State TERROR on DALITs

S.O.S   e – Voice For Justice – e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity freedom

Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.12..Issue.19….….14/05/2016

 

DALIT Judge  dismissed for   being  HONEST ?

–       An  Appeal  to Honourable Chief Justice of India

 

Chief Judicial Magistrate of Sukma District in Chhattisgarh state of India Mr. Prabhakar Gwal is a Dalit , from oppressed class. Being from an oppressed class  , he best  understood the sufferings  of oppressed sections of society , sufferings  of people  , tribals displaced from forests  to make way for  big industries , MNCs. He understood the  oppression of  common public by police , state  machinery  resulting  in common man’s  human rights , constitutional rights violations. He  understood  the machinations of state machinery  to favor big industrialists , also he understood the misuse of office by  public servants  all against the rule of LAW.

Sukma CJM  Mr. Gwal  sincerely did his  constitutional duty , to uphold rule of law and earned the wrath of powers that be , Criminal Nexus , he was repeatedly interfered in his judicial  duties , repeatedly transferred and now unjustly dismissed from service without  ANY ENQUIRY  giving a chance for Mr.Gwal to make out his case. Whereas  some other  selfish  judges turned their blind eyes  to the sufferings of public ,  violations of law by public servants , intentionally failed to uphold  the law  and got smooth sailing for their  own  career.

Hereby , We  urge  the Honourable Chief Justice of India  to  order  the Chhattisgarh  State  Government :

  1. To immediately reinstate Mr.Gwal into judicial service.
  2. To make posting at the same place , same court of Sukma , so that he can  complete the cases concerning the  powers that be to the logical end.
  3. To initiate  criminal legal prosecution  against  district collector , police officials , public servants  who directly & indirectly interfered  in the judicial duties performed by Mr. GWAL.
  4. To initiate criminal legal  prosecution against  Chhattisgarh  High Court Judges  who instead of upholding rule of law , supporting Mr. Gwal in his duties  took sides with criminal nexus , powers that be and repeatedly transferred him and now dismissed him from service without  enquiry.
  5. To reopen all the  buried cases which were dealt by Mr. Gwal and buried by transfer of  judge  Mr. Gwal. To take action against ministers , public servants  involved in those cases.
  6. To initiate  criminal action against  sukma district collector , police officials  and Chhattisgarh  High Court  Judges  on  charges of Atrocities against  DALIT  Mr. Gwal  who  was repeatedly  harassed  by  them.
  7. To initiate  criminal  prosecution under anti terror laws ,  against  present  and past  chattisgarh state government ministers , central government  ministers ,  police officials , public servants who  were and are  responsible for creation  of terror outfit SALWA JUDUM  , it’s recent  terror child salwa judum – 2. These public servants   have indulged in terror acts of salwa judum , by aiding & sponsoring it , which is against law.

Date : 30.04.2016…………………………..Your’s sincerely

Place : Mysuru………………………………Nagaraja.M.R.

 

PIL – Atrocities against Dalits by Government

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. OF 2015

IN THE MATTER OF
NAGARAJA . M.R
editor SOS e Clarion of Dalit & SOS e Voice for Justice
# LIG 2 , No 761 ,, HUDCO First Stage , Laxmikantanagar ,
Hebbal , Mysore – 570017 , Karnataka State
….Petitioner
Versus
Cabinet Secretary , Government of India , Chief Secretary , Government of Karnataka & Others
….Respondents

PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 12 to ARTICLE 35 & ARTICLE 51A OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA FOR ISSUANCE OF A WRIT IN THE NATURE OF MANDAMUS UNDER ARTICLE 32 & ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA.

To ,
Hon’ble The Chief Justice of India and His Lordship’s Companion
Justices of the Supreme Court of India. The Humble petition of the
Petitioner above named.

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH :
1. Facts of the case:
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, , rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight among themselves for power and will be lost in political squabbles . A day would come when even air & water will be taxed.” Sir Winston made this statement in the House of Commons just before the independence of India & Pakistan. Sadly , the forewarning of Late Winston Churchill has been proved right by some of our criminal , corrupt public servants.

In  India  dalits  , tribals  are oppressed in various ways by the influential people with the  aid of authorities  and  by authorities , police themselves.

India  is a democratic country  with people’s self governance. Here  laws must be framed as per the wishes of people. MPs , MLAs , MLCs  are  just postmans of  public  passing on the message of people’s aspirations  in the respective  houses , parliament , legislative assembly.

MPs , MLAs , MLCs  don’t have legal , moral , democratic right to impose  any laws  much against the wishes of their own people. It  is illegal.  When people in a specified area doesn’t want  a bauxite mining company in their area  as it affects the local ecology ,  their livelihood , their health , life  how can  MPs , MLAs  give legal sanction to establishment of such companies ? How can MPs , MLAs impose such projects on people much against their wishes ?

These type  of  functioning by ruling MPs , MLAs since decades favoring the rich  , suppressing the  poor   has given rise to various people movements  including naxalism. Ofcourse  , as the act of our MPs , MLAs are illegal , some acts of  these movements are also illegal.  Instead the  people  associated with these movements must take up non violent path for expressing their disagreements with the government actions.

The government  by  misusing it’s powers , police machinery  is illegally arresting , torturing innocents , murdering innocents  to suppress the voices seeking justice. The government  is also  illegally  aiding  various  terrorist outfits like salwa judum , salwa judum-2 , Jharkhand jan mukti parishad , etc all to silence  voices seeking justice.

The government  is  targeting , illegally arresting , torturing journalists , lawyers  who are  legally supporting the voices seeking justice. The government has gone to the extreme  of   SUMMARILY  DISMISSING A SITTING  JUDGE  as  he  legally did his duty & upheld the rule of law.

2. Question(s) of Law:
Are NOT Dalits , Tribals  citizens of India ? Don’t Dalit’s , Tribals  have constitutional rights & human rights to be treated equally ? Why not criminal prosecution of high & mighty practicing dalit atrocities, atrocities against dalits , tribals ?

3. Grounds:
Requests for equitable justice , Protection of Fundamental & Human Rights of all DALITs & TRIBALs.

4. Averment:

Corrupt people within Government  in their greed for money are framing illegal , unjust laws much against the aspirations of people. Hereby , I do request the honorable supreme court of India to consider this as a PIL for : “writ of Mandamus” and to issue instructions to the Government of india  and all state governments  to  protect the constitutional rights , human rights of all dalits , tribals in india and to strictly work , legislate laws as per the wishes , aspirations of people.

PRAYER:
In the above premises, it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased:

Hereby , I do request the honorable supreme court of India to consider this as a PIL for : “writ of Mandamus” and to issue instructions to the concerned public servants  of government of india and all state governments in the following cases to perform their duties.

To immediately reinstate Mr. Prabhakar Gwal , Chief Judicial Magistrate , Sukma , Chattisgarh into judicial service.

To make posting at the same place , same court of Sukma , so that he can  complete the cases concerning the  powers that be to the logical end.

