Tag Archives: chhattisgarh

[Video] 2009 Video of the Singaram, Dantewada Massacre (Trigger Warning)

In Singaram village of Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) 19 innocent tribals were murdered by State appointed SPOs. The motive behind killings was to clear the land for mining corporations. We took the case in Chhattisgarh High Court. But no justice so far, instead our office wad bulldozed by Government.

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[DNA] The illegitimate children of the Republic

[…] To the state machinery, it remains a story of he said-she said, as torture in police custody leaves no witnesses besides the tortured themselves. But in this case, the accused has a medical report from Kolkata to confirm her allegations. Even then, custodial violence is endemic.

The National Human Rights Commission is on record saying that 1,574 custodial deaths took place between April 2010 and March 2011. And between 2001 and 2011, there were around 15,231 custodial deaths, according to the Asian Centre for Human Rights.

The unaccounted and the unaccountable:

Meena Khalko, 16, was killed in an alleged encounter and accused as a Maoist. Allegations surfaced that she was raped and murdered. The Chhattisgarh home minister parroted his police officials, who said she was ‘habitual about sex’ and had links with truck drivers.

The character of Ishrat Jahan, who the SIT confirms was killed in a fake encounter recently, was questioned on the basis that her checking into a hotel room with another man was suspicious.

Of 99 cases of rape allegations against special police officers or security personnel in South Bastar, the NHRC enquiry team, (which has 15 police officials out of 16 members) investigated only five. In one instance, they visited the wrong village and construed that the allegations were baseless as they ‘obviously’ couldn’t find the victims. […]

Read the full piece here.

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“On March 12, Rahul Sharma, superintendent of police, Bilaspur, shot himself in the head with his service revolver”

Javed Iqbal’s column on Rahul Sharma’s death:

Death, in Dantewada, moves in circles, and only the ghosts know the end of the war. There was once a casual story about SP Rahul Sharma, who met Arundhati Roy and filmmaker Sanjay Kak when they were in Dantewada. He would tell Roy that he was an avid reader of her work when he was in JNU, and would say, like a market economist would concur, ‘Peace would come to Dantewada if the adivasis would be taught greed.’

I wish I knew Rahul Sharma a lot better now, and I wish I could’ve asked him what he learnt from the adivasis.

Read the full piece here.


Himanshu Kumar’s heartfelt post to Rahul Sharma here. (in Hindi)

राहुल शर्मा जब दंतेवाड़ा में एस.पी. थे तब हम हफ्ते में एक बार जरुर मिलते थे | जब सलवा जुडुम द्वारा जला दिये गये नेन्द्रा गांव को हमारी संस्था ने दोबारा बसाया| तब हमने तो एक गांव बसाया पर उसे देखकर आस-पास के गांव भी बसने लगे | हमारे आदिवासी कार्यकर्ताओ ने नक्सलियों से कहा कि यदि अब इन दोबारा बसाये गये गांवों में कोई हिंसक वारदात होती है तो आदिवासियों की जिंदगी फिर बिखर जायेगी | इसके बाद अगले छह महीने तक नक्सलियों की ओर से कोई कार्यवाही नहीं की गई | मैं राहुल शर्मा से लगातार सम्पर्क में था | मैंने उन्हें समझाया कि देखिये आपने हमें इन गांवों को दोबारा बसने देने में रोड़ा नहीं अटकाया तो इसके फलस्वरूप पिछले छह महीने में आपके एक भी जवान की जान नहीं गई | […]

Read the full post here.


Here’s a short documentary in which Rahul Sharma (among others) gives a short interview.

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Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) Member from Bhilai arrested – Adv. Rekha Parganiha

Rekha Parganiha (Photo via WSS)

Via Kracktivist

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.

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[PUDR] Growing impunity in Police Raj to enable Loot of Resources

People’s Union for Democratic Rights has drawn public’s attention from time-to-time to the lawless conduct of the security forces in war zones across the country where ‘operation greenhunt’ is being prosecuted. Recent developments reported from Chhattisgarh show that security forces enjoy so much impunity that they have begun to flout even the instructions/orders of the state home minister. And such is their clout that they can dismiss warrant/s issued by judicial officials knowing fully well that no action against them would ensue.

Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar told reporters on February 15 that police do not follow his order. He complained to them that on February 12 he had asked the SP of Korba to file a FIR against two police personnel of the Kotwali police station for molesting and attempting to rape a minor, daughter of Milon Das, resident of Dhanmarpara, in Korba district. However, the Korba SP dismissed these allegations and claimed he had not received any such order from the minister. The home minister told the media that there is Supreme Court ruling stating that mere oral complaint by a girl victim is enough in such cases for filing a FIR. This is the same Chhattisgarh police that also eulogised as “Chhattisgarh hero” a fugitive from justice and alleged rapist and killer Kartam Surya.

Read the full statement here.

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Trapped in concrete woes [Bhagwati Sahu]

It’s been nine months since Panchayat member and union leader Bhagwati Sahu was imprisoned in Ravaan, Chhattisgarh, for allegedly assaulting two employees of the Ambuja-Holcim cement factory and making off with Rs.3500 and a Nokia 2700 Classic cell phone. […]

In court submissions, the police say that Mr. Sahu is a man of criminal antecedents, pointing to the 18 cases registered against him. Mr. Sahu has been twice denied bail in light of these cases. Mr. Sahu’s lawyers say he has been framed and victimized for standing up to Ambuja Cement, a subsidiary of Holcim, a cement manufacturer with production sites in about 70 countries.

Union members have noted that in India, an overburdened judicial system means that the process is often the punishment for those awaiting trial. 2010 data provided by prison authorities indicate that approximately 60 per cent of Chhattisgarh’s inmates are prisoners under trial, and may ultimately be found innocent. Ambuja-Holcim has denied these allegations. “There is no malice or victimizing …as alleged. Nor is his case anyway connected with his position in any union. [sic]” said a spokesperson for Ambuja-Holcim in an email, adding that a local court had forbidden Mr. Sahu and his associates from holding meetings within 500 metres of the plant premises. […]

Read the whole article here.

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[Radio Netherlands] Press freedom stifled in India’s Naxal areas

Human rights activist Himanshu Kumar says there have been cases of independent journalists being attacked, threatened, intimidated and even killed. He recounts the recent case of Lingaram Kodopi, an adivasi from Dantewada district.

Kodopi was the first tribal to be enrolled for a journalism course in Delhi. Last year, he filmed testimonies from villagers after a police raid where houses were burnt and several people were killed. After the film was released to the Indian media, Kodopi was arrested, and while he was in custody, he was brutally beaten. When his aunt, Soni Sori, filed a protest, she too was arrested and beaten. Both are now in prison, accused of being Naxalites.

Himanshu Kumar, who worked among tribal people in Chhattisgarh for nearly two decades, was himself persecuted in Dantewada. The ashram and school he established with his wife was burnt down and his family was forced to leave the state.

He now lives a life of semi-hiding in Delhi, and is still banned from returning to Chhatisgarh. “The motive behind creating panic and fear among people is that any voice of dissent, any protest against forceful land acquisition is silenced,” he says in a phone interview from Delhi. […]

Read the full article here.

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[Kractivist] Report of an All India Fact Finding Team into incidents of encounters in the month of October 2010 in Chhattisgarh

[…] Thus, as regards happenings in Bastar, the outside world has become totally dependent on media reports: these in turn are largely based on police handouts as independent verification of police claims has become virtually impossible. Unfortunately the response of the judiciary as also the State Human Rights Commission has not been prompt or unequivocal; resulting in petitions on fake encounters lying pending for months, if not years. A request for an enquiry into a list of 135 villagers alleged to have been killed during Operation Green Hunt between January 2009 and April 2010 made by the Chhattisgarh PUCL has not received any response from the National Human Rights Commission so far. […]

Read the full report here [pdf download]

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