#India – For the love of justice #Chhattisgarh #Salwajudum


naxalarea

Nandini Sundar   July 04, 2013

On July 5 2011, a Bench of Justice B Sudershan Reddy and Justice SS Nijjar of the Supreme Court delivered what is widely regarded as a landmark judgement, banning Salwa Judum by any name, and disbanding and disarming special police officers (SPOs) who had been responsible, along with security forces, for many human rights violations. 

The only activity that the erstwhile SPOs would be permitted was traffic and disaster management, and that too, only if they were innocent of any crimes.

The court ordered that criminal investigations and prosecutions be initiated in Chhattisgarh. Earlier that year, they had also directed that the security forces vacate all schools and ashrams, with the aim of restarting schools in the villages.

 

 

The Bench asked the CBI to investigate the March 2011 rapes, murder and arson in Tadmetla and neighbouring villages and subsequent events in which Swami Agnivesh was attacked while trying to deliver relief.

As Justice Reddy (now retired) said in a recent interview, had the Supreme Court’s orders been implemented, perhaps the May 25 attack could have been avoided. However, far from obeying the court, the governments in Chhattisgarh and the Centre have done everything possible to flout the order.

The Union of India attempted to have the order overturned through a review petition, but succeeded only in having it limited to Chhattisgarh. The government of Chhattisgarh responded by renaming all the SPOs, ‘armed auxiliary forces’ with effect from the date of the judgement, and giving them automatic weapons and higher salaries.

Schools are still occupied, no prosecutions have taken place, no victims of the violence perpetrated by Salwa Judum have received any compensation, and the CBI enquiry is still incomplete.

The CBI first visited Tadmetla in January 2012. In February, the Maoists killed one of the former SPOs, Kartam Surya, who had been accused of rape, and whom the state had been staunchly defending inside and outside court.

The SPOs then physically attacked the CBI team. They have now decided to conduct their enquiry out of Jagdalpur. In May this year, the villagers travelled 400 km to depose, including old men and breastfeeding mothers, leaving aside their annual tendu patta earnings.

The state government continues to stall all mention of a joint monitoring committee led by eminent independent persons, which alone can ensure that FIRs are registered, compensation given and some degree of normalcy restored.

In March 2012, the petitioners filed a contempt petition. There have been 13 listings since, but not one hearing. On six occasions, we sat in court but the matter was not heard because other cases before it took up all the time.

The matter was adjourned four times because despite asking and being given a ‘non-miscellaneous day’ by the court, the listing branch of the Supreme Court assigned it to a miscellaneous day. (Tuesdays to Thursdays are non-miscellaneous days, where matters can be heard properly while Mondays and Fridays are frenzied because a large number of fresh matters are considered for admission).

On three occasions, when everything was right — it was a non-miscellaneous day and our turn had come — Chhattisgarh’s counsel bought time on technicalities.

The only people to have benefitted from the Supreme Court litigation so far are the SPOs and the lawyers for the Chhattisgarh government, who have made lakhs in fees for delaying justice to starving adivasis.

Chhattisgarh’s litigation strategy is also to keep filing affidavits with the same data, but under different annexure numbers, in order to mislead the court. On the other hand, the lawyers for the petitioners, Ashok Desai and Nitya Ramakrishnan and their juniors, have put in years of pro-bono work (seven years already and still counting), at considerable personal cost.

Sumita Hazarika as the advocate on record (AOR) has gracefully filed endless affidavits. Our co-petitioner Kartam Joga suffered two-and-a-half years in jail on false charges, before being acquitted earlier this year.

My years of court observation have instilled an enormous respect for the judges whose daily workload involves reading voluminous briefs and listening to a series of complicated matters.

There has to be a system which is less cruel to them, as well as to PIL lawyers and ordinary litigants, such as more reliance on written documents and limited time for arguments, as is the case in other countries.

No litigant from outside Delhi can afford to keep coming for hearings. And no adivasis on their own could afford to fight such battles in the Supreme Court.

The security forces killed 25 innocent villagers, including several children, in two separate attacks — Sarkeguda in June 2012 and Edesmetta in May. The Maoists kidnapped Alex Menon, the district collector of Sukma, in March 2012, and killed 27 Congress leaders and workers in May.

Unless there is a breakthrough of some kind, there is no prospect of peace. Implementing court orders will not resolve everything but justice goes much further than anything else.