To initiate  criminal legal prosecution  against  district collector , police officials , public servants  who directly & indirectly interfered  in the judicial duties performed by Mr. GWAL.

To initiate criminal legal  prosecution against  Chhattisgarh  High Court Judges  who instead of upholding rule of law , supporting Mr. Gwal in his duties  took sides with criminal nexus , powers that be and repeatedly transferred him and now dismissed him from service without  enquiry.

To reopen all the  buried cases which were dealt by Mr. Gwal and buried by transfer of  judge  Mr. Gwal. To take action against ministers , public servants  involved in those cases.

To initiate  criminal action against  sukma district collector , police officials  and Chhattisgarh  High Court  Judges  on  charges of Atrocities against  DALIT  Mr. Gwal  who  was repeatedly  harassed  by  them.

To initiate  criminal  prosecution under anti terror laws ,  against  present  and past  chattisgarh state government ministers , central government  ministers , other state government ministers of jharkand , bihar , Andhra Pradesh , odisha , west Bengal , etc  and   police officials , public servants  of those governments who  were and are  responsible for creation  of terror outfits like SALWA JUDUM  , it’s recent  terror child salwa judum – 2 , Jharkhand mukti parishad , etc. These public servants   have indulged in terror acts of salwa judum , other outfits  by aiding & sponsoring it , which is against law.

To immediately  annul all the laws , orders passed  by government of india , other state governments  authorizing land acquisition , establishment of big industries , mines  much  against the wishes , aspirations of people.

To immediately annul Imposition of big projects on people by MPs , MLAs much against the resistance of  people.

To  order  authorities to release  lawyers , journalists who are illegally detained for  legally supporting people seeking justice.

To  immediately arrest , legally prosecute Mr.Ajit Doval for showing contempt of court  , interfering , influencing the judicial process  in the name of discussion with judges. Government itself is the biggest litigant in the country.

To pass such other orders and further orders as may be deemed necessary on the facts and in the circumstances of the case.

FOR WHICH ACT OF KINDNESS, THE PETITIONER SHALL BE DUTY BOUND, EVER PRAY.

Dated : 06th  May 2016……………………………………….. FILED BY: NAGARAJA.M.R.

Place : Mysuru , India………………………….. …………………..PETITIONER-IN-PERSON

 

Ajit Doval Briefing Against Principle Of Natural Justice And Equality Before The Law

By Anurag Modi

 

OPEN LETTER TO My Lords of SUPREME COURT

To
The Chief Justice of India,
And brother
Judges,
Supreme Court of India

Respected Sir,

The ‘national security’ has, already, become a tool, in the hands of state and its vigilante groups, to stifle dissent; the mob is incited and activists and members of Adivasi, Dalit and Muslim community are being hounded out. Despite your explicit order of protection, ‘Kanhaiya’, a president of JNU was attacked by members of one such vigilante group in the Patiala House Court, in Delhi, with all impunity.

In the name of internal security, the Chhattisgarh state has been turned into exclusive war-zone; where: adivasi are either killed or implicated in false cases; women are raped; lawyers, journalists and activists helping them are either jailed or hounded out. At this juncture, your briefing with National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, would further worsen the situation; our apprehensions are not unfounded.

While, you were busy in having closed door briefing with Mr. Ajit Doval, at your retreat place, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, lot was happening on the ground in the name of internal security: known researcher and activist, Ms. Bela Bhatia – who, has co-authored a report on this issue, for planning commission, with Mr. Doval; Journalist Malini Subarmaniam – who has been reporting from this internal war zone area in Chhattisgarh; women lawyers of, ‘Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group’ – who have been providing valuable legal aid to Adivasi victims of state’s fake encounter and cooked up cases, were all hounded by state and its vigilante group out of Jagdalpur, in Chhattisgarh.

Moreover, your briefing would set a wrong precedent; as it is against the principle natural justice and equality before the law.

I am sure, you all must be aware of the fact that, the state, to which Mr. Doval represents, is one of the litigant party in all such matters of internal and external security; as a result thousands of Adivasi have been rotting in the jails of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. Similarly, members of the minority community are facing many cases of alleged terrorism; though, now it has also been established that, many of them were tried on trump up charges and cooked up evidence.

Further to this, the State, already, has stated position on the matter of internal security; it considers that the struggles of the Adivasi going on in Chhattisgarh state as the biggest internal security threats.

‘Non Naxal’ districts of the country are no better: being an activists working in adivasi area of Madhya Pradesh for over 25 years, I myself have been witness to many Adivasi hamlets being burnt down by authorities in Betul, Harda and Khandwa Districts of Madhya Pradesh, as they demanded their legitimate rights over the forest. In this region – even after 68 years of Independence – the lowest rung forest officer, the Beat Guard’, of the forest department; who is the state authority for Adivasi, is still addressed as ‘Maharaj’ by Adivasi. Irony of the matter is, while those guilty officers of the state are moving freely, we the activists, along with Adivasi, have been facing more than hundred cases on trumped up charges for peacefully pressing for their legitimate rights over forest. We had, already, approached you, through PIL, but despite you having agreed to forge a new tool to deal with this, the implementing M. P. state has frustrated it.

I am sorry to mention that, the members of Adivasi community have no idea, who you people are? About judiciary and courts, what they know of is: when state authority is tired of harassing them or, they have stopped fearing them anymore, the authorities send them to the magistrate for further harassment. For them nothing much has changed with the independence; the lower judiciary still acts as extended arms of the state.

For example: in criminal trial no 2561/07, at JMFC court Betul, constituted out of the Preliminary Offence Report (POR) No 370/07, dated 19/06/07, 13 minors and 30 adults Adivasi men and women were prosecuted even without being the accused in the case; the trial went on for 8 long years, before they all were acquitted.

I must end with the painful fact that, Adivasi is one of the only communities, which has been, still, fighting for their share of ‘Azadi’ with the successive states- be it: Maratha; British or, Independent Indian State. Irrespective of the ideology, they are driven by; be it of ‘Bullet or Ballot’ (violent or non-violent), they are not in rebel to overthrow the Indian State; unfortunately, their desperation for their share of freedom has been taken as a rebel by the state. They never believed in controlling or ruling somebody else’s life by set of their principles, but don’t allow someone else to control their life, either. So, the matter is not as much of internal security, as it is of mutual trust.

The state, has failed in its duty to provide sense of equal citizenship and co-existence to the members of Adivasi and Minority community. And, I am afraid; your briefing will further alienate them.

I hope, ‘my lords’, will soon have briefing organized by the members and activists representing Adivasi and the minority community; else, you would be dubbed as a partisan; at least, in acts if not in intentions,

Anurag Modi
Activist, Shramik Adivasi Sangathn, Samajwadi Jan Parishad
sasbetul@yahoo.com

 

PIL – Atrocities against Dalits by Government of Karnataka & Others

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. OF 2015

IN THE MATTER OF

NAGARAJA . M.R

editor SOS e Clarion of Dalit & SOS e Voice for Justice
# LIG 2 , No 761 ,, HUDCO First Stage , Laxmikantanagar ,
Hebbal , Mysore – 570017 , Karnataka State
.
….Petitioner

Versus

Cabinet Secretary , Government of India , Chief Secretary , Government of Karnataka & Others

….Respondents

PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 12 to ARTICLE 35 & ARTICLE 51A OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA FOR ISSUANCE OF A WRIT IN THE NATURE OF MANDAMUS UNDER ARTICLE 32 & ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA.

