanbad, Gaya and Aurangabad districts. He even admitted to his role to the police and the media. Even then he was released from prison in July 2010. Similarly, the head of the Savarna Liberation Front Ramadhar Singh alias Diamond, was also acquitted by the court. It should be noted that Savarna Liberation Front was directly responsible for brutal killings in Sawan Bigha (Jahanabad) and Main–Barsimha (Gaya). At present, most of the leaders of these criminal gangs have either been acquitted or granted very nominal punishment by the courts.


With immense anxiety and concern we underline the oppressive class/caste nature of the Indian state and its various organs like police, bureaucracy, and judiciary. Right to life, dignity and equality have proved to be a joke since the day one these rights were proclaimed by the constitution.

For decade we have been watching with horror the anti poor, dalit, women, minority judgments of various courts in India. Some glaring  example are like the Tamil Nadu High Court verdict in the Kilve mani massacre of 1969, which had found it astonishing and difficult to believe that rich men, owning vast extents of land, one of whom even possessed a car, could be guilty of burning alive 42 dalits. In the Bhawnri Devi case the learned judges of Rajasthan had said how upper caste men  can rape a lower caste women like Bhawnri Devi. The Durg Sessions Court had convicted Paltan Mallah and the owner of Simplex group for the murder of Shankar Guha Niyogi but the Jabalpur High Court let them scott off. The class and caste character of the Indian Judiciary is crystal clear.  On one hand while the perpetrators of Bhathanitola massacred are acquitted, on other hand the Indian State has witnessed brutal repression on the struggle poor like the Adivasi, dalits, minorities, women and oppressed nationalities. To sell of the natural resources to the national and international big business the Indian state has brutally launched Operation Green Hunt against the poorest of the poor who are struggling to save their land, forest, water, mines, dignity and livelihood.

We are watching with horror thousands of encounter deaths, torture, custodial rapes from Kashmir to North East and from Jangal Mahal to the forests of Odisha, Chhhatisgarh and Jharkhand. What happened to Soni Sori in police custody is a chilling reminder of this reality.

We condemn the blatant class and caste prejudice of the Bathanitola judgment and appeal to all the sensitive sections of the society to raise their voice against it.



Chittaranjan Singh-               National organising secretary PUCL

Arjun Prasad Singh-             PDFI

Ajit Jha-                              Samajwadi  Jan Parishad

Kiran Shaheen-                    Media Action Group, Delhi

Vijay Pratap-                       Socialist Front / Lok Rajnitik Manch

Kamayani Bali Mahabal-      Lawyer, Activist Mumbai

Nayan Jyoti-                       Krantikari Naujawan Sabha

Sourav Banerjee-                Bigul Mazdoor Dasta

Sunil Kumar-                      Pragatishil Mazdoor union, Delhi

P.K. Sundaram-                  Research Scholar JNU

Mohamed Usman-              Research Scholar JNU

Anand Krisna Raj-              Research Scholar JNU

Rashid Ali                          Independent Film Maker, Delhi

Shah Alam-                        Independent Film  Maker, Delhi

Shahnaz Malek-                 Armaan Mahila Sanghathan, Ahmedabad

Asit Das-                           Writer Activist, Delhi



(Please send your endorsement to- asit1917@gmail.com )

Solar-powered catamaran goes around the world in 584 days

Solar-powered catamaranThe solar-powered MS Turanor PlanetSolar crosses the finish line of its trip around the world at the Hercule Harbor in Monaco. (Laurent Gillieron / Associated Press / May 4, 2012)
By Deborah NetburnMay 4, 2012.

 In the spring of 2004 Raphael Domjan, a Swiss electrical engineer, conceived of a borderline insane idea — to travel around the world aboard a ship powered entirely by solar energy.

It would be an adventure and a statement. If he could do it, he would prove to the world that there are other alternatives to powering sea travel besides fossil fuels and wind. It would also demonstrate just what solar power is capable of.

In 2008 he formed a partnership with German entrepreneur Immo Stroeher, who helped provide the funds to make this idea possible.

And now, eight years later, Domjan’s dream is a reality: On Friday, the solar-powered MS Turanor PlanetSolar catamaran pulled into port in Monaco after completing a 37,294-mile journey around the world.

“We have shown that we have the technologies as well as the knowledge to become sustainable and safeguard our blue planet,” Domjan said in a statement.

The ship, designed by New Zealander Craig Loomes, is made of a durable lightweight carbon material and is covered with 38,000 solar cells that feed power to six blocks of lithium-ion batteries.

“Each new sunrise provides the catamaran with the light needed to continue its journey,” the PlanetSolar team wrote on its website.

It took the 115-foot boat 584 days — roughly 19 month — to make it all around the world. That is admittedly not a super-fast pace.

But there were stops along the way to promote solar power and even an encounter with pirates. There was also some waiting for the sun to come up to power those lithium batteries.

Now that the Domjan has completed his mission, he and the team at PlanetSolar will have to figure out what do with the ship.

“We are considering renting out the boat for scientific or commercial uses or even selling it,” Stroeher told Wired. “We are open for ideas and in talks with interested parties — from the use as a ‘green’ luxury yacht to scientific usages and the utilization as the world’s largest mobile solar power battery, everything is possible.”

Go green!

Urgent Action Alert: SOS message from Koodankulam

Idinthakarai SOS

May 5, 2012

The indefinite hunger strike has been going on for the past 5 days. Some 25 men have been on the fast since May 1 and 302 women and 10 more men have joined the strike on May 4, 2012. More and more women are eager to join the indefinite hunger strike but because of logistical issues such as space, bedding and toilet facilities, we are not in a position to accommodate them all.

