Tag Archives: himanshu Kumar

[FB Note] No Respite for Soni Sori by Himanshu Kumar

Source: Facebook Note by Himanshu Kumar

Soni Sori continues to be ill-treated at the hands of Chhattisgarh government, after a brief breather during her treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at New Delhi. She is now back in the Raipur Jail after spending 5 weeks recuperating in AIIMS, and the Chhattisgarh government has made clear its intentions of continuing ill-treatment of her, by denying her food, water and medicines immediately after discharge from AIIMS.
Soni Sori was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on May 10th at the behest of the Supreme Court which ordered immediate and urgent treatment to be provided to her. Ms. Sori arrived in Delhi visibly weakened due to months of ill-treatment and improper medical treatment by the Chhattisgarh government. She was suffering from the continued impact –of the wounds inflicted on her during the inhuman sexual torture meted out to her in October, 2011 under police custody, which had been allowed to fester untreated in the jail. Consequently, she had grave secondary medical conditions, such as intermittent anal and vaginal bleeding, blisters on skin, difficulty in walking etc. at the time when she was brought to AIIMS

Over the 5 weeks of her treatment in AIIMS, she seemed to have recovered significantly, due to regular and expert medical care provided to her. But immediately after her discharge from AIIMS, Soni Sori has been denied her basic human rights yet again by the Chattisgarh government. Soni Sori’s counsel, Mr. Colin Gonsalves expressed his concern to the Chhattisgarh Government counsel, Mr. Atul Jha about no travel arrangements being made for her return to Chhattisgarh, to which Mr Jha assured Mr Gonsalves that every necessary precaution would be taken including, if need be, return to Raipur by flight (as she had been brought to Delhi). But despite these assurances, Soni Sori was taken to Raipur by train, in a crowded unreserved compartment. In scorching summer heat, Soni Sori was made to stand for most of the 24 hour long train journey from Delhi to Raipur, despite her fragile health condition. With daytime temperatures touching 45 degrees Celsius, she was denied water, kept without food for the whole day and not even given the medicines prescribed to her by the doctors at AIIMS.
It should be recalled that Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher, had been subjected to brutal physical torture and sexual violence during her custody in the Dantewada police station on the night between 8th and 9th October, 2011. Her torture had been confirmed by an independent medical examination conducted by the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, during which stones lodged deep in her private parts had been recovered. However, the medication prescribed by the NRS hospital had been discontinued by the jail authorities in Raipur Jail soon after her discharge, and Soni Sori had been denied any regular medical attention since the examination conducted by the NRS Hospital in October 2011. In the absence of regular medical care and attention, Ms. Sori’s condition had steadily worsened, prompting the Supreme Court in June 2012 to order her to be brought to AIIMS in New Delhi for immediate medical treatment.

It was sheer and deliberate negligence on part of the Chhattisgarh Government that led to such deterioration in Soni Sori’s health in the first place, that the Supreme Court had to order immediate medical intervention by AIIMS. The manner in which Soni Sori is being treated after her discharge from AIIMS once again raises serious concerns about the intention of the Chhattisgarh government in ensuring her health and safety. If her medicines are not administered with regularity, Soni will lose the little gains in health that she had made during her stay at AIIMS.
We urge the Chhattisgarh Government to ensure that Soni Sori’s health makes full recovery, and that the recommendations of the medical team at AIIMS regarding physical rest, nutrition and medication are followed diligently. We would like to remind the Government that undertrial prisoners such as Soni Sori are guaranteed basic human rights by the Indian constitution. Soni Sori has already suffered gravely at the hands of Chhattisgarh authorities, first through direct and malicious torture at the hands of the Chhattisgarh police, and then through apathy and negligence of the Chhattisgarh jail authorities. It is time for state violence against her to end.

For more details contact:
Vani Subramanian, Saheli Delhi – 9891128911
Shalini Gera – 9891176443.

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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.

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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.

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

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Soni Sori’s Health Failing (Hindi)

There is a (as far as I could gather) protest fast planned on the 29th at Rajghat.