What is surprising is not that adivasis support the Maoists against the police. What is inspiring is how adivasis continue to believe in justice, to send letters to the court, to attend CBI hearings.

Hope is the hardest thing to extinguish in the human heart, and justice is the gossamer thread that binds people to the State.

Nandini Sundar is a litigant in the Salwa Judum case

The views expressed by the author are personal

IADHRI Demands Liberty and Justice for All Indian Citizens #India #republicday #vaw


 January 26, 2013 | 

Republic Day of India, 2013
Contact: iadhri.org@gmail.com

Calls for investigation and punishment of police officials Garg and Kalluri and withdrawal of their presidential medals

On January 26th, 2013, India celebrates its 64th Republic Day. The anniversary of the Indian Constitution’s adoption is always a time for not just celebration, but for reflection; a time to take stock of how far the nation has come in securing, for all its citizens, justice, liberty and equality as enshrined in the Constitution.

Over the last month, the rape and subsequent death of a young woman in Delhi – a particularly brutal incident, yet only one in an endless series of similar crimes that are reported, month after month, if they are reported at all – triggered international shock and outrage. The incident served as a stark reminder that, decades after the adoption of the Constitution, the liberty to live our lives without fear remains unsecured. For women in many communities across the country, especially those on the economic and social margins, such as dalits and adivasis, this insecurity permeates the fabric of day to day life – sexual assault, violence, imprisonment and threats thereof are commonplace. In any discussion of the questions that the gang-rape in Delhi raises, it is to these women and to these communities that we must look: the truest measure of a society lies in how it treats those who have the least power. None of us is safer or freer than the most vulnerable among us.

In the last few weeks, there has been much discussion on how to make sure that survivors of rape and violence receive justice consistently and rapidly. It is worth remembering, as these discussions take place, the spectacular failure of our judiciary and democratic processes in delivering justice to Soni Sori, the adivasi school teacher and mother of three from Chhattisgarh who has been incarcerated since October 2011 [1]. A year ago this January 26th, India awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry to an officer, SP Ankit Garg, despite compelling medical evidence that Sori was tortured and sexually assaulted while under his custody [2].

This is not an isolated case, but part of a pattern of such incidents. In a bizarre repetition of last year’s act of rewarding-the-perpetrator, the Government of India has decided to confer the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service this Republic Day, January 26th 2013, to Inspector General of Police S.R.P. Kalluri, who has well-documented rape accusations against him in Chhattisgarh [3, 4].

Sori’s petition in the Supreme Court as well as the cases in which Sori has been falsely charged have been subject to repeated delays. In the interim, neither the elected Government, nor independent bodies such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Commission for Women (NCW), have instituted serious investigations into the indications that Sori was tortured- her fingers seem to have been blackened from electric shocks and doctors recovered stones that had been thrust into her vagina and rectum. Indeed, the NCW revealed last October that it had closed its inquiry into the case, and has remained silent since, apart from making an anodyne recommendation of providing psychological counseling to Sori [5]. Although, on January 8th 2013, the Supreme Court granted Sori’s plea to be shifted to Jagdalpur jail, to be closer to her family [6], she remains in the custody of those who stand accused of torturing her.

Sori has spoken to a legal team of the humiliation and violence that she and other women prisoners are routinely subjected to. Besides this, jails in Chhattisgarh have an occupancy rate of around 256%, with 13,918 individuals incarcerated in space built to accommodate 5,430. The all-India rate is 110% [7]. Between 2001-2010, an average of four individuals died each day in police custody [8].

What makes these statistics all the more disturbing is that a majority of those imprisoned are under-trials such as Sori, who have not been convicted of any crime. The prolonged detention of these individuals – often for years altogether, as their cases move sluggishly through the judicial system amounts to an unconstitutional deprivation of the liberty of lawfully innocent citizens.

Indeed, the state increasingly uses the process of trial as a punishment in itself, as in the case of Kartam Joga, a man who, for years, tirelessly sought accountability for human rights violations by state forces in Chhattisgarh. On January 7th, 2013, a trial court acquitted Joga of all of a panoply of fabricated charges [9]; an innocent man thus spent the past two and a half years of his life in jail. Lingaram Kodopi (Sori’s nephew), a 25-year old journalist who worked to document abuses by security forces, remains imprisoned, awaiting trial, even as local police officers have been recorded admitting that the charges against him are fabricated [1]. Kodopi has also suffered custodial violence [10]. Numerous others have been thus imprisoned on the weakest of grounds seemingly as punishment for criticising the state’s actions or for otherwise challenging local authorities. Although we welcome the release of Kartam Joga and others who have been put through similar ordeals, the state must cease its intimidation and harassment of those who seek to hold it accountable to its own people.

