ICAWPI

International Campaign Against War on the People in India

 

Stop all attacks against the people!

 

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  • Chattisgarh : BSF men torture villagers in Kanker

    The villagers of Panchangi and Aalor of Kanker district in Chhattisgarh are a terrified lot. On 5-6 September, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel allegedly ransacked the villages, thrashed the people and subjected them to electric shocks. The district magistrate and the BSF have ordered inquiries to ascertain the truth.

    The villagers say this was in retaliation for the incident on 28 August, when Naxalites ambushed a BSF and District Force raiding party and killed five security personnel in the nearby Bhuski village. After the ambush, when the BSF jawans were unable to arrest Naxals responsible for the attack, they vent their anger on helpless villagers.

    TEHELKA's inquiries revealed that five villagers were beaten so brutally that they were admitted to the district hospital of Kanker in a critical condition. But when the incident came to light, they were discharged immediately, with no mention of their condition in their discharge report.

    During the TEHELKA team's visit to Aalor, women started crying while narrating their ordeal. Sunita said she was lucky that the BSF jawan left her after torturing her for almost 10 hours. But her father Punem Kumar Telami and sister Sarita weren't lucky. They have been branded Naxals and are in police custody.

    According to Sunita, on 5 September, BSF men surrounded the village. They searched her house and threw out all the belongings. Her father was not at home at that time. The BSF men asked both the sisters and their mother to accompany them to a camp because a senior officer wanted to question them.

    When Sunita's father reached the camp, he was detained and her mother was allowed to go. Later in the evening, both the sisters were taken to a camp located in Durg Kondal where Sunita was asked whether she had attended any Naxal meeting. When she denied having done so, angry BSF officers asked his men to give her electric shocks. She immediately admitted to having attended two meetings called by Naxals. She was later released but her sister had no such luck.

    Meanwhile, Sunita's uncle Suklu was put in jail for trying to rescue his nieces. Others, including, Ramnath Duga and Amrita, were assaulted and arrested by the jawans and later branded Naxals.

    Worse was to follow. On 6 September, BSF jawans raided Panchangi village and, according to the villagers, crossed all limits of decency. Viddey Ram, a victim of BSF brutality, is unable to stand on his feet, while his sister Mangtey has been sent to a juvenile home.

    According to villagers, they were asked to assemble at the anganwadi centre and then one by one they were taken to the nearby hill where they were thrashed and asked where they had kept their SLRs (self-loading rifles). When the sarpanch of the village tried to intervene, he was threatened by the jawans.

    Dhanso's brother Narsingh is still not able to walk on his own. Narsingh had married recently and all his household items were destroyed by the BSF jawans.

    Villagers also allege that while the menfolk were being beaten in the hills, some BSF jawans tried to outrage the modesty of the girls. The family of Laluram Koram alleges that a BSF jawan tried to rape his minor girl child. But the presence of several villagers outside his house forced the jawan to beat a hasty retreat.

    Another girl, Urmila, whom TEHELKA was not able to meet, has testified before the Scheduled Tribes (ST) Commission that BSF jawans tried to outrage her modesty as well.

    THE BSF has arrested several persons from these villages, including six minors, who were sent to a juvenile detention centre. When this brutal incident came to light, the state ST Commission constituted an inquiry. But when the chairperson, Devlal Dugga, went to Durg Kondal for the public hearing, villagers were not allowed to attend the meeting on the plea that heavy firing was going on in a BSF camp near Gumdidih jungle.

    Dugga confirmed that villagers were stopped from reaching Durg Kondal. He also said that as soon as he came to know about it, he ordered policemen to bring all the villagers before him.

    He has also asked for the version of those people who are in police custody. After hearing both sides, the commission will submit its report to the government.

    Kanker Collector Nirmal Khakha has ordered a criminal probe into the incident and the BSF, on its part, has also set up a court of inquiry. However, the securitymen remain defiant. "Allegations have been levelled at the jawans. They are yet to be verified," says BSF DIG Ram Avtar.

    Meanwhile, Kanker SP Ajay Yadav is dismissive of the incident. He claims that all these accusations were made under pressure from the Naxalites and the real picture will emerge soon.

    But until the real culprits are identified and punished, the villagers will continue to live in fear of the uniform.

    (Tehelka, 17th September)

     

  • Development, Maladies and Remedies: A National Seminar

    Auditorium, India International Centre (IIC),40, Lodhi Estate, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi - 110003

    14 September 2010, 11 AM 6 PM

    Forum for Promoting Inclusive Growth which has been addressing issues pertaining to the inclusion of the remotest citizen of the country into our economy. We, through this Forum, aim at reaching the benefits of good governance to the remotest areas. The proposed one day National Seminar on Development, Maladies and Remedies addresses the question of sustainable and inclusive growth.

    The recent times are marked by upsurges across the country on different issues. People across the country having lost faith in the system had been resorting to such methods that find them instant justice and completely ignoring the present system of governance. The resentment towards the government policies has often turned violent. In this whole milieu the most used and abused word is the idea and practice of what we know today as development. Increasingly, development denotes prosperity for a few and misery for the multitudes.

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  • India Maoists release police hostages in Bihar

    British Broadcasting Corporation

    Police in the eastern Indian state of Bihar say Maoist rebels have released three policemen they were holding hostage for eight days.

    Last week, the rebels killed one of the four policemen they had taken hostage in Lakhisarai district. They took the policemen hostage last Monday after a gunfight in which seven other policemen were killed. The rebels had threatened to kill all the policemen unless eight Maoist prisoners were released. Indian security forces have been battling Maoists in several states.

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  • On the hostages in Bihar and the execution of Lucas Tete

    [Note from G N Saibaba: The killing of Lucas Tete, one of the four policemen taken hostage by the CPI (Maoist), is regrettable. Killing people after taking them into custody is a pattern followed by the Indian state, as in the case of Azad, and Hemchandra Pandey, but is uncharacteristic of and unexpected from revolutionaries. It is imperative for the CPI (Maoist) to immediately release the remaining police personnel in their custody, as a gesture of their goodwill, and for the Indian government to respond by initiating talks with the CPI (Maoist) genuinely and seriously.]

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  • On the Killing of Umakanta Mahato

    Report on a Fact-Finding Investigation by Banglar  Manabadhikar Suraksha Mansha (MASUM) on the killing of Umakanta Mahato

    MASUM conducted a fact finding over the incident of Umakanta Mahato's killing. The fact finding came to a conclusion that Umakanta killed by the posted joint force comprising of Central Reserve Police Force, Local Police personnel, aided by armed mercenaries of ruling party (Harmad). Umakanta was not only deprived by his fundamental right to life; guaranteed by article 21 of Indian Constitution but the whole incident was contravening to Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials adopted by Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, in which India was a party. In our domestic legal domain there are several provisions and procedures with specific directives for minimum use of power and firearms with basic tenets that also should be used only for self defense. But in contrary to all, Umakanta was killed on 27.08.2010 at about 1.00 am while he was returning from adjoining village at Parulia forest in a motorbike with two associates.

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