To ,
Hon’ble The Chief Justice of India and His Lordship’s Companion
Justices of the Supreme Court of India. The Humble petition of the
Petitioner above named.

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH :
1. Facts of the case:
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, , rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight among themselves for power and will be lost in political squabbles . A day would come when even air & water will be taxed.” Sir Winston made this statement in the House of Commons just before the independence of India & Pakistan. Sadly , the forewarning of Late Winston Churchill has been proved right by some of our criminal , corrupt public servants.

In Karnataka dalits are oppressed in various ways by the influential people ,

1. In the recruitment process at Karnataka State Open University , vice chancellor / vested interests recruited unfit candidates belonging to their own community sidelining the deserving dalit candidates .

2. In the recruitment process at Mysore University , vice chancellor / vested interests recruited unfit candidates belonging to their own community sidelining the deserving dalit candidates .

3. In the recruitment process at Hassan , Mandya , Mysore & Shimoga Medical Colleges , vested interests recruited unfit candidates belonging to their own community sidelining the deserving dalit candidates .

4. In the recruitment process of KPSC for gazetted officers , vested interests recruited unfit candidates belonging to their own community sidelining the deserving dalit candidates .

5. In Karnataka , many privately managed Industrial Training Institutes , Polytechnics have mushroomed and are getting state government grant. The managements have recruited people belonging to their own communities completely disregarding the recruitment rules of the government. Still they are enjoying government grant without any legal prosecution of those guilty.

6. The Karnataka government officials immediately evict temporary hutments built by tribals , dalits on government land and demolish those hutments. Whereas they allow huge buildings , complexes to be built on government land by influential upper caste people. The government has kept those illegal buildings intact for years , allowed the encroachers to earn lakhs of rupees and now in the process of regularizing those illegal encroachments.

The honourable governor of Karnataka , instead of taking legal action and legally prosecuting the guilty has taken side with the guilty themselves. He has approved AKRAMA SAKRAMA scheme of the government , no action was taken against vice chancellors of KSOU & Mysore University, etc. This is nothing but indirect way of atrocities against dalits , by supporting perpetrators of atrocities.

As a result , Since years unfit people are working as KAS officers , unfit people are working in KSOU , Mysore University , Unfit people are working in medical colleges of Madya / Hassan / Mysore / Shimoga and earning thousands of rupees monthly salary. Influential upper caste people are earning lakhs of rupees as rent from land encroachments and are on the verge of becoming legal owners of encroached lands.

Even in other states also Dalits are oppressed. See the recent suicide of doctoral student in University of Hyderabad , few moths back we saw dalit atrocity in IIT Chennai.

The poor dalits although talented & deserving are without seats , facilities in educational institutions , jobs , without livelihood & shelter.

2. Question(s) of Law:
Are NOT Dalits , citizens of India ? Don’t Dalit’s have constitutional rights & human rights to be treated equally ? Why not criminal prosecution of high & mighty practicing dalit atrocities ?

3. Grounds:
Requests for equitable justice , Protection of Fundamental & Human Rights of all DALITs.

4. Averment:

Corrupt people within Government of Karnataka are violating government norms during recruitment various educational institutions and while demolishing illegal structures. Hereby , I do request the honorable supreme court of India to consider this as a PIL for : “writ of Mandamus” and to issue instructions to the concerned public servants in the following cases to perform their duties.

PRAYER:
In the above premises, it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased:

(i) Hereby , I do request the honorable supreme court of India to consider this as a PIL for : “writ of Mandamus” and to issue instructions to the concerned public servants in the following cases to perform their duties.

(ii) To criminally prosecute government of Karnataka chief secretary & governor of Karnataka , for all the above mentioned recruitment scandals , for their failure of duties.

(iii) To immediately evict land encroachers & prosecute them irrespective of the caste they belong to. Only eviction of dalits , tribals , downtrodden people & demolition of hutments belonging to them while sparing big buildings belonging to rich , influential forward caste people should not be done.

(iv) To annul the moves by Government of Karnataka to regularize big illegal structures built by rich , influential forward caste people without rehabilitating the evicted dalits , tribals , downtrodden. To declare it as illegal.

(v) To recover monetary gains made by the encroachers.

(vi) To terminate the services of unfit candidates selected in the above mentioned recruitment processes.

(vii) To legally prosecute the recruiting authority officials in all the above recruitments.

(viii) To make proper appointments with due consideration to dalits , backward class people in all the above institutions , as per law.

(ix) To pass such other orders and further orders as may be deemed necessary on the facts and in the circumstances of the case.

(x) To take action against those responsible for atrocities against Dalits in University of Hyderabad & IIT Chennai.

FOR WHICH ACT OF KINDNESS, THE PETITIONER SHALL BE DUTY BOUND, EVER PRAY.

Kindly read full details at following web page :

https://sites.google.com/site/eclarionofdalit/pil—dalit-atrocities-by-government-of-karnataka

Dated : 19TH January 2015……………………………………….. FILED BY: NAGARAJA.M.R.

Place : Mysuru , India………………………….. …………………..PETITIONER-IN-PERSON

 

To,

 

1.Honourable Chairman , National Human Rights Commision (NHRC) , New Delhi.

2.Justice  THAKUR , Honourable  Chief Justice of India , SUPREME COURT OF INDIA , New Delhi.

 

Honourable Sir,

 

Previous  CJIs  and  present  Honourable Chief Justice of India  Justice  THAKUR  have failed   in  their  constitutional duties. It is the duty of Supreme Court of India to Protect , Guard the constitutional rights , fundamental rights of every Indian citizen . Since 25 years I am appealing to SCI about issues concerning public welfare , national security , etc and as a result suffering injustices , my constitutional rights , human rights are repeatedly violated but  SCI is mum even when repeated appeals were made to it. Paradoxically , after these appeals for justice , I have suffered more injustices , attempts on my life were made , physically assaulted , livelihood / jobs were denied , news publication closed , press accreditation denied , received threatening calls , blank calls, even to date  rough elements follow us , rough elements scout near home at mid night. Does not these indicate some ties between rough elements & SCI Judges ?