In the 2G spectrum case, the Supreme Court recently commented that “this court has time and again stated that bail is the rule and committal to jail an exception… The courts owe more than verbal respect to the principle that punishment begins after conviction, and that every man is deemed to be innocent until duly tried and duly found guilty” [11]. This is a sound and practical principle; we ask that it be invoked not only in the trials of the influential but also in the trials of the weak and marginalized.

If we are to continue to place our trust in the rights that the Constitution upholds and seeks to guarantee every citizen in India, if we are to address the deep-rooted issue of violence against women, then we must be able to ensure liberty and justice to those who are the most vulnerable in our societies. To that end, we demand:

  • Ensure a speedy, free and  fair trials for Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi.

  • Conduct an independent and impartial investigation of incidents of sexual violence against women, including Soni Sori, committed by the police and other security forces; prosecute the responsible officers and impose exemplary punishment on those found guilty. Withdraw the Presidential Gallantry Awards given to Police Superintendent Ankit Garg and Inspector General of Police S.R.P. Kalluri.

  • Grant unconditional bail to undertrials from socially and economically marginalised communites, languishing in jails in Chhattisgarh and across India.

  • Ensure that all cases, particularly those against individuals from marginalised communities, are disposed of in a timely manner so that the process of securing justice is not a punishment in itself.

  • Constitute a grievance redressal mechanism for individuals who have been wrongly detained or subject to custodial violence.

International Alliance for the Defence of Human Rights in India (IADHRI)

[1] Tehelka: ‘The Inconvenient Truth Of Soni Sori’
http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Ne151011coverstory.asp

[2] The Hindu: ‘Soni Sori case: HRW wants PM to order impartial probe on torture’
http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/soni-sori-case-hrw-wants-pm-to-order-impartial-probe-on-torture/article2971330.ece

[3] Statement of protest and demand for withdrawal of Meritorious Service award to S.R.P. Kalluri
http://iadhri.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/statement-of-protest-and-demand-for-withdrawal-of-meritorious-service-award-to-srp-kalluri/

[4] Ledha Bai’s Statement Against S.R.P. Kalluri
https://iadhri.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/ledha-bais-statement-against-srp-kalluri/

[5]Tehelka: ‘NCW first shuts, then reopens Soni Sori’s case’
http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main54.asp?filename=Ws101012Chhattisgarh.asp

[6] Press Trust of India: ‘SC allows Soni Sori to be shifted to Jagdalpur Central Jail’
http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/sc-allows-soni-sori-to-be-shifted-to-jagdalpur-central-jail/106440/.

[7]National Crime Records Bureau: http://ncrb.nic.in/PSI-2011/TABLE-2.1.pdf

[8]Tehelka:  ‘Four custodial deaths daily over the last decade’
http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main51.asp?filename=Ws211111HUMAN_RIGHTS.asp

[9]Amnesty International: ‘India frees prisoner of conscience Kartam Joga’
https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/india-frees-prisoner-conscience-kartam-joga-2013-01-08

[10] Committee to Protect Journalists: ‘In India, imprisoned journalist’s plea for help’
http://cpj.org/blog/2012/06/in-india-imprisoned-journalists-plea-for-help.php

[11] The Hindu: ‘‘Respect principle that punishment begins after conviction’’
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2652745.ece

 

PRESS RELEASE- Statement of Protest and Demand for withdrawal of Gallantry award to SRP Kalluri


KALLURI

  25th January 2013

We, the undersigned, are appalled at the conferment of the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service to SRP Kalluri, IGP of Chhattisgarh.  Mr Kalluri raped a tribal woman, Ledha Bai, when he was the SP of Sarguja District, ordered her gang-rape by his juniors, and then terrorized her and her lawyer when she decided to file a complaint against him.  Coming on the heels of the award of the President’s Gallantry medal to Ankit Garg, who had sexually assaulted another tribal woman in his custody, Soni Sori, it appears that sexual violence against women by the police is well tolerated, and even decorated, by the government. Is it any wonder then, that we are witnessing a spiraling increase in crimes against women?

