Skip to main content

Preventing detention of activists ahead of Gujarat CM programme "no violation of human rights", is perfectly "legal"

Romel Sutariya
By Our Representative
In an official communication, the Gujarat police suggests it doesn’t think there is anything wrong with detaining activists seeking to protest against programmes involving state chief minister Anandiben Patel. In a letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi, the state police has justified the detentions, which took place on December 20, 2014, ahead of the chief minister’s visit to Chhotaudepur in South Gujarat.
The letter, which is with Counterview, is in response to the complaint by Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha (AKSM) chief Romel Sutariya, who was among tens of tribal farmer activists detained. Sutariya and his colleagues had planned protest against “failure” of the Gujarat government to act against sand mafia, corroding the local river, as also failure to pay dues to tribal farmers for sugarcane sold to a local industrial cooperative.
AKSM is an upcoming tribal farmers’ organization in South Gujarat, currently operating in two new districts – Chhotaudepur and Vyara – situated between the Narmada dam and Gujarat’s cultural capital, Vadodara.
Sutariya had made the complaint against “illegal” detentions, ordered by the then district police chief, Chhotaudepur, Rajan Sushra, on December 29, 2015. The NHRC sought reply from the state police on February 27, 2015. The reply, signed by Anupam Singh Gahlaut, deputy inspector general of police, Vadodara range, was sent on May 11, 2015.
While in between a large number of similar detentions and arrests have continued all over Gujarat, including of Jayram Gamit, a tribal activist under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act for above a month, and more recently of Sutariya for a four days, a Gujarat court recently termed Sutariya’s arrest “illegal” (click HERE to read).
The Gujarat police letter to the NHRC says, the applicant, Sutariya, had alleged that the district pulice chief, Chhotaudepur, had “misused the police powers”. It says, “The complaint of the applicant, has been enquired through”, and that “the representation made by the applicant Sutariya is not true”.
Claiming that the detentions were under law, the reply says, “The Chhotaudepur district police intelligence branch had received secret inputs through various police stations that the applicant, with his workers will disrupt and organize agitation at Bodeli against the chief minister, which will lead into mass scale anarchy at the site of the programme and security of VVIP may be put under danger, which may lead to law and order situation in the district.”
“Following the input of disruption, necessary action to be taken was the priority for the Chhotaudepur police. Having this information some of police stations had watched the activities of the AKSM members”, the letter says, even as proceeding to give following details of detention of “disruptive persons” under sections 68 and 69 of the Gujarat Police Act:
(1) Eight persons of Sankheda police station area were detained under the Gujarat Police Act, under Section 68 (preventive detention), on December 20, 2014 at 10.30 am, and were set free at 4.35 pm after the programme was over.
(2) Four persons of Bodeli police station area were detained under the same section on that day at 8.45 am and were released the same day at 5 pm after the programme was over.
(3) Two persons of Jetpur Pavi police station area were detained, again under the section and on the same day at 11 am and were released under on the same day at 3.00 pm after the programme was over.
(4) Sangramsinh Naranbhai Rathva, a youth leader under the Chhotaudepur police station area was similarly detained on December 20, 2014 at 1.10 pm, and was released at 3.05 pm after the programme was over.
(5) Romel Sutriya, was also detained under the preventive detention section on the same day at 08.30 am and was released at 3.05 pm after the programme was over.
“All the detainees were well taken care of and well respected during detention period”, the letter claims, adding, “There was heavy presence of police in the area of the programme venue for maintaining law and order and to ensure security of the chief minister as well as the public.”
Insisting that “all the actions taken by police were totally legal and supported by the law”, the letter underlines, “No misuse of power was done in this case anywhere in the district. Police has exercised their power to maintain law and order in above mentioned situation. There was no violation of human rights.”

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.