Skip to main content

Visitng JNU, Delhi Univ professors "incited" villagers to support Maoists: Bastar district collector on Facebook

Amit Kataria
By Our Representative
In a surprise move, district collector, Bastar, Amit Kataria, has posted on his Facebook page a “complaint” in the name of unidentified local villagers, demanding that FIR be lodged against an independent fact-finding team, which visited to inquire into allegations of intimidation, murder, rape and abduction (click HERE).
Bringing this to light, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has said in a statement, “This raises the crucial issue of the ethical and legal propriety of the district collector posting in a public forum like social media such a complaint even before it is verified.”
Kataria's Facebook page dated May 18 said, “Received a complaint from villagers of Kuma Koleng today, claiming that some professors from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)/ Delhi University (DU), namely Archana Prasad, Richa Keshav, Vinit Tiwari, Sanjay Parate, came to their village and incited them against government and to support Maoists.”
Expecting the district collector to “behave in a restrained, independent and balanced manner”, the PUCL, which is one of India’s most important human rights organizations, said, his office in Bastar “has degenerated to indulging in political propaganda to whip up hate campaign.”
The PUCL statement comes close on the heels of what so far seemed “informal threats” being issued by the Chhattisgarh state police and district administration to “criminally prosecute” team members – academics and members of Left parties – who had visited Kanker, Bastar, Dantewada and Sukma districts of southern Chhattisgarh between May 12 and 15.
The team, inquiring into the conditions of life of ordinary adivasis “caught in the conflict between the State and the Maoist”, consisted of Prof Nandini Sundar of Delhi University, Prof Archana Prasad of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Vineet Tiwari of Joshi- Adhikari Institute (CPI), and Sanjay Parate, State Secretary, CPI(M).
“The team pointed out the human rights violations suffered by the ordinary adivasis at the hands of both parties to the conflict – fake encounters and fake surrenders and arrests by the State as well as arbitrary beatings and killings by the Maoists”, PUCL said.
“What is shocking and deplorable is that the State police, instead of providing their response to the findings of the team, has chosen to sponsor a ridiculous and politically motivated allegation against the team that ‘they are JNU professors who threatened the villagers to side with Maoists’,” PUCL pointed out.
Referring to the Facebook post by the district collector, the PUCL said, “Even a cursory reading of the so-called complaint of the villagers does not inspire confidence about its authenticity and indicates that it is a fabricated complaint.”
One of those who accompanied the team, Manju Kawasi, a member of the CPI women's wing, “got a midnight visit from the Sukma police, who told her that she would have to go to Jagdalpur for questioning”, the PUCL said, adding, “She was also threatened that an FIR would be registered against her.”
Another person who accompanied the team – a villager from village Nama, Mangla, who happens to be a carpenter by profession – “has been repeatedly called to the police station for questioning”, PUCL revealed.
The PUCL apprehended, a major reason why the state administration became wary is, the team consisted of Prof Nandini Sundar, a petitioner in the case before the Supreme Court challenging the government-sponsored Salwa Judum, which had to be disbanded following an apex court order few years ago.
“It is evident that the Chhattisgarh government does not want human rights organisations, Citizen’s fact findings teams, or social activists to make any independent enquiry into the news of dozens of encounters, hundreds of surrenders and arrests and of the counter insurgency operations being carried out in the Bastar region”, the statement, drafted by Dr V Suresh, national general secretary, and Prof Prabhakar Sinha, national president, said.

Comments

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Vindictive raids? Centre 'retaliates' after Delhi govt child rights body's clean chit to ex-babu

By Our Representative  Over 700 academics, advocates, activists, civil servants, writers, film makers, journalists, musicians and artists have condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the offices and private home of top IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, stating, the aim is nothing but to “harass and intimidate” him.

Protests break out as school going children 'branded Naxalites, taken prisoners'

By Sheshu Babu* Conditions in all spheres of life is going from bad to worse. On September 13, Political Prisoners' Day was observed. On that day, Jatin Das, friend of Bhagat Singh and member of the Hindustan Republican Socialist Association, passed away after 63 days of hunger strike. He demanded 'political prisoners' status to those who have been jailed by the state.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

Catholic women warn: Kerala Bishop turning Church into puppet in political games

Counterview Desk A group of Catholic women under the banner Concerned Catholic Women of India has said that they are deeply concerned over "a bishop’s controversial statement" which may threaten communal harmony in India. As many as 89 Catholic women from across India have urged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to "foster peace and avoid strife."

Politically-motivated: Global NGO network on ED 'harassment' of Harsh Mander

Counterview Desk  CIVICUS , a top global alliance of civil society organisations seeking to strengthen citizen action and civil society around the world with a claimed membership of more than 10,000, objecting to the alleged harassment of IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander by the Government in India, has said that the the the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on his house and office highlights “an ongoing pattern of baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges brought by the authorities against activists across India”.