Skip to main content

Kerala Police "brutally" came down and lathicharged Puthuvypeen residents, "unlawfully" detaining children

A National Alliance of People’s Movement’s (NAPM’s) letter to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking urgent intervention in the matter of police action against peaceful protestors of Puthuvypeen, Kochi:
We are writing to you in the context of the serious repression by your Government on the people of Puthuvypeen, near Kochi who have been peacefully protesting against the LPG Import Terminal Project of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for the past 108 days.
Just as we were pleased to note certain positive decisions by your government on other fronts, we are constrained to note that like in any other state, people’s voices and struggles continue to be muzzled in Kerala, particularly when the justifiability of ‘development projects’, pushed against popular consent is questioned in democratic ways.
It has come to our notice that the Kerala Police, by way of lathi charge of women and men, mass arrests and even unlawful detention of children, has brutally come down on the residents of Puthuvypeen. We would like to stress here that most of the people of Puthuvypeen are poor, landless people and many of them belong to the fishing community. Their concerns of livelihood loss, environmental and health impacts must be addressed by the State, not crushed in this manner.
We were extremely disturbed to see pictures of women and children detained at police stations, protestors with broken/ fractured limbs and police ruthlessly demolishing the Satyagraha pandal, all in an attempt to enable IOC to start the project work. We received information from reliable sources that until yesterday late night, more than 325 people are under the custody of the police in different stations, of which over a 100 are children!
While 45 children, along with women are in one station, about 15 children are in yet another station. Some women and children are in the nearby hospitals. This action of the police is in complete violation of basic human rights, criminal procedure and juvenile justice laws.
While we do not wish to bother you with legal technicalities of the IOC Project at this stage, we have gathered that certain matters in this regard are still pending before the Southern Zonal Bench of the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal and the matter has been listed on 4th July, 2017 for further hearing by the NGT.
The order dated 24/4/2017 of the NGT also indicates that the Union Environment Ministry has sought time to file reply. We are at pains to understand as to how the plant works could have been initiated, much less using physical force when the matter is sub judice before the NGT. Your government owes an explanation to the NGT and people-at-large in this regard.
National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) expresses its solidarity with the people ofPuthuvypeen and calls upon your government to immediately and unconditionally withdraw charges, if any, and release all those who have been arrested or detained, along with ensuring medical, legal aid and compensation for police excesses.
We hope you will immediately intervene in this incident and also issue orders for appropriate legal action against the administrative and police officials for unlawful detention and physical force used on the peaceful protestors. We urge you to ensure that the project works are put on hold until there is a clear informed consent of the local people, final approval of the NGT and compliance with all environmental laws. Kindly take a positive step for facilitating a dialogue between the concerned departments and representatives of the people, to ensure an amicable solution.
---
Signatories include Medha Patkar (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Shankar Singh (Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan), Prafulla Samantara (Lok Shakti Abhiyan), Lingraj Azad (Samajwadi Jan Parishad - Niyamgiri Suraksha Samit), Binayak Sen and Kavita Srivastava (People’s Union for Civil Liberties), Sandeep Pandey (Socialist Party), others

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.

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.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

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.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

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".