Many of the men have become very tired and are suffering from fatigue and nausea. Scores of women are suffering from severe headache this morning and some seem to be dehydrated because of the scorching summer heat. They need immediate medical advice and help.

The Tahsildar (county administrator) of Radhapuram contacted us yesterday and said he was sending a medical team to check the health of the hunger strikers. Nobody has come so far and we have contacted the officer again this morning.

Our people have been struggling so patiently, peacefully and nonviolently for the past nine months. Our people have not hurt or harmed or killed anybody or damaged any public or private properties. No untoward incident has ever taken place. But neither the central government nor the state government has ever tried to meet our people or listen to their opinions, thoughts, feelings and standpoints about the Koodankulam nuclear power project in a democratic manner.

Even now, instead of talking to our people, the authorities are warning us not to turn our movement into a violent one. We are not sure if they are hatching a conspiracy against us. The whole world knows that our people have been struggling nonviolently for the past nine months.

When Maoists kidnap MLAs and District Collectors and engage in random acts of violence such as attacking police stations and killing people, the governments nominate high-level mediators, talk to the Maoists in their own hideouts and grant all their wishes and demands then and there. But when our people struggle peacefully and nonviolently, the governments, authorities, politicians, scientists and even some pro-government media houses turn a deaf ear to us.

Our helpless and desperate people appeal to the Indian civil society and the international community to come to our rescue as our men and women are becoming weak and tired. We remain open to dialogue with the government officials but we demand a written agreement with a definite action plan and clear timeline.

Please contact the following officers and demand justice for our people:

[1] Dr. R. Selvaraj, District Collector, Tirunelveli District, Tirunelveli. Phone: 91-462-2500828; Fax: 91-462-2500224; Mobile: 91-9444185000; Email: collrtnv@nic.in
[2] Mr. V. Varadharaju; Phone: 91-462-2568031; Mobile: 91-9840970530; Email: digtinrg@yahoo.co.in
[3] Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009, India; Phones: 91-44-25672345 (W); 91-44-25670215 (H); Faxes: 91-44-28133510; 25676929; 25671441; 28130787; Email: cmcell@tn.gov.in; cmcell@tn.nic.in
[4] Mr. Debendranath Sarangi, Chief Secretary; Phone: 91-44-25671555; Fax: 91-44-25672304; Email: cs@tn.gov.in
[5] Dr. Sheela Priya, Additional Chief Secretary; Phone: 91-44-25674234; Fax: 91-44-25675163. Email: cmcell@tn.gov.in

We have put forward the following demands to the authorities:

[1] The ongoing work at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) must be halted and the following steps must be taken immediately.

[2] As the Central Information Commission (CIC) has instructed the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), the Safety Analysis Report and the Site Evaluation Report must be released to the public immediately. And the full and final post-Fukushima safety audit report must also be released to the press and the public.

[3] A new and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report must be commissioned as the one that the DAE has released after 23 years of struggle is incomplete, erroneous and outdated. The Tamil and Malayalam translations of the new EIA must be shared with the local people and the Press in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

[4] The opinions and preferences of the project-affected people must be heard by a competent authority in an open, transparent and democratic manner to understand the fears and concerns of the people.

[5] An independent national committee must be constituted to study the issues of geology, hydrology, oceanography and seismology involved in the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.

[6] Disaster management training and evacuation exercises must be conducted in the 30-km radius of the Koodankulam plants and beyond in the wake of the recent earthquake all over Tamil Nadu and India.

[7] A Tamil Nadu State Assembly Resolution must be passed that the Pechipparai dam water from Kanyakumari District and the Tamirabharani river water from Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi Districts will not be taken for the KKNPP reactors.

[8] A copy of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on liability secretly signed between the governments of India and Russia must be made available to the project-affected public.

[9] Complete and truthful information must be given to the local people and the citizens of India about nuclear waste that would be produced at the Koodankulam plants and its management.

[10] All the false cases against the members of the struggle committee and the common people must be withdrawn immediately and unconditionally. Our friends who are still languishing in prison, Muhilan and Sathishkumar, must be released immediately.

[11] The local people’s right to protest peacefully and nonviolently against the KKNPP and other related issues must be respected and honored. And no more false cases and other intimidatory exercises should be used against the struggling people.

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)



Pro-Choice Faith Group Goes Beyond Roe V. Wade

New Hempstead Presbyterian Church, near New Ci...

New Hempstead Presbyterian Church, near New City, NY, USA. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as English Church and Schoolhouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


By Frederick Clarkson

WeNews correspondent

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is redefining its mission and methods. While vowing to never lose sight of abortion rights, the group is shaping a more holistic health-justice agenda and turning to movement-building at the grassroots.

(WOMENSENEWS)–The country’s leading pro-choice religious lobby is rolling out a profound re-visioning of its mission and method in light of the changing climate around reproductive rights.

This week, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice also hired a new president to lead it into the new era.Rev. Harry Knox, previously best known as a national gay rights leader, will take the helm as president and CEO in July.

The Religious Coalition was founded in 1973 to organize religious groups to defend the gains in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that protected abortion as part of a woman’s right to privacy. But the group has recently broadened and deepened its agenda under the rubric of reproductive justice, since access to health care and education, economic security and a safe environment profoundly affect meaningful reproductive choices. The Religious Coalition says it sees this as a necessary response to the wave of state-level anti-abortion legislation in recent years and as a way of building powerful alliances across a range of concerns.