Ledha Bai is a tribal woman who was married to Ramesh Nagesia, a member of the CPI(Maoists).  Under advice from the police, she convinced her husband to surrender himself to the police. But, the police team, lead by the then-SP of Sarguja, Mr. SRP Kalluri, went to the pre-assigned meeting place and shot the unarmed Ramesh Nagesia dead, in front of his wife Ledha.  Ledha was allowed to live, but with the caveat that she would not tell anyone about this episode.  However, a few days later, Ledha, her 2 year old child and her parents were rounded up and taken to the police station. There, Ledha was stripped and raped by Mr. Kalluri, and green chillies were inserted into her vagina in front of her parents and daughter.  Under orders from Mr Kalluri, SPO Dhiraj Jaiswal and others gangraped her in police custody for about 10 days.  All this has been documented by several fact-finding teams and was also corroborated by Ledha’s statement in front of a magistrate.

When Ledha tried to lodge a complaint against Mr. Kalluri, she and her father were intimidated to the extent that they had to withdraw the complaint, and instead, false charges were filed against the lawyer who had helped her file the complaint.

Mr. Kalluri is well-known for the reign of terror he let loose in Sarguja district as its SP, under the pretext of fighting Maoists.  Extra-judicial killings were frequent, such as the one of Narayan Khairwar, and anyone who raised a voice against this was victimized.  Even a Rozgar Yatra led by the eminent economist Jean Dreze was subjected to a  lathi-charge, on account of being constituted of suspected Maoists.

Later on, Mr. Kalluri was transferred to Dantewada as Senior Superintendent of Police.  His authoritarian rule continued there, and activists and ordinary tribals were subjected to endless harassment under his orders.  Himanshu Kumar, a well-known Gandhian activist opposing Salwa Judum, had his ashram demolished and was forced to flee from Dantewada.  Mr. Kalluri held a press conference announcing the well-respected international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders, were helping Maoists.  In another press conference, he announced that Lingaram Kodopi, a 20 year old journalism student in NOIDA who had addressed public meetings in Delhi talking about the reign of terror in Dantewada under Salwa Judum and Operation Green Hunt, was in fact a spokesperson for the CPI(Maoist) and had masterminded a Naxalite attack in Dantewada while sitting in Delhi.  Linga’s aunt, Soni Sodi, another outspoken tribal woman, was harassed by having multiple false cases lodged against her, and her husband arrested in another false case.  Any tribal activist, other than those working for the ruling party, were arrested and thrown into jail.  Consequently, CPI was forced to write a letter of protest to the Prime Minister, complaining of the witch hunt of their party workers under Mr. Kalluri’s reign, more than a dozen of whom were arrested and many of whom still continue to languish in jail. Kartam Joga, an elected Janpad member of the CPI, who had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against Salwa Judum, was similarly picked up on spurious charges and has just been released after 29 months in prison.

In March 2011, SPOs torched three villages in Dantewada district. As Swami Agnivesh was attempting to deliver relief to these villages, police sealed off these areas and attacked the convoy along with Swami ji and accompanying journalists.  The uproar created in the wake of this incident forced the Chhattisgarh government to transfer Mr. Kalluri out of this area.

In view of these crimes committed by Mr. Kalluri, we are unable to understand what constitutes meritorious service in the eyes of our government.  We demand that the medal be immediately withdrawn.

Signed by –

Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist

Sudha Bharadwaj, Advocate

Shalini Gera, Activist

Nandini Sundar, Academic

Himanshu Kumar, Gandhian activist

Indira Chakravarti

Bela Bhatia, Academic

Kalpana Mehta

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Feminist and human rights activist, Mumbai

Vrinda Grover, Advocate

Ram Punyani, Scientist and Activist

Mansi Sharma, Activist

Naish Hasan, Activist, Lucknow

Sheba George, Activist, Gujarat

Mahtab Alam, Activist and Journalist

Manisha Sethi, Activist-Academician

Sanghamitra Misra, Activist-Academician

Syed Zafar Mehdi, Journalist

Dr. John Dayal, All India Christian Council & Member, National Integration Council, GoI