 

I ,NAGARAJA.M.R. Editor  , SOS  e  Clarion  of  Dalit  &  SOS  e  Voice  for  Justice  ( web news papers ) hereby do declare that information given above are true to the best of my knowledge & belief. If i am repeatedly called to police station or else where for the sake of investigations , the losses i do incurr as a result like loss of wages , transportation , job , etc must be borne by the government. prevoiusly the police / IB personnel repeatedly called me the  complainant (sufferer of injustices) to police station for questioning , but never called the guilty culprits even once to police station for questioning , as the culprits are high & mighty . this  type of one sided questioning must not be done by police or investigating agencies . if anything untoward happens to me or to my family members like loss of job , meeting with hit & run accidents , loss of lives , death due to improper medical care , etc , the jurisdictional police , revenue officials , District Magistrate & Chief Justice of India together with above mentioned  accused public servants will be responsible for it. Even if criminal nexus levels fake charges , police file fake cases against me or my dependents to silence me , even  if my unnatural death occurs  this complaint  is & will be effective , valid.  In such a situation also , in the absence of me the original complainant  still the  supreme court must take forward the case in public interest as the issues I have raised in my appeals , PILs concern public welfare , national security and are relevant for ever.

 

If I or my family members or my dependents are denied our fundamental rights , human rights , denied proper medical care for ourselves , If anything untoward like hit & run cases , murder  attempts , unnatural deaths , etc happens to me or to my dependents or to my family members – In such case  Justice T S  THAKUR  Honourable Chief Justice of India together with the jurisdictional revenue & police officials  will be responsible for it , in such case the government of india is liable to pay Rs. TWO crore as compensation to survivors of my family. if my whole family is eliminated by the criminal nexus  ,then that compensation money must be donated to Indian Army Welfare Fund. Afterwards , the money must be recovered by GOI as land arrears from the salary , pension , property , etc of  guilty police officials , guilty Judges , guilty public servants & guilty Constitutional  functionaries. Please don’t refer the case to police , they don’t have powers to enquire high and mighty , previously police have failed.  Supreme Court monitored enquiry , investigation is a must to  unearth the truth.

 

Read full details at :  Justice  THAKUR  above  Law ?  Accountability ?

http://e-clarionofdalit.blogspot.in/2016/04/justice-thakur-above-law-accountability.html#links  ,

https://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/justice-thakur-on-trial

 

Please protect our HUMAN RIGHTS and provide us JUSTICE. Thank You.

 

Date : 30.04.2016……………………..Your’s sincerely,

Place : Mysuru………………………….Nagaraja.M.R.

 

 

Chief Judicial Magistrate- Sukma district dismissed by Chhattisgarh Government

 

The Raman Singh government has dismissed Sukma district’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhakar Gwal from service in “public interest”, following the recommendation of the Chhattisgarh High Court. Mr. Gwal, a Dalit Magistrate was dismissed on the basis of “available material” (not in public domain) without a internal/departmental inquiry.

On April 4 afternoon, Mr Gwal had updated the news of his termination via his Facebook account-

“DISTRICT COURT DANTEWADA (918982620495):- //ORDER//

F.No.3335/987/XXI-B/C.G./16
Raipur, dated 01.04.2016

“Government of Chhattisgarh state hereby, dismisses Shri prabhakar gwal, Member of lower Judicial Services, Civil judge class-I and Chief judicial magistrate, Sukma, from service in public interest with immediate effect.

District and sessions Judge
South Baster dantewada C.G.”

Earlier, Gwal had hit the headlines for alleging that a BJP legislator, Ramlal Chouhan, had threatened him after he convicted five people in connection with the leak of PMT question papers in 2011. His wife too had written to the President alleging harassment, claiming that Gwal was transferred to Sukma as a result of his judgment. Mr Prabhakar had accused a ruling BJP MLA of threatening him over the judgment.

Mr. Gwal has had a history of exposing corrupt officials and politicians. While Gwal was posted in Bilaspur, he had ordered an inquiry against government officials and Police officers, for the infamous ‘Bhadaura Land-Scam’. The land scam is known for involvement of a senior minister of BJP (Amar Agrawal). Similarly, he had ordered for inquiry of Bilaspur RTO officials. He was then transferred to Raipur, where he rejected to accept Closure Report in the case of IPS Rahul Sharma’s suicide. After that he was transferred to Dantewada. Recently his phone conversation with Dantewada Collector had gone viral, in which Collector had asked Gwal to consult him before ordering to file any case.

He is known for taking strong actions against the executive arm of the government and enjoys a public image of being an upright man. His dismissal comes after his wife filed a civil case against 19 people including judicial officers for harassing her husband. HC stayed that case, meanwhile his dismissal was recommended.

A Dalit officer being dismissed in such a one-sided, clouded, swift manner raises larger questions on the system itself. Was he an inconvenient man who didn’t understand the system and it’s ‘norms’? Did his voice against BJP MLA (Ramla Chauhan), Mr Amar Agarwal and Mr Neeraj Bhansod (for interfering in judicial work) made higher ups uncomfortable? These questions are being raised after his dismissal. The ball is in the judiciary and government court to clear and come out clean. A dismissal order by merely stating, that ‘it is in public interest’ doesn’t fit the democratic norms in 2016.

 

 

 

Protests greet Chhattisgarh government’s dismissal of Sukma’s Chief Judicial Magistrate

 

On 14 April, the Chhattisgarh government dismissed Sukma’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhakar Gwal. A 2006 batch judicial officer, Gwal, belongs to the Dalit community and has questioned the manner in which the police have been indiscriminately arresting tribals in the conflict zones of Chhattisgarh.

 

On 8 February, the Sukma Superintendent of Police complained to the District Judiciary against Gwal stating that among other things he has been granting bail to naxal accused and such decisions have “adversely affected the morale of the security forces” and “weakens the judicial process”. It is based on such complaints that Chhattisgarh government dismissed Gwal on the grounds of “public interest” following the recommendation of the Chhattisgarh High Court. The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), in a press release, has protested

against the dismissal of Gwal, calling it unjustified. It said: “Police high-handedness and harassment of those involved in the administration of justice is nothing new to the conflict zones of Chhattisgarh. Recently  advocates of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JagLAG) have been forcefully evicted from Jagdalpur and pressure is being mounted on them by the police administration and police backed vigilante groups to cease their  legal practice. JagLAG has been providing legal Aid to many tribals incarcerated in Jagdalpur and Dantewada. Similarly Social activists such as Soni Sori and Bela Bhatia and journalists like Malini Subramaniam,

 

Prabhat Singh, Santosh Yadav and Somaru Nag who have been raising issues of Human rights violations by the police administration have been threatened, attacked or even arrested. “ The IAPL has alleged that under the pretext of “Mission 2016”, i.e., the present offensive launched by the government to wipe out the Maoist movement in Chhattisgarh, the police in these areas have been taking steps to see that no alternate voice emanates from these areas. The IAPL has raised the larger issue of keeping the judiciary away from police interference , following this dismissal. “Chhattisgarh jails are filled with tribals who have been arrested,

 

several false and fabricated criminal cases are foisted upon them and they remain incarcerated for several years. Anyone who supports such tribals and questions the policies of the state are branded as “terrorists” or  “anti-national”. In such a situation, the judicial system is their last hope. Hence, it is vital that the judiciary be allowed to carry on its functions in accordance with law and without any interference from the police”, it has said. That the dismissal coincides the recent briefing by the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval for the Supreme Court Judges at a retreat at the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, has led to concern among the observers. If police excesses in the name of security concerns in conflict zones are to be tolerated by the judiciary, and the judiciary meekly accepts such advice from the Government, then the signs are ominous,  according to an activist lawyer, who has been fighting cases involving civil liberties. The IAPL has alleged that executive interference in judiciary in this manner militates against the basic structure of the Constitution  which emphasises separation of powers and independence of judiciary. Lawyers point out that if the Executive is unhappy wih Gwal’s decisions, it has the option to appeal against them in the higher courts. Dismissing  a Judge, soley on the ground of his decisions which were in favour of citizens, is inconsistent with the concept of independence of judiciary, they suggest. IAPL has called upon all, especially those from the legal  fraternity to resist these moves to prejudice the judiciary and also demanded the immediate reinstatement of Prabhakar Gwal as the Sukma CJM. The press statement has been signed for IAPL, among others, by wellknown  advocate from Raipur, Sudha Bharadwaj.