“This is a new phase of a justice movement that has been in process for years,” the group’s board chair, Rev. Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers, told Women’s eNews. “The best way to turn the tide is with faith communities and this new justice paradigm will enable us to do that. I do think we will see some pay dirt in the very near future.”

“Pay dirt” may mean a higher profile for the Religious Coalition in the media and in state and national coalitions.

“This is important,” said Communications Director Marjorie Signer, “because we are a religious organization and religion has been seen as the enemy of women’s reproductive rights.”

Challenging Misconceptions

The Religious Coalition intends to challenge that idea, stressing that anti-choice groups such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Family Research Council do not speak for the majority of people of faith in America. The group will also be telling some liberals that matters of reproductive health and rights must not be marginalized.

“Too many social justice efforts,” Signer said, “are dominated by groups that exclude women’s reproductive health issues. That will stop!”

The group has always included such issues as infant and maternal mortality rates, sexually transmitted diseases and access to health care in marginalized communities, especially among African Americans. But listening and responding to other aspects of environmental, gender and economic justice is now also part of the task.

“Justice movements require you to be able to hear the voices and the needs of people who have the least,” said Smith-Withers.

The Religious Coalition has also embraced a stronger organizational identity to drive its new approach. As a coalition, it comprises some large institutions such as The Episcopal Church, with more than two million members, while some groups are much smaller. Other members include such major protestant and Jewish bodies as the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Association, Union for Reform Judaism and The Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism.

Since each coalition member has its own decision-making processes, emphases and policies, however, it’s sometimes been difficult to find more than narrow agreements amidst such diversity. The Religious Coalition’s solidified organizational identity, the group says, will allow it greater flexibility in balancing taking broader stands and implementing an ambitious organizing agenda, while also fairly representing the pro-choice religious coalition on areas of agreement.

Taking the Plunge

While the group has long embraced the idea of reproductive justice, it is only now taking the plunge into creating a program to fully integrate the idea at all levels of the organization, including its 21 state affiliates.

Angela Ferrell-Zabala, whose staff responsibilities for the Religious Coalition include field organizing, describes a renewed effort to increase the organization’s clout by shifting its emphasis from the “grasstops” to the grassroots.

“We had been advocacy-oriented, academic, doing legal work and working with legislators etcetera,” said Ferrell-Zabala, explaining the group’s shift to a holistic, bottom-up approach to movement-building. “We try to really hear what people have to say about the challenges they are facing in their lives and communities. I think that is the most authentic way to do it.”

Following the principles of influential organizing theorist Marshall Ganz, she emphasizes building relationships among people and building movement capacity.

“It is not about bringing a message or talking points to them,” Ferrell-Zabala added. “We are not giving or creating strategy in the sense of one size fits all. People are creating it and owning it themselves.”

To jump-start the process, the Religious Coalition recently held a three-day conference in mid-April in Washington, D.C., for grassroots leaders who were trained in organizing techniques such as public narrative, creating effective leadership teams and building local and national organizational partnerships.

“We will be using our considerable grassroots power,” Signer said, “to bring religious people and groups that are pro-choice into the broader social justice movement.”

Frederick Clarkson is an independent journalist and author. He is editor of “Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America,” IG Publishing, 2008.


Press Release-“OCCUPY APA” Peaceful Protests, May 5, USA

American Psychiatric Association

American Psychiatric Association (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


BELOW is a forwarded news release issued by National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) in support of tomorrow’s peaceful MindFreedom International protest of the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, Saturday, 5 May 2012, in Philadelphia. NCMHR unites 36 member organizations (32 US States and 4 national TA Centers).

For more info on actions in Philly and globally, and MFI go to: http://www.boycottnormal.org
For more info about NCMHR go to: http://ncmhr.org/
To thank NCMHR, email to info@ncmhr.org

Please forward.

Press Release

For immediate release
Coalition of Individuals with Psychiatric Labels Supports Protestors’ Efforts to “Occupy” the American Psychiatric Association Convention
WASHINGTON, DC (5/3/12) – The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery(NCMHR), a coalition comprising 32 statewide organizations of individuals in recovery from mental health conditions, supports an upcoming peaceful protest of theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the controversial “bible” of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). On Saturday, May 5, 2012, as thousands of psychiatrists congregate in Philadelphia for the APA Annual Meeting, individuals with psychiatric labels and others will converge in a global campaign to oppose the APA’s proposed new edition, the DSM-5, scheduled for publication in May 2013.
Occupy the APA will include distinguished speakers 10 a.m. to noon at Friends Center (1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia), and a march at approximately 12:15 p.m. to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch Streets), where the group will protest from approximately 1 p.m. while the APA meets inside. The event is co-sponsored by numerous organizations, including MindFreedom International, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, and the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights.
“In particular, we are dismayed by the proposed expansion of psychiatric labels to include nearly every facet of human experience,” said Daniel B. Fisher, MD, PhD, NCMHR board member and a psychiatrist who himself recovered from schizophrenia. “This move to pathologize understandable human reactions to life’s stressors is a very dangerous trend, which could result in the indiscriminate use of medication and the discounting of such factors as poverty, unemployment and trauma.”
NCMHR holds that psychiatric labeling is a pseudoscientific practice of limited value in helping people recover. Studies have shown that psychiatric diagnosis and labeling can result in increased stigma and discrimination in employment, housing, and community relationships.
NCMHR believes that psychiatric labels obscure the socioeconomic and political roots of much of human suffering, and discount the lived experience of people struggling to cope with the effects of trauma in their lives.
“Mental health services should move away from a bio-psychiatric approach, such as the one enshrined in the DSM, to one that is trauma-informed, recovery-oriented, and led by people with the lived experience of mental health recovery,” said NCMHR director Lauren Spiro. “We need to better understand the oppressive dynamics embedded in our culture that bring about great emotional distress, and dispense more compassion and fewer labels.”
Contacts: info@ncmhr.org; Lauren Spiro,             877-246-9058
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
1101 15th Street, NW #1212, Washington, DC 20005
Tel:              877-246-9058       Email: info@ncmhr.org

