Rekha Parganiha (Photo via WSS)
In a letter addressed to the Honourable Justice KG Balakrishnan, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission.
We, the members of WSS, a national platform of women’s groups, are alarmed at the news of another woman activist, Advocate Rekha Parganiha, arrested in Chhattisgarh in relation to suspected Maoist links. A newspaper story (attached) indicates that Advocate Parganiha was picked up from her house in Bhilai on Sunday (March 4th) and was remanded into police custody on March 5th for 5 days, until March 10th.
We are deeply concerned at the long duration of police remand, especially in the wake of recent reports of custodial sexual violence perpetrated by Chhattigarh police, and considering that the only evidence that exists against the accused so far consists of writings of Bertolt Brecht, Bhagat Singh, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
We would like to remind you that Chhattisgarh police has a track record of subjecting women under trials, especially those accused of political offences, to brutal torture. Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher, was subjected to extreme sexual violence by the Chhattisgarh police while she was in their custody in October 2011. [...]
Read the full letter here.