 

Salwa Judum is illegal, says Supreme Court

 

In a blow to both the Chhattisgarh government and the Centre, the Supreme Court has declared as illegal and unconstitutional the deployment of tribal youths as Special Police Officers – either as ‘Koya Commandos’, Salwa Judum or any other force – in the fight against the Maoist insurgency and ordered their immediate disarming.

The ruling – issued on Tuesday by Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar on the writ petition filed by social anthropologist Prof. Nandini Sundar and others – strongly indicted the State for violating Constitutional principles in arming youth who had passed only fifth standard and conferring on them the powers of police.

The Bench said “the State of Chhattisgarh shall forthwith make every effort to recall all firearms issued to any of the SPOs, whether current or former, along with any and all accoutrements and accessories issued to use such firearms. The word firearm as used shall include any and all forms of guns, rifles, launchers etc., of whatever calibre.”

Writing the order, Justice Reddy directed the State of Chhattisgarh to immediately cease and desist from using SPOs in any manner or form in any activities, directly or indirectly, aimed at controlling, countering, mitigating or otherwise eliminating Maoist/Naxalite activities in the State of Chhattisgarh.

The court directed the Centre and the State of Chhattisgarh to provide appropriate security forthwith, and undertake such measures “as are necessary, and within bounds of constitutional permissibility, to protect the lives of those who had been employed as SPOs previously, or who had been given any initial orders of selection or appointment, from any and all forces, including but not limited to Maoists/Naxalites.”

The Bench made it clear that the State of Chhattisgarh should take all appropriate measures to prevent the operation of any group, including but not limited to Salwa Judum and Koya commandos, that in any manner or form seek to take law into private hands, act unconstitutionally or otherwise violate the human rights of any person.

The Bench said “the measures to be taken by the State of Chhattisgarh shall include, but not be limited to, investigation of all previously inappropriately or incompletely investigated instances of alleged criminal activities of Salwa Judum, or those popularly known as Koya Commandos.”

The Bench held that the policy of the State violated the rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of those being employed as SPOs in Chattisgarh and used in counter-insurgency measures against Maoists/Naxalites, as well as of citizens living in those areas.

The Bench was of the view that effectiveness of the force “ought not to be, and cannot be, the sole yardstick to judge constitutional permissibility. Whether SPOs have been effective against Maoist/Naxalite activities in Chhattisgarh would seem to be a dubious, if not a debunked, proposition given the state of affairs in Chattisgarh. Even if we were to grant, for the sake of argument, that indeed the SPOs were effective against Maoists/Naxalites, the doubtful gains are accruing only by the incurrence of a massive loss of fealty to the Constitution, and damage to the social order.”

The Bench said “The primordial value is that it is the responsibility of every organ of the State to function within the four corners of constitutional responsibility. That is the ultimate rule of law.”

It said “Indeed, we recognise that the State faces many serious problems on account of Maoist/Naxalite violence.Notwithstanding the fact that there may be social and economic circumstances, and certain policies followed by the State itself, leading to emergence of extremist violence, we cannot condone it.”

The Judges said “The attempt to overthrow the State itself and kill its agents, and perpetrate violence against innocent civilians, is destructive of an ordered life. The State necessarily has the obligation, moral and constitutional, to combat such extremism, and provide security to the people of the country.”

Indian villagers ‘crushed’ between militia and Maoists

A controversial state-backed militia has been reincarnated to take on leftist rebels in central India.

 

The violence that took place in this village nearly a decade ago is still visible. Charred logs are all that remain of a razed home, and barren land has replaced a once-thriving forest.

Residents of Bijapur district, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, fear the prospect of more fighting as a once-banned militia, Salwa Judum, has been reincarnated to fight communist groups opposed to resource extraction in the area.

Chhattisgarh has witnessed armed conflict for several decades now, partly over the region’s rich deposits of coal, iron ore, and bauxite. The Indian government, which uses these minerals for electricity generation and steel and cement production, has fought Maoist groups known as Naxalites.

They oppose large-scale mining, arguing it disrupts the socioeconomic fabric of the forest-dwelling tribal people and harms the environment. The Naxalites began their armed campaign in the 1970s because of what they say is an unequal distribution of wealth.

In 2005, however, after nearly three decades of fighting the Naxalites, the Indian government began arming a civilian group to fight its battles. This militia, Salwa Judum, had a better understanding of the terrain and the local language – and was more ruthless than Indian security forces. Many villagers were forced to join the militia.

“The state was making us fight its battles,” said Rosan Nikam, a Bijapur resident for the past three decades, speaking of how civilians were armed. “That had never happened before. The security forces fought the Maoists, not common villagers.”

 

Many Salwa Judum members were civilians who received arms training from the state government. The young tribal members who were trained by the government came to be known as Special Police Officers (SPOs) and Koya Commandos.

“It was clearly a state-sponsored counterinsurgency programme,” said Nandini Sundar, an academic who petitioned India’s Supreme Court against Salwa Judum in 2007, a case that led

.02to the organisation’s banning four years later.

About 670 villages in the Bastar region were affected by the ensuing violence, and although the residents have by now rebuilt their homes, many of them remain destitute.

The Supreme Court of India banned Salwa Judum in 2011, in light of the human rights violations it found it had committed.

But in May this year, shortly after the Chhattisgarh government signed agreements to build massive steel plants in the Bastar region, a group called Vikas Sangharsh Samiti was launched by Chhavindra Karma, with the aim of continuing Salwa Judum’s struggle.

Salwa Judum had been led by Karma’s father, the late Mahendra Karma, a Congress party leader assassinated by Naxalites along with 12 others as their convoy traveled through a forest in May 2013.

Chhavindra Karma claims that the Naxalites have killed 93 members of his extended family.

“Salwa Judum started with peace marches in villages. The objective of these marches was to make the people aware of Maoist excesses,” said Karma. “It is the state that began to train tribals with guns.”

The militia’s critics say it is impossible to think of Salwa Judum as separate from the state. The SPOs and Koya Commandos drew their salaries from the state, earning as much as 9,000 rupees ($138) per month.