Linga Ram Kodopi writes from jail to the Nation

‘The very right of living in this country has been snatched from me’

Linga Ram Kodopi, a trained journalist and Soni Sori’s nephew, who is accused of having Naxal connections has been in prison since 10 September 2011. He writes an open letter to fellow Indians.

A file photo of Linga Ram KodopiPhoto: Shailendra Pandey

Respected intellectuals,

I am writing this letter in the hope that you all will do justice to the torture and injustices being inflicted upon me and my fellow Adivasis.

I have passed through three pillars of the Indian democracy—the Executive, the Judiciary and the media—I do not have hope any more that these three pillars will bring justice to me or to other Adivasis. Because, when I came back after studying journalism in Delhi and met with the administration officials and told them that I had no connection with the Naxals—I was asked to not go to Delhi and to cut off all links [with people in Delhi]. On being told this by District Collector OP Chaudhary, Bastar Division Commissioner K Srinivasalu and police officer Anshuman Sisodia, I broke off all contact with the intellectuals in Delhi. I did not know that on breaking links with Delhi, I would be charged with taking money from Essar for supporting the Naxals and sent to jail. I was brought to the Palnar weekly market on the pretext of being questioned by plainclothes policemen. I didn’t even know that Essar gives money to Naxals. The next day when I read about the ‘notes incident’ in the newspaper and saw Soni Sori and my name, I felt the ground slip beneath my feet.

After reading the newspaper in the police station in Dantewada, I wept and pleaded with the policemen that I had nothing to do with this case. Then the policemen made me sign on blank papers. In my defense, I showed them my PAN card, voter ID card, State Bank ATM card, but the police brushed them aside as forged documents from the Delhi intellectuals. I had been taken to the house of the SP to be administered electric shocks, but I was saved thanks to the affidavit from 2009.

The police even asked me: “is Soni Sori your mistress or your wife that she moved the High Court for you and got you released, and you also took her to Delhi?” Apart from that, they even said—once let us get our hands on her, and then see what we do to her. I could not even imagine that they would do all this to my aunt Soni Sori. From 2009-10, they had been trying to get Soni Sori to help me get arrested and call me back from Delhi and quit journalism, and for this they had tried to bribe her with money and contracts. But my aunt did not listen to the policemen and all this was done to her.

In 2009, I refused to become a Special Police Officer, and since then this government has been after my life. I had thought that after training in journalism, I will serve my culture and the Adivasi society—it was then that the police told the media that I was going to take up the position of Azad and gave me a bad name. One always gets criticised in journalism—thinking this I returned to my village in order to lead an ordinary life. It was then that I was created into a Maoist supporter, and an international terrorist and a traitor. And when various intellectuals and social activists in the country are being called terrorists, then whose support can we count on and who will bring us justice?

In the injustices that are being perpetrated against Adivasis, the judiciary and the media are equal partners. For four months in the Dantewada jail, I had to live on a half-empty stomach. Not only me but all prisoners were subjected to ill-treatment there. If anyone objected, he was stripped and beaten. When I complained before the Judge, he said: “What can I do?” In the Dantewada court the judges only take the administration and the police’s side. It is because of this that the Adivasi women are detained for three months on charges of being Naxals, forced into prostitution and sent to jail. After some months these women even deliver their babies in jail. In such a situation, who will give us justice?

In jail, everyone lives in fear. Women cannot talk openly of their situation. Just like Sikhs were killed in the name of terrorism, I feel that Adivasis are being targeted in the name of Naxalism. I too was targeted. I opposed a few things and argued with the judge, and so I was moved to the Jagdalpur jail. The next day, when I was presented before the lower officials of the jail, they said: “Why did you bring this boy to the jail, you should have shot him in the middle of the road”. When the jail authorities treat us with so much hatred, then how much will the ordinary people hate us when we get out of the jail? Even the Judge looks at us with hatred.

I do not want to pick up arms, then why am I being pressurised? One should try to avoid war. When the intellectuals of the country come forward to stop this war and spread the message of love amongst the Adivasis, they get charged under the Public Security Act (PSA). The Chhattisgarh government hates me and the Adivasis. The government has vowed to label me a Naxal and kill me. So much was done to my aunt only because she supported me. Today my sister comes alone to meet me in jail. I don’t know what will happen to her. I have lost my aunt – our lives are destroyed anyways. I cannot see others being sacrificed because of me. Perhaps this torture will end with my death. I do not want to kill anyone for my self-defense and the government is compelling me to take up arms. The police had vowed to torture my aunt, and they did. They have taken a vow to kill me in a Naxal uniform. They can kill me as soon as I get out of jail. I do not want to die labeled as a Naxal, nor do I want to pick up arms to live.

