Tag Archives: Javed Iqbal

[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.

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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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[DNA] Javed Iqbal: The curious case of Lingaram Kodopi

I got a call around midnight in the Delhi summer. It was Lingaram, the young Muria adivasi from Sameli village in Dantewada, then studying in Noida’s International Media Institute of India. Linga’s misfortunes never seem to end: first he was accused of helping the Maoists, then tortured in the police station toilet, forced to be a special police officer, then released thanks to a habeas corpus petition.

In a few months, he would be dealing with encounter killings in his village that left three dead, to only add to the targeting of his family members by the Chhattisgarh police, and then to be accused in a press conference by Senior Superintendent of Police Kalluri of being slain Maoist leader Azad’s successor and a mastermind of an attack on a Congress leader.

‘Javed bhai,’ He asked me that night in Delhi, ‘do you know where I can get a Che Guevara T-shirt?’

Silence.

‘Linga, you wear that T-shirt in Dantewada, you’d be the first man in jail.’

Lingaram chuckled uncontrollably.

Read the whole piece here.

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