Skip to main content

Chhattisgarh HC had praised suspended Dalit woman cop's battle on "irregularities, corruption, nepotism"

Varsha Dongre
By Our Representative
The Chhattisgarh government may have suspended Varsha Dongre, a Dalit police officer, for a Facebook post for seeking an end to custodial torture of adivasi women, but on August 26, 2016 the state High Court had praised her “persistence and tenacity” for “a long drawn out battle” which brought to surface “irregularities, acts of corruption, nepotism, favouritism etc.”
The observation was made in an 88-page judgment by chief justice Deepak Gupta on Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CPSC), in which the latter was asked to pay “costs of Rs.5,00,000 in the writ petition of Petitioner Ku. Varsha Dongre.”
Bringing this to light, several prominent citizens, including Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Aruna Roy of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Binayak Sen of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and prominent Gandhian academic Sandeep Pandey, among others, have said, “Such officers must be valued and their concerns, which are in the interest of the people and rule of law must be addressed."
Seeking revocation of suspension orders of the “upright Dalit woman officer” Dongre, the letter by 35 prominent individuals to chief minister Raman Singh and governor Balram Das Tandon has demanded her reinstatement in the Raipur Central Jail, and inquiry by a retired High Court judge into the allegations levelled by her of torture of adivasis girls at police stations and jails.
Dongre, as assistant superintendent of Raipur Central Jail, published a post on her personal Facebook account last week (which she later deleted), wherein she expressed pain over the avoidable loss of lives (jawans, adivasis and Maoists) and stated that after all it is Indian citizens who are being killed in this mayhem.
The Facebook post
She wrote about the general displacement in the adivasis areas and alienation of adivasis from land, forests and rivers, in violation of constitutional safeguards, for corporate interests.
The most damaging part of the post was, her horrifying first-hand experience of witnessing the stripping, electric shock, sexual and other forms of torture of minor adivasis girls in police stations and jails, including how the breasts of some of them were squeezed to check if they are lactating (and, therefore, not Maoists!).
Even as expressing anguish over the recent killings of 25 CRPF jawans by Maoists, the letter insists, “The military counter-offensive to an essentially political problem is only jeopardizing the possibilities of peace in the region, for the ordinary adivasis.”
It says, “The state government cannot ignore or be a party to the gross violations of people’s rights in the name of ‘combing operations’ and combating Naxalism. Dongre’s post reinforces the worst face of this combat, i.e. inhuman torture of young adivasis girls, which by no stretch of argument can be justified.”
The letter adds, “We are of the considered opinion that akin to any other equal citizen of India, Varsha is entitled to her views, as long as they are within the framework of the Constitution of India. Having seen her posts, we are convinced that not only the views she put forth, but the manner in which she conveyed them were also well-within the constitutional limits.”

Comments

TRENDING

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

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.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.