Hence, I pray to all the intellectuals of the country to please get me killed within the jail itself. In any case, people only hate us Adivasis that is why we are being killed one-by-one. I will be also counted as one among them. Had I belonged to this country, the police would have accepted my identification cards. Probably, I do not belong to this country at all. That is why Adivasis get murdered. I cannot meet any of the intellectuals, if I go to anyone’s house, then they too will get charged under the PSA. The very right of living in this country has been snatched from me. I curse myself today – when the Chhattisgarh police had defamed me and accused me of being a Maoist spokesperson, I should have committed suicide. I would not have lived to see this day.

There is no hope of getting justice either. In Jadgalpur jail there are people who have been here for seven-to-eight years on charges of being Naxals and no hearing has taken place yet. For some, no proceeding has taken place at all. I have lost faith in everything. If there is one hope, it is in the Supreme Court, but it takes 2-3 years to reach the Supreme Court. Justice delayed is also an injustice.

Even in jail, there is harassment. The chargesheet was given only after six months, and till today there is no evidence. Those who can pay money are released. We are poor, we don’t have the money, so we have to bear imprisonment. Whoever has money has the support of the judiciary, legislature, executive and media. We Adivasis have nothing besides our jal, jangal, zameen (water, forests and land). The national media observes the administration and the oppressed in an unbiased way and saves our lives. The Chhattisgarh media takes the side of the administration and spreads hatred for Adivasis among the people. When Chhattisgarh state was created, it was said that the Adivasis are being protected. This did not turn out to be true. Their purpose was to the stop the intellectuals from other states to enter Chhattisgarh using the PSA and to kill Adivasis. The Adivasis don’t even know about the judiciary, executive, legislature, media. I have some information and so, I am in jail. The Chhattisgarh police has declared Swami Agnivesh, Himanshu Kumar, Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy and others as traitors, then who is a citizen of this country?

The Chhattisgarh government doesn’t approve of the clothes I wear and the fact that I want to change myself. It doesn’t approve of me talking about the journalism courses I was pursuing. Whoever stays with me or supports me is worthy of punishment in the view of the government. I wanted to capture the culture of the Adivasis in the camera; but I was sent to jail before I could do it and I can see the injustices being meted out to other Adivasis. Where politics should have been for the benefit of the common man, there the common man is dying. The Adivasis don’t even have an elected representative who could raise these issues in the legislative assembly; the ones we have, have already sold themselves for money. No justice can be expected from them. If I had the capacity to confer honors on anyone, then for the injustices being meted out to me, my aunt and to other Adivasis, I would have honored the Chhattisgarh government. I do not want to criticise anyone, but the injustices are compelling me to criticize.

The film Avatar is similar to the atrocities carried out in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh state. Seeing this injustice, one feels that humanity is dead in the country and all human societies will soon come to an end. The same Adivasis who have lived in this country since the beginning – their very existence is in danger. Even Lal Krishna Advani has said that the government in Chhattisgarh is a BJP government – I can send in the army whenever I want and kill Naxals, i.e. the Adivasis. The truth is that several states in the country have Naxals, but these governments only declare those states as Naxal states where they find Adivasis.

I am an independent journalist, but my independence has been taken away in jail. Maybe the injustices against Adivasis will increase because of this letter. Anything can happen to me for writing this letter. I want that I should be shot as soon as possible, or hung till dead, so that I can meet the maker of the human race and ask why we Adivasis were not granted the right to live on this earth along with nature. I had read in a religious book that there is a god in every human; but I am now tired of asking humans for justice. The government has littered my life with so many thorns that perhaps it is not possible any more for me to walk on these thorns. I have begun to think that there can be no better house for me in this world than the crematorium. Himanshu sir, had once said that it is easier to die, and difficult to live. I have nothing but my tears and my will power to live is also receding. I pray to all the intellectuals of this country that they should grant me death as soon as possible.

Whatever criticism, analyses I do of the injustice happening to all of us is inadequate – I do not even have the vocabulary to write everything. Please present this letter amongst people and free me from this life at the earliest. If I remain in this jail for too long, I will go mad thinking about the four pillars of this country. Having adopted truth and non-violence, I have lost a lot of my things. I am under observation in this jail as a hardcore Naxal. Why has so much happened to me? Will the unity and integrity of this nation be destroyed I walk on the path of truth and non-violence? Or is this path wrong? Gandhiji’s photo and sayings are exhibited everywhere, but why does no one follow them?