सोनी सोरी की प्राण रक्षा हेतु उपवास

जेल मे सोनी सोरी का स्वास्थ्य गिरता जा रहा है ! सर्वोच्च न्यायलय मे सोनी सोरी के द्वारा पुलिस पर लगाये गये बर्बरता के आरोपों की पुष्टि मेडिकल रिपोर्ट द्वारा हो गयी है ! डाक्टरों ने सोनी सोरी के शरीर मे पुलिस द्वारा ठूंसे गये पत्थर निकाल कर सुप्रीम कोर्ट को भेज दिये हैं ! इसके बावजूद अभी तक आरोपित पुलिस अधिकारियों के विरुद्ध कार्यवाही का निर्देश नहीं दिया गया है ! सोनी के गिरते स्वास्थ्य के बावजूद उसके इलाज की उसकी प्रार्थना की सुनवाई को लगातार टाला जा रहा है !

हम सभी नागरिक इस अमानवीय रवैय्ये से बेहद दुखी हैं ! हम सोनी सोरी के पक्ष मे अपनी एकजुटता व्यक्त करने और इस अन्याय के विषय मे ध्यान आकर्षित करने के लिये राजघाट पर 29 फरवरी बुधवार को एक दिन का सांकेतिक उपवास करेंगे ! सभी साथी साथ आयें ! अनेकों महिला संगठनों ने इस कार्यक्रम हेतु अपनी एकजुटता दर्शाई है !

Read the whole piece here.

An English Translation can be found here.

Delhi – Fast at Rajghat in solidarity with Soni Sori, Feb 29

February 28, 2012

Fast to Save Soni Sori’s Life

Note from Himanshu Kumar

Soni Sori’s health is deteriorating in jail. The accusations of police brutality and torture made by her in the Supreme Court have been substantiated by the the medical report. The doctors have sent the Supreme Court stones that the police had forced into Soni’s body. Despite this, thus far there have been no orders to take action against the accused police officers. And in spite of her failing health, hearings on her appeal for treatment are continually being postponed.

All of us, citizens of India, are extremely saddened by this inhuman attitude. We will undertake a one-day symbolic fast on Wednesday, the 29th of February at Rajghat to show solidarity with Soni Sori and to call attention to the injustice being meted out to her. Please join us! Several women’s organizations have expressed their solidarity with our fast. The fast will take place from 6am to 6pm. You are also invited to come and join the dialog at any point in the day, at your inconvenience.

We also hope that friends elsewhere in the country as well as abroad are able to organize events on this day to demand justice for Soni Sori. This program should also been seen as a general protest against sexual assaults and torture committed against women in police custody.

(Translated by Amit Basole)

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[Facebook Status & Comments] Soni Sori’s Court Hearing is Scheduled to be Any Day Now — Keeps Getting Postponed

Despite a storm of media coverage, protests, press statements, petitions — both nationally and internationally — this is the only piece of information and news source I could find on this important development.

Are the media sleeping? I, honestly, would like to know.

Anyway, here are a series of facebook status messages from Himanshu Kumar.

Feb 22nd (AM)
आज सोनी प्रतारणा मामले में अंतिम सुनवाई है! [Translation: Today is the last hearing on the fraud that has happened to Soni!]

Kamayani Bali Mahabal: Himanshu-ji if it does not coem cant be last, lets hope it comesup today anyhow

Feb 22nd (PM)

सोनी सोरी प्रतारणा मामले में आज सुनवाई नहीं हुई ! [Translation: Soni Sori’s issue did not have a hearing today!]

कोर्ट के पास वख्त नहीं था आज ! कल देखते हैं ! [Translation: The Court did not have time! We will see tommorrow!]

As always, feel free to correct any errors in my Hindi translation. I will post the correction. My Hindi reading skills are bare.

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[Dantewada Vani] This is Lingaram Kodopi Speaking From Jail (in Hindi)

An English translation is currently unavailable for this.