The Supreme Court ruling banning Salwa Judum forbids the creation of similar groups, but Vikas Sangharsh Samiti hopes to get around this by using a different name and a different structure.

Authorities in the Home Ministry in Delhi and the state government in Chhattisgarh did not respond to Al Jazeera’s repeated requests for comment.

Chaitram Attami was a central figure in Salwa Judum, and used to call the shots in the mineral-rich Dantewads region.

He is now a local politician and travels with four rifle-wielding bodyguards. Attami lives in the Kaasoli camp, which is covered with barbed wire on all sides and has armed paramilitary men manning the entry and exit points.

Given the public outcry against Salwa Judum’s new incarnation, Attami is taking a cautious approach.

“We will try and make it peaceful,” he said. He admitted that Vikas Sangharsh Samiti has begun to go into the villages to warn their residents against supporting the Maoist agenda – which is exactly how Salwa Judum began its activities.

Meanwhile, villagers who are not affiliated with Salwa Judum or the Naxalites say they have borne the brunt of the violence. Many people in the south Bastar region give dreadful accounts of how their lives were turned upside down during the Salwa Judum era.

“We haven’t completely recovered from the violence unleashed on our villages a few years ago, and there is already talk of more violence coming our way,” said a 26-year-old man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals from either government security forces or the Naxalites.

Nikam, the Bijapur resident, said: “My house was burned twice in 2007. Everything I had, including my land documents, grains, bedding and clothes, were burned down.”

Today, he cultivates what he believes to be his land. He is not sure because he no longer has his documents. If the authorities decide to evict him from his land, he will have no proof to fight his case.

He said he does not dare to take on the security forces for fear of false arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings.

And the Naxalites have been known to turn violent when villagers do not support them with information, food, water, and shelter when asked to do so.

“I think we live between a rock and a hard place,” Nikam told Al Jazeera. “Sometimes, one is softer than the other; but mostly, we are crushed.”

 

 

Salwa Judum’s war on the people

 

Will the Supreme Court’s Commissioners, ordered to carry out a fact-finding inspection, be allowed to visit the cut-off villages in Dantewada and Sukma in Chhattisgarh, and engage with the people on a long-term basis? KAVITA SRIVASTAVA

The Supreme Court order of March 29, 2011 asking its Commissioners and the District Collector to carry out a joint inspection in the three villages of Tademtla, Morapalli and Teemapuram, in the Chintalnaar area of Dantewada District is very significant and let us hope that the Apex court engages with the situation in these villages on a more long-term basis so that relief actually reaches and the people can rebuild their ravaged lives.

It maybe recalled that these three villages were attacked and burnt down by COBRA and Koya Commanders and SPOs of the Chhattisgarh Police on March 11 and 16, 2011. The plan of the Government of Chhattisgarh is very clear, which is to use the front of the Salwa Judum and SPOs and push these people out from their villages into either migrating out of their homelands into the Salwa Judum camps or to join the IDPs in Khammam, AP or go deeper into the forest area and join the Maoists or stay in the village and die of hunger. This tactics is not new. All this is being done in order to shrink the mass base of the Maoists.

Documented state violence

This is how it was done in 2005 and the first report of the PUCL, PUDR, carried out under the leadership of Dr. Binayak Sen, called “When the State makes War against its own People”, clearly documented this. This was also highlighted in subsequent human rights reports by various organisations and individuals. After all, in the first phase of the Salwa Judum, they pushed people out of their homes, hearth, farms, fields from hundreds of villages. It is ultimately a game of who will actually control these lands. So, as it was then so now, prevent people from being accessed, cut all communication and supply lines to the village and let them either join “us” or “them” or “die”.

Thus it is a test whether the SC Commissioners will be allowed to go to the area by the Chhattisgarh Government as the five earlier attempts in the last one week made by people to reach these areas from the Raipur-Jagdalpur-Sukma route was thwarted by stage-managed obstructions. And if they do manage to go, will it be sustained by allowing supplies and communication from being established?

The latest in the series of preventing the affected villagers from getting any aid was that of the team of 10 Congress MLAs whose attempt of going on March 29 with relief supplies was obstructed by the same set of people with the support of the police.

Ex-Minister turned back

The Congress team was led by Ex Home Minister Nand Kumar Patel. They left Sukma with food supplies at about 10.00 a.m. and proceeded towards Chintalnar. This team too was stopped at the same village Polampalli, where the Collector was stopped on March 24, 2011, by a group of about 25 SPOs and Salwa Judum persons only. The IG, Long Kumar of Bastar who was escorting them, instead of stopping the hoodlums prevented the Congress MLA team from going, saying that he could not provide security to them as there was a risk involved in going to the villages of Tadmetla, Morapalli, Teempuram. When the MLAs insisted that they would go as they argued that this kind of resistance was routine for politicians, they were told they would not be allowed. The IG, instead of using his command and stopping the SPOs and Salwa Judum personnel from breaking the law, arrested and brought the MLAs to Dornapal, where they were released on personal bonds. The Congress MLAs left for Raipur by evening to raise the issue in the State Assembly.

A day earlier, on March 28, on the instructions of the District Collector, the Dornapal village Naib Tehsildar, Vijendra Patil, tried to take relief to the three villages. At around noon he was stopped and not allowed to proceed. When the ASI Dhruv tried to clear the obstruction at Polampalli he was stopped by an SPO.

In the police hierarchy the SPO would be at the lowest rung, but here they are the war lords. They even refused to take instructions from the District Collector and the Divisional Commissioner who tried to go there with supplies on March 24. They threatened the SDM who went ahead with the supplies, then on March 26, Swami Agnivesh was stopped twice, although he was being taken by the Additional SP Marawi in his own vehicle, they did not spare their own senior and threw stones and smashed the vehicle. It took the Additional SP two days of struggle to get an FIR lodged as the local police station would not lodge a case against the Salwa Judum and SPO lords of the region. And, of course, IG Long Kumar also does not want to exercise his control over them.

Which means that till now, all those who have attempted to visit those areas from the Sukma end have been prevented by the Government from going there. On March 20 and 21, the Times of India and The Hindu reporters were prevented from going to the area. They could only reach there through a longer and difficult alternate route. The All India team of members from the democratic rights organisations who went there on the same dates as Swami Agnivesh could reach and conduct a fact finding could do so because they took a third route to get there. This the first fact-finding team that visited the area after September 2009, since the PUDR team had gone to Gompad area when 16 people were killed by CRPF and other forces in its Operation Green Hunt intervention. And subsequently teams were not allowed to go to the affected areas (A women’s team was not allowed to visit Samsetti village to study a gang rape case on December 15, 2009. Professors Nandini Sundar and Ujjwal Singh of DU were chased out of Dantewada and Sukma, were not allowed to stay in any hotel on the eve of the new year of 2010. Then Medha Patkar and Sandeep Pandey led a NAPM team of 40 people in early January, 2010 and they too were harassed and were not allowed to move freely into the areas to hear the woes of tribals and then in May 2010 a team led by Prof. Yashpal and 40 other intellectuals met the same fate).