Linga Ram Kodpi

Tehelka, May 4, 2012

above is translation of letter in hindi below


आदरणीय बुद्धिजीवियों,
मैं इस आशा से यह पत्र लिख रहा हूँ कि मेरे साथ व अन्य आदिवासियों के साथ हुए प्रताडनाओं व अन्याय का आप लोग न्याय करेंगे | मैं देश के तीन स्तंभ से गुजर चुका हूँ कार्यपालिका, न्यायपालिका, मिडिया, इन तीनों स्तंभो से मुझे व अन्य आदिवासियों को न्याय मिलेगा ऐसा उम्मीद नहीं करता क्योंकि पत्रकारिता की शिक्षा लेकर दिल्ली से वापस आया और प्रशासनिक अधिकारियो से मिला और नक्सलियों के साथ संबंध न होने की बात बताया तो उन अधिकारीयों ने दिल्ली न जाने और लिंक तोड़ने की बात कही !मैंने जिले के कलेक्टर ओ.पी.चौधरी, बस्तर संभाग के कमिश्नर के.श्रीनिवासलू और पुलिस अधिकारी अंशुमन सिसोदिया इन सभी आधिकारियों के कहने पर दिल्ली के तमाम बुद्धिजीवियों से लिंक तोड़ दिया | मुझे नहीं पता था दिल्ली से लिंक तोड़वाकर एस्सार से पैसा लेकर नक्सलियों का समर्थन देने का आरोप लगाया जायेगा और जेल भेज दिया जायेगा| मुझे पूछताछ के नाम पर पालनार साप्ताहिक बाजार से बिना वर्दी के पुलिस द्वारा बुलाकर लाया गया मुझे तो पता भी नहीं था कि एस्सार नक्सलियों को पैसा भी देता है | दूसरे दिन जब मैंने पेपर में नोट कांड के नाम से समाचार व मेरा नाम और सोनी सोरी का नाम देखा तो मेरे पैरों तले जमीन खिसक गई | पेपर पढ़ने के बाद दंतेवाड़ा कोतवाली थाने में मैं अधिकारीयों से रो-रो कर विनती किया कि मेरा इस केस से कोई संबंध नहीं है, तो पुलिसवालों कोरे पन्नों में हस्ताक्षर करवाये | मैं अपनी सफाई में पैन कार्ड, वोटर कार्ड, स्टेट बैंक का ए.टी.एम. तक देकर देखा इन सभी परिचय पत्रों को पुलिस दिल्ली के बुद्धिजीवियों द्वारा जाली बनाकर दिया गया है ऐसा आरोप लगाया गया | मुझे करेंट शाक देने के लिये एस.पी. के घर लेकर गये थे लेकिन एफिडेविट जो २००९ में बना था इसकी वजह से मैं बच गया| और पुलिस द्वारा यह भी कहा गया कि सोनी सोरी तेरी औरत है क्या ? जो तुझे हाई कोर्ट से निकाली है ? और तू उसे दिल्ली भी लेकर गया था ? ऐसा कहने के साथ-साथ पुलिसवालों ने ये भी कहा कि एक बार मिलने तो दे सोनी सोरी को, फिर देखना हम उसके साथ क्या करते हैं ? मैं सोच भी नहीं सकता था कि मेरी बुआ के साथ इतना कुछ करेंगे !
वैसे भी मुझे पकड़ने के लिये व दिल्ली से पत्रकारिता छोडकर वापस बुलवाने के लिये सोनी सोरी को पैसा देकर सौदा करने की कोशिश २००९-१० में ही चल रही थी ! बुआ ने पुलिसवालों का कहना न माना तो उनके साथ इतना कुछ हो गया| मैंने एस.पी.ओ. बनने से २००९ में इंकार किया तो मेरी जान लेने के लिये यह सरकार पीछे पड़ गयी | पत्रकारिता कि शिक्षा लेकर अपनी संस्कृति और आदिवासी समाज कि सेवा करूँगा सोचा, तो नक्सली प्रवक्ता आजाद कि जगह देने की बात पुलिस द्वारा मिडिया में बताया गया और बदनाम किया गया | पत्रकारिता में हमेशा निंदा होता है, ये सोचकर गांव आकर साधारण जीवन जीने की सोचा तो नक्सल समर्थक बना दिया गया| और अंतर्राष्ट्रीय उग्रवादी संगठन व देश द्रोही बनाया गया व देश के तमाम बुद्धिजिवियो और समाजसेवकों को उग्रवाद कहती है तो हम किस के सहारे जियेंगे और हमें न्याय कौन देगा ? आदिवासियों के साथ हो रहे अन्यायों में मिडिया व न्यायपालिका बराबर का साथ दे रही है, मुझे दंतेवाड़ा जेल में चार महीने तक आधा पेट भोजन दिया जाता था मुझे ही नहीं सभी बंदियों के साथ दुर्व्यवहार किया जाता है | अगर कोई इसका विरोध करे तो चक्कर में ले जाकर कपड़े उतारकर मारा जाता है | इस बात की जब मैंने न्यायाधीश को शिकायत की तो न्यायाधीश ने ‘हम क्या कर सकते हैं ? ‘ इस प्रकार से एक न्यायाधीश द्वारा कहा गया | दंतेवाड़ा के न्यायालय में हर चीज, हर अपराध हो तो यहाँ के न्यायाधीश द्वारा केवल शासन व पुलिस का ही पक्ष लिया जाता है | न्यायाधीश के पुलिस के पक्ष लेने से ही तो आदिवासी महिलाओं को नक्सलियों के नाम पर पकडकर तीन महीना तक रखा जाता है, वेश्या की तरह, उसके बाद जेल भेज दिया जाता है और उन महिलाओं का कुछ महीने बाद जेल में ही डिलेवरी होता है | ऐसे में हमें न्याय कौन देगा? जेल में हर कोई दहशत में है | इसी दहशत के कारण महिलाएं खुलकर बता नहीं पाती | ‘इंदिरा गाँधी के काल में पंजाबियों को आतंकवादी के नाम पर मारा गया था इसी प्रकार दंतेवाड़ा के आदिवासियों को नक्सलियों के नाम पर मारना चाहिये’, इस प्रकार से मुझे शब्दों के वाणों से मारा गया | कुछ-कुछ चीजों का विरोध किया और न्यायाधीश से बहस किया तो जगदलपुर जेल भेज दिया गया | दूसरे दिन जब जेल के छोटे अधिकारियो के समक्ष पेश किया गया तो अधिकारीयों ने कहा कि ‘इस लडके को जेल लेकर क्यों आये बीच सड़क में गोली मार देना चाहिये था |’ जब जेल के अधिकारी इतना घृणा करते हैं तो जेल से बाहर आने पर आम जन कितना घृणा करते होंगे | न्यायाधीश भी तो घृणा कि ही नजरो से देखते हैं |