तुमने मुझे धकेल दिया जेल की कोठरी के अँधेरे में,
क्योंकि राष्ट्रपति भवन के,
विशालकाय गणतंत्र के गुम्बद पर
चमचमाता हुआ प्रकाश पुंज,
मेरी ही जमीन छीनकर बनाये गये,
बिजलीघर में तैयार बिजली से दमदमाता है ,
मेरी आजादी को खतरा बताया गया,
गणतन्त्र के उस विशालकाय गुम्बद के
बल्ब की रौशनी के लिये,
पुलिस की कितनी लाठियां टूटी मुझपर,
अब याद नहीं,
मार खाते हुए रोने का विकल्प नहीं था मेरे सामने ,
क्योंकि मेरी आँखों के आंसू
ताड़मेटला गाँव में थाने से बलात्कार होकर लौटी
लड़की की कहानी सुनने के बाद,
बहकर समाप्त हो चुके थे,
सिर्फ खून उतर आया था मेरी आँखों में पुलिस से पिटते समय,
लोकतांत्रिक मर्यादाओं की रक्षा के लिये ,
सभ्य लोगों को जरूरी लगता है ,
हमे लगातार हमारी हैसियत का
अहसास कराते जाना,
और हमारी औरतों के शरीर में ,
तुम्हारे राष्ट्र का पौरुष,
और कंकड,पत्थर भर दिये जाना ,
उस रात तुमने मेरी बुआ सोनी सोरी को नहीं
अपने लोकतन्त्र को नंगा किया था थाने में,
[…]

Read the full post here.

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

[…]
Attacks
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.

Semi-hiding
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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[Breaking News] From Himanshu Kumar’s FB Status: Sukhnath Oyami Released! (in Hindi)

मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ता सुखनाथ ओयामी को आज दंतेवाड़ा जिला अदालत ने बाइज्ज़त बरी कर दिया! सुखनाथ ओयामी हमारे साथ उजड़े हुए गांव को बसाने का काम कर रहे थे ! २८ अगस्त २००९ को जब सुखनाथ निर्दोष ग्रामीणों को थाने में बेवजह पकड़ लिये जाने पर बात् करने थाने में गये तो उन्हें भी पकड़ कर जेल में डाल दिया गया था ! उन पर काला कानून छत्तीसगढ़ जन सुरक्षा अधिनियम लगा कर उन्हें नक्सली कहा गया ! और कहा गया कि इनके पास से बम मिला है ! हांलाकि अदालत में सारे गवाहों ने कहा कि पुलिस झूठ बोल रही है !आज अदालत ने सरकार द्वारा उन पर लगाए गये सारे आरोपों को बे-बुनियाद मानते हुए सुखनाथ ओयामी को स-सम्मान रिहा कर दिया!

From Frontline Defenders (dated Dec 2009)

The detention of Kopa Kunjam and Alban Toppo follows the arrest on 31 July 2009 of Sukhnath, a VCA volunteer, who was abducted by members of a state-backed militia and detained under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. He remains in detention without trial, and his bail applications have been rejected on two separate occasions.

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[Dantewada Vani] Himanshu Kumar’s Letter to the Prime Minister Regarding Ankit Garg and Soni Sori (Hindi)

महामहिम राष्ट्रपति जी,
महामहिम राष्ट्रपति जी,

”अमर रहे गणतंत्र हमारा ”

दुःखभरे ह्रदय से आप को यह पत्र लिखते हुए हमें ध्यान है कि देश और दुनिया के अनेक चिंतित नागरिक समूहों, स्त्री अधिकार संगठनों और मानवाधिकार समूहों ने दंतेवाडा के पुलिस सुपरिटेन्डेंट अंकित गर्ग को वीरता पदक दिए जाने के फैसले से जुडी हुयी चिंताओं की ओर आप का ध्यान आकर्षित किया है . हमें यकीन है कि आप इन चिंताओं पर गहराई से विचार करने की प्रक्रिया में हैं . हमें विश्वास है कि इस प्रसंग में आप के द्वारा लिया गया निर्णय राष्ट्र के गौरव , नागरिकों के संवैधानिक अधिकारों और उन की मानवीय गरिमा को मज़बूत बनाने वाला सिद्ध होगा.

इस प्रसंग में राष्ट्र के जिम्मेदार और सरोकार -सजग नागरिकों के बतौर हम खास तौर पर जिन विन्दुओं को आप के ध्यान में लाना चाहते हैं , वे इस प्रकार हैं […]

Read the full piece here.

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