Urgent questions

Now suppose the SC Commissioners are taken by chopper from Raipur to these villages, then they will have to go alone and not with a local team of journalists or villagers who can be objective local guides for such visits. And then having gone once will they be able to sustain the access of supplies with the help of the Supreme Court? Who will monitor it there? Till public access of these villages is not assured nobody will know what is happening there.

The news of how a Government lets its “lesser people” be killed, raped, their houses and granaries burnt, allows them to live in conditions of food scarcity, perhaps even die of starvation does not even make it to the national channels. Soon this will be forgotten, till the Maoists strike back and then we will only see channel after channel breaking news, calling the poor tribals, terrorists, monsters and killers. And the human rights workers will be verbally flogged with the pitch of the anchors going higher and higher on these very channels.

Would not the Chhattisgarh Government be responsible for that eventuality, if it ever happens? We should all raise our voices and stop this from happening.

Kavita Srivastava is a national secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan and is the petitioner in the Supreme Court in the PUCL petition on the Right to Food.

having gone once will they be able to sustain the access of supplies with the help of the Supreme Court?

 

 

 

Salwa Judum-2 is born in Bastar

Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma’s son Chhavindra Karma and former leaders of the anti-Maoist militia formed “Vikas Sangharsh Samiti” on Monday in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, which will carry forward the work of Salwa Judum in Bastar.

“I had invited all the leaders and workers associated with the Salwa Judum for a meeting on Monday. The new samiti will strive to bring peace to Bastar,” Chhavindra Karma told The Hindu .

Padyatra

Asked if it could be called Salwa Judum part two, Mr. Karma said, “Yes, you can call it so. The new outfit will undertake padyatra (marches) in various parts of Bastar to spread awareness against Maoism. We will seek the help of the State government so that our awareness campaigns would be followed by development works in the region.”

The Supreme Court had declared the Salwa Judum “illegal and unconstitutional” and had ordered its disbandment in 2011.

“Peaceful movement”

Led by former Congress leader Mahendra Karma, the anti-Maoist militia was blamed for large-scale “forcible displacement” of Bastar tribals and extra-judicial killings.

“The Salwa Judum part two will be peaceful. Our main aim is to finish Maoism in Bastar and bring development.

Already more than 18 village panchayats have banned the entry of Maoists in their villages,” claimed Mr. Karma.

Chaitram Mattami, P.Vijay, Sattar Ali and Sukhram Dadi, who had led Salwa Judum in their respective areas in its first edition, attended the meeting on Monday.

Chaitram Mattami, P. Vijay and Mr. Chhavindra Karma would be leading the new anti-Maoist outfit and its first major event will take place in Karma’s ancestral village Faraspal in Dantewada on the second death anniversary of Mahendra Karma on May 25. He died in a Maoist attack in 2013.

All Salwa Judum leaders from Konta block in Sukma to Bhopalpattnam block in Bijpur district of Bastar attended Monday’s meeting, claimed Mr. Karma.

In Chhattisgarh’s Bastar, a front similar to Salwa Judum is taking shape

 

A decade after Mahendra Karma launched Salwa Judum, the slain Congress leader’s son Chhavindra is trying to start another movement against Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

 

A decade after Mahendra Karma launched Salma Judum, the slain Congressleader’s son Chhavindra is trying to start another movement against Maoists in Chhattisgarh, looking for police and government support and raising fears of a rerun of the violenceAshutosh Bhardwaj reports from Bastar

The coincidence is stark. Exactly a decade ago, on June 4, 2005, the Chhattisgarh government signed an MoU with the Tatas for a mega steel plant in Bastar, with Maoists being the only hurdle. The following day, Salwa Judum was launched to evict Maoists from the region, a move that went on to define the last decade of the insurgency.

Last month in Dantewada, in PM Narendra Modi’s presence, the Raman Singh government signed MoUs for an ultra mega steel plant and a rail line in Bastar. Meanwhile, a front similar to Salwa Judum has been taking shape. The earlier movement was led by the late Mahendra Karma; the new one, called Vikas Sangharsh Samiti, is headed by his son Chhavindra.

 

The beginning of the Samiti too sounds eerily familiar. In 2005, Karma began padyatras across South Bastar urging tribals to come out of their villages and live in camps for a decisive battle against the Maoists. Now, Chhavindra plans similar campaigns with former Judum commanders. He has sought government support and police protection, and said he is ready for any “qurbani”.

The possibility of what this will lead to chills many people. In the 30 months of Salwa Judum before it fizzled out in 2007, Chhattisgarh saw the deaths of 325 security personnel, 609 civilians and 165 suspected Maoists. That’s 1,099 deaths, or a death a day; Judum leaders say the number is far higher.

A little away from the Faraspal home of Karma stand a series of monuments built in the memory of his relatives. Near the home is Karma’s statute with folded hands.

“Including my papa, 95 people of my family have been killed in this battle. They say I am doing raajniti. I carry the family responsibility of freeing this area from Naxals,” says Chhavindra, 34. He insists there won’t be any violence this time, but with police already declaring support, he knows what he’s preparing for. “Is ladai men qurbaniyan deni hi padengi (this war won’t be won without sacrifice). Let the first bullet hit my chest.”

 

As of now, Chhavindra or the new front has little popular support or military strength. It hopes the government support will turn things its way. The plan is to go on padyatras and tell villagers to stop supporting Maoists — just like Karma had done once.

Remains of Salwa Judum

At its peak, Judum had around 100 major leaders. Just around 15 are alive today.

Mahendra Karma had three chief lieutenants heading a district each — Soyam Muka in Sukma, Chaitram Attami in Dantewada and Mahadev Rana in Bijapur. Rana was killed. Attami, uprooted from his village a decade ago, lives in a Salwa Judum camp, while Muka, also uprooted, says he has lost more relatives than anyone else. “You will find maximum Soyams in the list of the killed,” he adds, as he mentions his deceased elder brother Soyam Mukesh.

A primary teacher, Muka had picked up the gun at the call of his mama, Karma. Chhavindra wants him to join the new movement, but Muka says, “After Karma’s death, I lost faith. When he was alive I thought if he could defeat death, so could I.”

Another Judum leader, Sattar Ali, was in Karma’s vehicle when Maoists attacked the Congress convoy in May 2013. “When the Maoists opened fire, Karmaji came out. He offered his life and saved all of us.”

Chhavindra, who accompanied his father during the Judum campaigns, is banking on his father’s stature. “When Salwa Judum was on, whose statements were published? The CM’s? No, it was Karmaji’s,” he says.

During the assembly election campaign for their mother Devti, Karma’s sons had accused Raman Singh of betraying their father. “It was a mistake to have taken the support of the government during Salwa Judum. Raman Singh withdrew later,” they had said. Of late, Chhavindra has been making public calls for government support again.

The government imprint
Dantewada stands at the confluence of rivers Dankini and Shankhi, names with diametrically opposite meanings. Dankini means a sting, Shankhi the holy conch. Led by a Congress leader, supported by the BJP government, Salwa Judum too had dichotomy as an intrinsic part.