Ahmed Sohaib, Activist-Academician

Aslam Khan, Activist, Delhi

Kavita Srivastava, PUCL

Navaid Hamid, member, Member, National Integration Council, GoI

S R Darapuri, former DGP Police

Annie Raja, National Federation of Indian Women

Zakia Soman, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

Zulaikha Zabeen, Journalist, Raipur

Sucheta De, AISA

Asad Zaidi, Three Essays Collective

Vinay Bhatt, Activist

Shaheen Nazar, Senior Journalist

Harsh Dobhal, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)

Kavita Krishnan, All India Progressive Women Association (AIPWA)

Reena Philipm, Activist, Kerala

Reny Ayline, NCHRO

Purva Bhardwaj, Activist and Researcher

Prof. Apoorvanand, Delhi University

Kumar Sundaram, CNDP

Lateef Mohd Khan, CLMC, Hyderabad

Jay N Jayram, Researcher and Journalist

Seema Mustafa, Senior Journalist

Dilip Simeon, Academician

Aijaz Zaka Syed, Writer and Columnist

Prakash K Ray, Researcher

Irshadul Haque, Editor, Naukarshahi.in

Iftikhar Gilani, Senior Journalist

Seela Mahapatra & Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM

Prasad Chako

Utkarsh Sinha

Jawed Naqvi, Senior Journalist

Vineet Tiwari, Gen Sec, M P PWA

Meera Ahmed, University of Delhi
References:

1. Fact finding report on Ledha’s custodial rape http://www.hrsolidarity.net/mainfile.php/2006vol16no02/2491/
2. Affidavit filed by Swami Agnivesh in Supreme Court http://www.swamiagnivesh.com/SwamiAgniveshaffidavit.doc.pdf
3. Account of attack on Jean Dreze and Rozgar Yatra http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2213/stories/20050701006013300.htm
4. Letter from CPI to the PM http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2010-07-17/news/28409499_1_cpi-general-secretary-maoists-s-r-p-kalluri

Chhattisgarh Court acquits all 10 accused in #Dantewada massacre #goodnews


Kartam Joga, nine other tribals, were in prison since 2010 in charges of being involved in the Naxal ambush in which 76 CRPF jawans were killed in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh

January 8, 2013

File photo of the coffins of the 76 CRPF jawans in Jagdalpur. Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Ten tribal men, accused of killing 76 CRPF troops in Chhattisgarh three years back, have been acquitted for want of evidence. Kartam Joga, the petitioner against Salwa Judum in the Supreme Court, and zila panchayat member of CPI from Konta, has been acquitted by the Dantewada district court along with nine other accused. After Kartam Joga’s release, CPI took out a victory parade at their Sukma district headquarters under the leadership of Manish Kunjam.

Both CPI and Joga’s relatives have been saying all along that the police action was retaliation. TEHELKA had inquired into the matter after Joga’s arrest (Is CPI the next target in Bastar, Tehelka Vol 7, Issue 40, October 2010). The police had produced 43 witnesses in court. But ADJ Anita Dehriya found no substance in the police theory that the accused had killed the CRPF  jawans and looted their weapons. In Tadmetla case, the police had filed chargesheet against 92 people, 82 of the accused are yet to be arrested.

Along with Kartam Joga, Poyam Ganga, Podiyam Hidma, Kawari Budra, Duro Joga, Barse Lakhma, Madkam Ganga, Rajesh Nayak, and Madwi Dula have been in jail since September 2010. During the last two and a half years, the prosecution has not been able to prove a single charge. Joga’s lawyer Ashok Jain told TEHELKA that besides Tadmetla, the police have also filed cases against the accused of being involved in other cases of  naxal violence.  Joga had already been acquitted of other charges earlier.

Joga had filed a case against Salwa Judum in the Supreme Court. It is believed such cases were filed against them in retaliation. Meanwhile, CPI leader Manish Kunjam has hailed the courts decision as victory of jus

 

Operation Green Hunt Enters New Phase


Sanhati, March 29, 2012

by Sudha Bharadwaj

It is quite evident that after the phase of “Salwa Judum” and the phase of “Operation Green Hunt”, anti-Naxal operations have entered a new phase variously called “Operation Haka” and “Operation Vijay”.

While certain media reports present very different pictures of this Operation [see appendixes], both the spokespersons of the Security Forces and Maoists claim that this Operation took place in the Abujhmaad/Maad area fairly deep in the forests; a large number of joint paramilitary forces about 3000 in number participated.