मैं शस्त्र उठाना नहीं चाहता फिर मुझपर दबाव क्यों डाला जा रहा है, युद्ध से बचाव का प्रयत्न करना चाहिये | जब युद्ध को रोकने के लिये देश के बुद्धिजीवी सामने आकर आदिवासियों को प्रेम करना सिखाने की कोशिश करते हैं तो उनके उपर जन सुरक्षा अधिनियम लगता है | छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार मुझसे व आदिवासियों से घृणा करता है | मुझे नक्सली बनाकर मारने का प्रण लिया है, मेरा साथ देने से बुआ के साथ इतना कुछ हो गया| आज मेरी बहन अकेली मिलने के लिये जेल आती है| उसके साथ कब क्या होगा मैं नहीं जानता | मैंने बुआ को खो दिया है उनका और मेरा जीवन तो बर्बाद हो गया है| मेरी वजह से मैं और लोगों को बली चढ़ते हुए नहीं देख सकता शायद ये प्रताड़ना मेरे मरने से खत्म हो जायेगा, मैं अपनी आत्मरक्षा के लिये किसी को मारना नहीं चाहता और शस्त्र लेकर जीने को सरकार विवश कर रही है | पुलिस ने प्रण लिया था बुआ के साथ प्रताड़ना करने के लिये और प्रताड़ित कर साबित कर दिया कि पुलिस क्या कर सकती है| मुझे नक्सली वर्दी पहनाकर मारने का प्रण है तो ये पुलिस जेल से निकलते ही मार सकती है, मैं नक्सली बनकर मरना नहीं चाहता और न ही शस्त्र उठाकर जीना|
अतः देश के तमाम बुद्धिजीवियों से हाथ जोड़कर प्रार्थना है कि जेल में ही मुझे मरवा दे| वैसे भी लोग तो घृणा ही आदिवासियों से करते हैं,  तभी तो एक-एक कर आदिवासियों को मारा जा रहा है उनमे मैं भी एक रहूँगा| मैं इस देश का होता तो यहाँ की पुलिस मेरा परिचय पत्रों को मानती मैं तो शायद इस देश का हूँ ही नहीं | तभी तो आदिवासियों की हत्या होती है| और न ही किसी बुद्धिजीवी से मिल सकता हूँ | अगर किसी से मिला या घर गया तो सभी लोगों के उपर जन सुरक्षा अधिनियम लग जायेगा| पुलिस पकड़ेगी और पता नहीं क्या प्रताड़ना करेगी | मेरे से तो इस देश में जीने का तो अधिकार ही छीन लिया गया| मैं आज खुद को कोसता हूँ कि जब छत्तीसगढ़ पुलिस नक्सली प्रवक्ता के नाम से बदनाम की तो उसी समय आत्महत्या कर लेना था | तो ये दिन देखना न पड़ता |
न्याय मिलने की उम्मीद भी तो नहीं है क्योंकि जगदलपुर जेल में ७ साल ८ साल से लोग नक्सलियों के नाम से आकर पड़े हैं कोई सुनवाई हुआ ही नहीं है | किसी-किसी को तो कुछ भी नहीं हुआ है| मेरा हर जगह से विश्वास उठ चुका है एक उम्मीद है तो सिर्फ सुप्रीमकोर्ट | लेकिन सुप्रीम कोर्ट तक पहुचते-पहुचते दो से तीन साल लग जाता है| देर से हुआ न्याय भी तो अन्याय के ही बराबर है | जेल में भी किसी ना किसी प्रकार परेशान किया जाता है | हमारा चलान छह महीने में आ रहा है विना वजह के कोई ठोस वजह भी तो होना चाहिये और आज तक कोई साक्ष्य भी नहीं है| जो पैसा दे रहा था वो तो अपने अर्थ के बल पर निकल गये हम गरीब हैं हमारे पास अर्थ नहीं है इसलिये सहना लिखा है, जिसके पास अर्थ है उसके पास न्याय, अन्याय, विधायिका, कार्यपालिका, मिडिया है | हम आदिवासियों के पास जल, जंगल, जमीन के अलावा और कुछ नहीं है| राष्ट्रीय मिडिया निष्पक्ष रूप से शासन और पीड़ित पक्ष को देखते हुए लिख कर जान बचाती है और छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य की मिडिया शासन का पक्ष लेते हुए लोगों में आदिवासियों के प्रति घृणा पैदा करवाती है| छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य जब बना तो उस समय कहा गया था कि आदिवासियों को सुरक्षित किया जा रहा है, लेकिन ये सच नहीं है| सच तो ये है कि जन सुरक्षा अधिनियम बनाकर दूसरे राज्य के बुद्धिजीवी वर्ग को रोका जाये और आदिवासियों को मारा जाये| आदिवासियों को तो न्याय, कार्यपालिका, विधायिका, मिडिया के बारे में पता ही नहीं है | मुझे थोडा बहुत जानकारी है इसलिये मैं जेल में हूँ |
छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य की पुलिस स्वामी अग्निवेश, हिमांशु कुमार, मेधा पाटेकर, अरुंधती राय और तमाम दिल्ली के बुद्धिजीवियों को देश द्रोही कहती है तो इस देश का वासी कौन है| छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार को मेरा कपड़ा पहनना और अपने आप को बदलना पसंद नहीं है मेरा बात करना, पत्रकारिता की शिक्षा लेना पसंद नहीं, मेरे साथ जो व्यक्ति रहेगा या साथ देगा वह सरकार की नजर में दंड का भागीदारी होगा | मैं आदिवासियों कि संस्कृति को कैमरे में कैद करता उससे पहले जेल आ गया और अन्य आदिवासियों के साथ हो रहे अन्याय को देख रहा हूँ | जहाँ राजनीति आम जन के हित में होना चाहिये वहाँ आम आदमी मर रहा है| आदिवासियों का कोई विधायिका भी तो नहीं है जो संविधान सभा में बात उठा सके और जो है वे तो अपने आप को अर्थ के लिये बेच दिये हैं| उससे न्याय की उम्मीद नहीं की जा सकती| अगर मेरी इतनी क्षमता होती कि मैं किसी को सम्मान दे सकूं तो सम्मान तौर पर मेरे साथ व मेरी बुआ और अन्य आदिवासियों के साथ हो रहे अन्याय के लिये छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य के सरकार को सम्मान देता | मैं किसी कि निंदा नहीं करना चाहता पर अन्याय करके निंदा करने के लिये विवश किया जाता है| विदेशी फिल्म अवतार छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य के दंतेवाड़ा जिला में हो रहे अत्याचारों का फोटोकॉपी है | जैसा फिल्म है बिल्कुल वही दंतेवाड़ा में हो रहा है| इस अन्याय को देखकर लगता है कि देश में मानवता खत्म हो गई और आने वाले कल में मानव समाज का अन्त है| जिन आदिवासियों को आदिकाल से इस देश में जी रहे है बोला जाता है उनका अस्तित्व खतरे में है| वैसे भी केन्द्र के लाल कृष्ण आडवानी ने पहले से कह रखा है कि सरकार छत्तीसगढ़ में भाजपा की है जब चाहूँ तब आर्मी भेजकर नक्सली अर्थात आदिवासियों का सफाया कर सकता हूँ| सरकार तो आदिवासियों को ही नक्सली कहती है | जबकि पूरे देश के कुछ राज्यों में नक्सली हैं, लेकिन ये सरकारे तो जहाँ आदिवासी राज्य है उन्ही राज्यों को नक्सल राज्य कहती है| मैं एक स्वतंत्र पत्रकार हूँ लेकिन मेरी स्वतंत्रता जेल में छीन ली गई है | यह पत्र लिखकर शायद आदिवासियों के साथ अन्याय बढ़ जाये| मुझे पत्र लिखने के जुर्म में कुछ भी हो सकता है | मैं तो चाहता हूँ कि मुझे जितना जल्दी हो सके गोली मार दे या फांसी दे दे ताकि मरकर मानव जाति बनाने वाले ईश्वर से कि हम आदिवासियों को पृथ्वी में प्रकृति के साथ जीने का अधिकार क्यों नहीं दिया| मैंने एक ग्रन्थ में पढ़ा था कि हर शरीर में ईश्वर बसते है! लेकिन मैं लोगों से न्याय मांगकर थक गया | मेरे जीवन में इस सरकार ने घृणा के कांटे इतने बिछा दिये कि उन कांटो पर चलना शायद मेरे बस में नहीं है| मुझे लगता है कि शमशान से अच्छा घर इस दुनिया में और कोई दूसरा मेरे लिये हो ही नहीं सकता |
हिमांशु सर आपने एकबार कहा था मरना आसान है जीना मुश्किल, लेकिन मेरे लिये तो मरना और जीना दोनों ही मुश्किल है | मेरे पास आंसुओ के अलावा कुछ नहीं है जीने की इच्छा शक्ति भी खत्म होते जा रही है| देश के तमाम बुद्धिजीवियों एवं नागरिकों से मेरी हाथ जोड़कर विनती है कि मुझे जितना जल्दी हो सके मृत्यु दे दे | हमारे साथ हो रहे अन्यायों का जितना निंदा व टिप्पणी करूं कम है, मेरे पास इतने शब्द नहीं कि मैं पूरी बात लिख सकूँ | भय और डर के कारण लिखने में कई गलतियाँ हुई होगी, आपसे क्षमा चाहता हूँ सर | इस पत्र को लोगों के समक्ष बताकर मुझे जल्द से जल्द इस जीवन से मुक्त कर दीजिये | ज्यादा समय तक जेल में रहा तो देश के चार स्तम्भों के बारे में सोच-सोच कर पागल हो जाऊंगा ऐसा होना नहीं चाहता | मैंने सत्य और अहिंसा को अपनाकर बहुत कुछ अपना खो दिया है| जेल में भी हार्डकोर नक्सली के नाम से निगरानी में हूँ | इतना कुछ मेरे साथ क्यों? आखिर मेरे सत्य और अहिंसा के मार्ग पर चलने से इस देश की अखण्डता और एकता टूट जाती है क्या? या ये मार्ग गलत है? गांधीजी का हर जगह फोटो और वचन लिखा जाता है, पर मानता कोई नहीं क्यों? देश के बुद्धिजीवियों का आभारी रहूँगा |
                                                            लिंगा राम कोडोपी
                                                            केन्द्रीय जेल जगदलपुर 


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May 2012
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