Skip to main content

Chhattisgarh arrest of fact-finding team: Top activists Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar, others seek NHRC intervention

By Our Representative
Prominent activists from across India have asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to urgently intervene and take steps against those responsible for the manner of arrest of the seven member Fact Finding Team seeking to visit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh in Telangana on December 25, 2016, calling the act a “serious constitutional, legal and human rights violation.”
In a signed letter to the NHRC chairman, 45 activists have said this was done in the garb of “combating ‘Maoism’,” and is part of the state unleashing an “unprecedented spree of threats, violence, false cases, arbitrary arrests, detentions, dubious encounters, rapes, sexual assault etc.” in Bastar area of Chhattisgarh.
Those who have signed the statement include Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey of the the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan (Odisha), and Binayak Sen and Kavita Srivastava of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
Pointing out that all the team members were “picked up in the day on December 25, at Dummagudam village, Bhadrachalam District, Telangana, when they were planning to visit Chhattisgarh to enquire into complaints of human rights violations suffered by adivasi villagers”, the letter says, later in the evening, they were handed over to the Chhattisgarh police.”
“Reportedly they have been charged of various offences including possessing ‘banned’ literature and banned currency notes, providing ‘assistance’ to Naxals, ‘instigating’ adivasis against the state/police etc. An FIR was registered under the Chhattisgarh Public Security Act (CSPA), 2005 by the Sukma police”, the letter says.
On December 26, all the seven were produced before the remanding court in Sukma and remanded to judicial custody after the court was “misled” that they were arrested in Chhattisgarh, while actually they were arrested in in Telangana, the letter alleges.
Calling it an “act of state vendetta and a glaring example of gross abuse of public office”, the letter says, the arrest was “totally unlawful, unwarranted and violative of the numerous orders issued by the Supreme Court”, adding, as they are all “respectable, law-abiding citizens” there was “no need for the arbitrary arrest or even denial of bail the ‘judicial custody’.”
“This is clearly a case of both Telangana and Chhattisgarh police overstepping their mandate and violating the law and the fundamental rights to free movement, freedom of speech and expression and the fundamental duty to protect the fundamental rights of adivasis and other local people in Bastar area who are victims of a severely repressive state police”, the letter says.
“The alleged torture and encounter of a minor, Somaru Pottam from Metapal village in mid-December by the security forces, in which the Bilaspur High Court has ordered a repeat autopsy two days back is only one of many such likely incidents”, it says, pointing towards how a “continuous threat climate” has been created against those who have ensured the repeat autopsy.
The letter refers to how, on December 30, advocate Shanili Gera and other legal activists were being harassed by the superintendent of police, Bastar, RN Dash, at Jagdalpur, because they were part of them for carrying out the orders of the High Court for exhumation of the body of Pottam.
Insisting that all charges against the seven members of the Fact Finding Team be dropped and criminal prosecution should be initiated against the concerned police officers for “abuse of due process law”, the letter asks NHRC to summon SRP Kalluri, Inspector General of Police, Bastar Division and RN Dash, SP, Bastar, “to offer a detailed explanation of all charges of human rights violations.”
At the same time, it asks NHRC to send a high-level team to visit various areas in the Bastar region and obtain first hand information of the serious issues of gross human rights abuses, to enable quick and appropriate action as per law.

Comments

rainmaker said…
We should exterminate all backward people to have India Shining for global investment. Let's hang all these anti nationals who keep us from development.

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.