While the police reports speak of Naxalite camps destroyed, Maoists encountered and arrested, the Maoist spokesperson claims that houses were burnt down, adivaasi villagers were beaten, including beaten to death, and those arrested have not been produced before courts.

During the phase of “Salwa Judum” about 500 deaths were documented on affidavit in a part of South Bastar alone, and these affidavits have been filed in the Supreme Court by Kartam Joga and others. Kartam Joga is a senior CPI leader who is now in jail on false allegations of participating in the Tadmetla attack on the CRPF. This case, linked with the Nandini Sundar case, is awaiting final adjudication in the Supreme Court.

Another list of 192 extra judicial killings, alleged to have occurred in Dantewada during Operation Green Hunt, between 2009 and 2011, has been submitted by the National PUCL with a request for investigation/enquiry before the NHRC, but no action seems to have been taken so far.

In the above circumstances, certain issues arise before us in the human rights community.

Free and independent reporting in the media of the ongoing Operations would be the only source of information regarding what is happening in these interior areas. How do we, together with journalists associations, ensure journalists are protected ?

Since an extremely hostile atmosphere has been created vis-à-vis Civil Liberties groups in Chhattisgarh, particularly in Bastar, Dantewada, how do we collectively set up some effective and sufficiently high powered human rights monitoring ?

How do we ensure that earlier enquiries pending before the NHRC are completed effectively and expeditiously ?

The recent affidavit of the CBI in the Supreme Court that, when they went to investigate the Morpalli-Tadmetla-Timmapur arson incident, as directed by the Supreme Court, they were fired upon by the Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Force (SPOs) is particularly an issue of great concern, and the manner in which it is dealt with by the Supreme Court would be very important.

Since, in the circumstances, the possibility of killings of non-combatant villagers is enormous, how do we campaign to ensure strict adherence to the NHRC guidelines that whenever a complaint is made alleging that an encounter is a false one, it must be effectively and fairly investigated into ?

The role of the judiciary when arrested persons are not produced before the courts is crucial. If habeas corpus petitions are not effective in the High Court, should we consider moving the Supreme Court directly ?

The Government is in a denial mode in which officially there is no armed conflict in this area. It is thus protecting itself from the operation of international conventions relating to the protection of human rights. How can this be effectively
countered ?

Please do send your comments and suggestions.

Sudha Bharadwaj
General Secretary
Chhattisgarh PUCL.

Appendix A : Nai Dunia (Bilaspur Edition, 19th March 2012)

Naxalite firing on helicopter in Abujhmaad

Narayanpur. In Operation Vijay carried out by the police for five days with the purpose of liberating three villages in Naxalite-dominated Abujhmaad from the Naxalites, the police liberated three villages Jatwaar, Hikonaar, and Toke where the Naxalites had their school, Anganwadi and farmhouse. During this operation the police demolished several camps of the Naxalites. In about a dozen encounters three Naxalites were arrested. One of these was a member of the Childrens’ Action Team.

The Superintendent of Police said that in the course of this when the helicopter reached to take the injured jawaans, the Naxalites fired on it, due to which two bullets hit the helicopter but no major incident occurred. During the operation the police recovered apart from weapons, explosives, a large quantity of Naxalite literature, articles of daily use and pamphlets. SP Mayank Shrivastava, after returning from the 5 day operation said that that there had been continuous information that in three villages of the Ghamandi Panchayat of Abujhmaad – Toke, Hikonaar and Jatvar – where Naxalites had established their empire and were running their own school and anganwaadi (crèche) and were working against democracy. At the same place there had been information that the villagers were cultivating crops on their own lands for them.

On this basis a joint team of the Police which included 8 Officers and jawans of the CRPF, COBRA, and District Police Force left for the jungles of Abujhmaad under the name of Operation Vijay, since there are no means of transportation in Abujhmaad. In this way it took about 2 to 3 days to cover a distance of about 45 km. In order to reach these villages, encounters with Naxalites took place about a dozen times in which two jawaans of the COBRA were also injured. There is also a possibility that several Naxalites were also killed in these encounters though they were not successful in recovering even one dead body. But there is information that one senior Naxalite has been injured. In these encounters several camps of Naxalites were demolished. In these camps, a large quantity of Naxal literature, and items of daily use were also recovered, but since the distance was too much so most of the recovered materials were destroyed on the spot.

