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

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

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.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

August 9 to be observed as Corporates Quit India day: Top farmers' group

By Our Representative A recent general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the top farmers' organisation, stated hat "there is no need for any illusion of change in the pro-corporate policies of the BJP-NDA government" following the recent elections in which BJP failed to achieve even simple majority. It insisted,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is hell bent" to continue 'business as usual' policies.

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

Belgian report alleges MNC Etex responsible for asbestos pollution in Madhya Pradesh town Kymore: COP's Geneva meet

By Our Representative A comprehensive Belgian report has held MNC Etex , into construction business and one of the richest, responsible for asbestos pollution in Kymore, an industrial town in in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh. The report provides evidence from the ground on how Kymore’s dust even today is “annoying… it creeps into your clothes, you have to cough it”, saying “It can be deadly.”

Women's emancipated under Mao: Girl completed primary school, began working in farm collective

By Harsh Thakor*  The book “New Women in New China”, a collection of articles projecting dramatic transformation -- political and economic -- in the status of Chinese women after liberation, originally published in 1972, and reprinted in 2023 by the Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, encompasses the period between 1949 and 1972, seeking to give justice to the subject of women’s emancipation in China after the 1949 revolution.