Skip to main content

Attack on top academic: Why Chhattisgarh govt isn't acting against unruly mob, cops, ask Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy

Bela Bhatia
By Our Representative
A group of 35 well-known activists led by Narmada Bachao Andolan’s Medha Patkar and Magsaysay award winning right to information campaigner Aruna Roy have said that Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh’s assurance of safety following the recent attack (click HERE to read) on top academic Bela Bhatia has not followed with "any strong action".
Singh "assurance" comes a day after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's support to Bela Bhatia. Meeting her, Singh, who met her in in Jagdalpur, assured her of "all protection and the freedom to continue her work among the tribals", adding, she could "continue to live at her present location", and if feeling insecure, she could be "alternative accommodation in Bastar."
Insisting that there has not been “any strong action on unruly mobs and​ ​abusive, law-breaking police officers” who were responsible for the mob attack on Bhatia’s house, situated in Parpa village near Jagdalpur in Bastar region, the statement says, failure to take firm action suggests there would be no let down in threats on activists who are fighting for tribals’ cause.
Others who have signed the statement include Nikhil Dey and Shankar Singh of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Lingraj Azad of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Binayak Sen and Kavita Srivastava of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, well-known Gandhian activist Sandeep Pandey, Vimal Bhai of the Matu Jan Sangathan, Anand Mazgaonkar of the Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, and Bilal Khan of the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan.
Issued by the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), the statement says that the attackers, who asked Bhatia to leave Parpa village within 24 hours, were “non-state and state actors” who feel threatened by her very presence, because she has “exposed” human rights violations of the adivasis and activists by security forces the name of combating extremism.
Noting that the response of Bastar Inspector General of Police (IGP) SRP Kalluri to such attacks has been “extremely offensive, derogatory and abusive” especially to women activists, the statement says, the Chhattisgarh government has been forced to “break its silence on Bastar” because of the country-wide protests.
“However”, the statement notes, “While the chief minister has assured safety of Bhatia, his absolute silence on the mob violence, police atrocities, human rights abuses and the unruly-unlawful behavior of Kalluri is a matter of concern.”
Recalling that Bhatia is an academic of international repute, the statement says, as member of many government committees she has exposed the “deplorable situation” of the adivasis in the region, who are caught in a permanent war-like situation”.
The statement says, the attack follows Bhatia’s helping hand to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to visit adivasi hamlets and speak to the adivasi survivors of rape, sexual assault and violence at the hands of the state’s security forces.
It adds, “Clearly, this did not go well with those in power who have unleashed a war on the adivasis to displace them of their land, to facilitate corporate loot of the minerals and natural resources in the name of ‘development’.”
The statement asks the chief minister to take “full responsibility of securing the fundamental rights of Bela Bhatia and other human rights activists, lawyers to reside at a place of their choice and discharge their professional and constitutional responsibilities without fear of violence or false cases.”
It also seeks “immediate suspension of IGP Kalluri, registration of FIR against him for his widely-reported abusive and intimidatory messages and ensuring that he faces the NHRC soon to respond to charges against him.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”