SP Mr Shrivastava said that when the helicopter had come to Jatvar to airlift the injured jawaans, during that time the Naxalites had also fired on the helicopter owing to which 2 bullets hit the helicopter. During the operation three Naxalites were arrested with weapons – Ghasiraam Vadde, Betia Ram Vadde and Sadhuram of the Baal Action Team (Children’s Action Team) were arrested. One 303 Rifle, one 12 bore gun and 4 Bharmaar guns (country made), a large quantity of live cartridges, electric wire, multimeter, Printer, Naxal literature, Naxalite uniforms etc were recovered. Apart from this there are allegations that Jenigota and another person were injured in police firing. It was also alleged that rice, lentils, chickens and other household items were looted from several houses. Naxalites have said that Boye, Raju, Paali, Maalu, Mangi were beaten up very badly and Sanuu Podadi, Vakte Badde of Ikunaar; and Lalsu Vedde, Vitiya Vedde …. [incomplete in the newspaper]

Appendix B : Patrika (Bilaspur Edition, 20th March 2012)

Police entered Abujhmaad for the first time

Operation Haka – Explosives and arms found in large quantity. Dozens of camps of Maoists destroyed, Operation went on in 450 km thick jungle.

Reached in these areas :

[1] From Chhotedongar, Mardapaal, Kaknaar, and Bhatpaal up to Killam.
[2] From Matwaada and Bhairamgarh in Beejapur to Lekhavaada and Podgu.
[3] From Gadchiroli to Kohkameta, Iraqbhatti, Toke.

For the first time police entered 80 km within the stronghold of the Maoists. Chhattisgarh Police and CRPF carried out searching operations with 3000 strong force. In this period 13 Maoists were arrested and dozens of camps were destroyed. This Operation was carried out to raise the morale of the Police force. This major action was carried out two years after the bar on entering Abujhmaad had been lifted. According to DGP Anil Navaani, in this Operation named “Haka”, the police entered inaccessible jungle areas and destroyed the Maoist camps of Lekhavaada and Podgu.

Appendix C : Navbharat (Raipur Edition, 24th March 2012)

Terror of the Security Forces in Abujhmaad

On the lines of Salwa Judum, houses were burnt, adivaasis beaten up, death of two persons, several injured.

Naxalites alleged that the police is clearing the way for the Army.

Conspiracy is being hatched to chase off the adivaasis from Maad. Claiming that this Operation was a part of Green Hunt, Naxalite leader said that the armed forces, on the one hand, run the Civic Action Programme, and on the other, on the lines of Salwa Judum, they are hatching new conspiracies each day to burn houses, and to chase away adivaasis from Maad, so that the multinational corporations can capture the minerals and forest wealth of this area.

Raipur. Navbharat Samachar. The Naxalites were alleging that in the name of Operation, the security forces have wreaked terror on the adivaasis. During the Operation conducted from 13th to 18th March, the Security Forces raided a dozen villages in the Abujhmaad area and beat up several adivaasis, owing to which they have sustained injuries. The Naxalites have alleged that in this Operation some villagers have also been killed.

Through the statement and photographs released by the Maad-North Bastar Divisional Committee, its Secretary KA said that in these villages the security forces of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra conducted joint operations in these villages and caused large scale mayhem, to which the PLGA has also countered. In this encounter two jawaans of the COBRA battalion were injured. Naxalites have claimed that they have seized the rations of the security forces. It was alleged that this operation by the Security Forces was in order to clear the way for the Army. The Naxalite leader in his statement has said that the villagers of Godelmarka, Ikonaar, Jetvaaya, Podenaar and Toke villages have been affected the most. It has been said that an adivaasi named Dunga has been killed in the course of beating. It has also been said that some houses of the adivaasis have also been burnt. Idma Karu of Kodenaar has not been produced before the court even after being arrested by the police. In this statement issued, it was said that more than 3000 jawaans of the CRPF, STF, COBRA and BSF were involved.

Faking Democracy- Operation Green Hunt

Video of Republic Day protest against Gallantry awards in San Francisco


Concerned citizens and friends of India organized a peaceful protest in San Francisco outside the venue of the official Republic Day function hosted by the Indian Consulate which was expected to be attended by around 400 invitees – the movers and shakers of the Indian community as well as local politicians. Much to our satisfaction, we were able to engage in one-on-one conversations with many of the attendees outside the venue and distribute flyers. Many of them signed our petition and many more were sympathetic.

The petition is as follows

Every year on the 26th of January, we celebrate the Constitution of India [1]. Every 30th of January, we remember the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to freedom. However, for the vast majority of the people of India, even the most basic of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution – the right to life and personal liberty and due legal process if these rights are to be abridged – remain unrealized promises. And the ideals of the independence struggle, as articulated by Gandhi, stand indelibly tarnished.

One of the most shocking recent instances of this trampling upon the Indian constitution is the torture and sexual abuse of prisoner Soni Sori [2,3]. An adivasi school teacher from the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, Sori had exposed evidence of police misconduct in the framing of several cases against her [4]. Police intimidation forced her to flee, and she reached Delhi seeking legal assistance, but was arrested before she could file a petition in the Supreme Court. Fearing for her life in Chhattisgarh, she asked to be held in custody in Delhi, despite which she was handed over to the Chhattisgarh police [5]. In custody, Soni Sori was brutally tortured by the Chhattisgarh police, because of her refusal to corroborate their false statements. A subsequent independent medical examination found sizable stones lodged in her vagina and her rectum and severe damage to her spinal cord [6].

Another instance is the case of Lingaram Kodopi. In 2009, Kodopi was locked up by the police in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh for 40 days, tortured and pressured to join a vigilante force [7]. After the High Court ordered his release, Lingaram went on to complete a course in journalism, and later documented villagers’ accounts of arson, murder and rape during a three-day police operation in March 2011. In September 2011, Lingaram was arrested on charges of collecting ‘protection’ money for the Maoists from Essar, a large business conglomerate. Sori, his aunt, came under pressure from the police to persuade Lingaram to accept the charges. She refused, saying the charges were false and ended up being an accused herself. Amnesty International has pronounced both Sori and Kodopi, Prisoners of Conscience [8].

Sori’s and Kodopi’s are not isolated cases. Authorities in various parts of India have a record of imprisoning innocent people, including human rights workers, on false charges, the most notable case being that of Dr. Binayak Sen. Dr. Sen was convicted of ‘sedition’, and sentenced to life imprisonment, but released by the Supreme Court on bail, pending appeal [9]. Many other innocent people, mostly from marginalized sections of the society, continue to languish in India’s jails; Adivasi activist Kartam Joga [10] and labor leaders, Bhagwati Sahu [11] and Abhay Sahoo [12], are just some of them. Others like Kopa Kunjam [13] and documentarian Ajay TG [14] were released on bail and are awaiting trial. Arun Ferreira, a social and human rights activist, was acquitted in 11 different cases for lack of evidence, but re-arrested each time on a fresh set of charges, until he was finally released on bail on the 4th January [15].

In custody, Soni Sori was pressured by the police to implicate many prominent human rights activists as Maoists [16]. Though Sori resisted the pressure, other news reports indicate a concerted attempt on the part of the state to stigmatize human rights defenders [17]. This was a serious concern placed on record by Margaret Sekaggya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, after the completion of a mission to India a year ago [18].

The gross misconduct of the police is enabled by several draconian laws of questionable Constitutional validity, such as the law against sedition in the Indian Penal Code [19], the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act [20], the Armed Forces Special Powers Act [21] and state-specific laws such as the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (CSPSA) [22]. These laws are intended to help the police to bring charges against anyone on no or the flimsiest of evidence or to arrest and detain people for extended periods without charges or evidence. This process of filing false charges and detention based on them, is being used as a punitive tool in itself.

Where there are credible reports of torture or of other grave misconduct by the police, rarely have the police authorities been investigated, or the democratically elected representatives sanctioning systemic abuses held accountable [23].

Therefore, we demand that:

Torture and other prisoner abuses must stop

Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders must end

The practice of filing false charges, extended detentions without trial, and “arrest, detention and trial” as punishment must end

The law against sedition (Section 124A of Indian Penal Code) be abolished

Laws which give unconditional and unchecked power to the authorities, such as UAPA, AFSPA and CSPSA, be abolished

Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi be released immediately and unconditionally

Police and higher level government officials responsible for torturing and pressuring Soni Sori be prosecuted

Pl sign petition here

Below is a short  video (3 min) of the  Republic Day protest against Gallantry awards in San Francisco

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

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