 

That continues. Dantewada BJP zilla panchayat member Chaitram Attami was on stage when Chhavindra, a Congress secretary, and others announced the formation of the new Samiti. Days later, Attami was overseeing laying of a helipad in Dantewada for PM Modi to land on.

Attami had controlled Judum operations in Dantewada the last time too, earning Z category security. Guarded by 16 cops, he lives with his wife and a baby in a camp at Kasauli.

Speaking at Karma’s death anniversary last month, Bastar IGP S R Kalluri declared his support for the Samiti. “The national media has misrepresented Vikas Sangharsh Samiti and wrongly compared it with Salwa Judum so that someone gets a chance to go to the court against it,” he said. Kalluri asserted Salwa Judum was not properly defended in court, and should anyone challenge the legality of the new front, he will defend it.

Chief Minister Raman Singh believed that “Salwa Judum was a people’s movement, a jan andolan.” He hinted at government support to the front: “On the issue of garnering consent among people, making them ready and creating a certain atmosphere — there should be awareness. If we stand up against Naxals on the streets and bring villagers along, I have to ensure they are protected.”

The state Congress has rejected the new campaign. “The Supreme Court banned special police officers. The Congress distances itself from this venture,” says PCC chief Bhupesh Baghel.

The forgotten camps
Across the road from Bastar’s first fortified police station, in Dornapal of Sukma, is the largest Salwa Judum camp. It once had over 25,000 uprooted tribals from 72 villages.

Tiny huts crowd narrow lanes. A wistful Janaki Kawasi, 32, rushes closer. “Have you been to Jagargunda? My village Milampalli is not far from there. How is it now?” she says. Then, her voice drops. “I know, nothing can be left now. It’s all deserted.”

Since she came here in 2007 with her husband, she has become a zilla panchayat member from the BJP. Yet she longs for home. “What’s here? Everything got left there.”

Over two dozen such camps came up in South Bastar as around one lakh tribals left their villages, not all of them by choice.

Most Judum camps came up along highways or roads, but the heavily fortified one in Jagargunda is in the wilderness. It houses over 4,000, who wanted to stay closer home and ended up vulnerable. Janaki’s father-in-law Kawasi Hadma was among those who stayed back. He was killed last November.

Vetti Meena  recently gave birth to a son in the Dornapal camp and grieves that he is confined. Her husband was an SPO and is now posted 50 km away. She resigns herself to fate: “Policewale kabhi nahin laut payenge. Yahin marna hai ab (Policemen won’t ever be able to go back. We will die here.”

There are 184 families still at the camp where Attami stays, at least 100 of SPOs. The government has stopped providing rations. Guarded by police, they live in constant fear of attack. Maoists had attacked a Salwa Judum camp in July 2006 in Errabore, leaving 32 dead, including two babies. They had also abducted 42 and publicly executed six.

In the 2013 polls, which Karma’s wife Devti contested, his sons promised to ensure the return home of camp inmates. Eldest son Deepak calls the conditions in the camps Judum’s biggest failure. “Tribal girls faced the worst sexual harassment by security forces,” he says.

“How could my father have checked or foreseen that? It was the task of the government to run these camps. But the government stopped giving them even rations.”

The renewed fear
Salwa Judum had effectively given the Maoists a boost. Though present in Bastar for over two decades, they had limited dominance or military capacity. As Judum leaders pushed villagers out of their homes, the SPOs were accused of torture. At least 5,000 locals joined the Maoist ranks during those months. From small dalams, Maoists graduated to platoons, companies and battalions.

Kichhe Nanda is among the SPOs facing rape charges. He denies that at first, then lashes out bitterly, “We were young, given rifles, and told to hunt for Naxals.” There were “atrocities” from the other side too, he says.

Editor of daily Bastar Impact Suresh Mahapatra recalls the Rani Bodli attack of March 2007, when 55 policemen and SPOs were killed. “This incident was the defining point in my life. When I saw half-burnt and beheaded bodies, it occurred to me that this war had no rules now,” he says.

Attami, among the earliest SPOs to sign up, says: “You talk about police atrocities, but do you know what the Naxals did? Agar beta ko maarna hai to maa aur baap ko us par patthar marne ko bolte the (If they wanted to kill someone, they forced his parents to throw stones at him).” Accusing the Maoists of dragging them into battle, Attami adds, “They had a grudge against capitalists. Why didn’t they kill them themselves? We tribals knew nothing about the world, but they made us fight their battles. Is it janvaad?”

Sukhdev Tati reflects they were left with little choice: either become Maoists or fight with police. “We wanted it to be peaceful, but Salwa Judum had aggression. It failed as we could not tell people what our aim was.”

However, many of the tribals have no enmity towards the Maoists. “Adivasi log hi to mar rahe hain. Yahan bhi adivasi, wahan bhi,” says Janaki. Teacher Mandavi says it emphatically. “They (Maoists) are our own people. We don’t want this violence.”

“Once again the terror and oppression of Salwa Judum is going to start. Bastar could be protected only if this campaign is defeated,” said a recent Maoist statement urging people “to rise against the proposed Salwa Judum-2”.

 

Where they are now: Key survivors from Salwa Judum

Soyam Muka: Congress member, lives in Konta away from his Gaganpalli village he left during Judum. Farming. Moves without vehicle.

Karma family: Mahendra Karma’s wife Devti Karma is a Congress MLA, two of her four sons hold positions in the Congress.

Chaitram Attami: Dantewada BJP zilla panchayat member, uprooted from his village, lives in a Salwa Judum camp in Kasauli, Dantewada.

Sukhdev Tati: BJP member, farmer in Dantewada.

Sattar Ali: Contractor, runs trucks, lives in Jagdalpur.

Vikram Mandavi: Congress member, contested 2013 assembly polls from Bijapur.

 

 

O, JIHADIS, FREEDOM FIGHTERS, TERRORISTS & NAXALITES
INTROSPECT YOURSELF

 

Kashmiri militants claim they are fighting for kashmiris, when the very same kashmiris were suffering from loses due to earthquake why didn’t the so-called jihadis didn’t make any relief efforts? Why didn’t their foreign master – Pakistan didn’t make any relief efforts? Within the pak occupied Kashmir ( pok) itself, Pakistan didn’t make appropriate relief efforts. It is government of India & international community who provided proper & timely relief.

The foreign powers are not at all interested in your well being. They are ready to spend millions of dollars for aiding terrorism, but not ready to spend a few hundreds for your education , health care or self employment schemes through NGOs. The fact is they don’t want your well being, they don’t want you to prosper, live peacefully. The ultimate objective of these foreign powers is to take you on the path of self destruction, destruction of your motherland & to finally usurp the power, to subjugate you into slavery in turn looting the resources of your country.

Ofcourse, in India there is rampant corruption. Still democracy is live & kicking in India, it is the best form of governance. You have got real examples of countries in Africa, latin America, wherein the countries have secured independence through separatist / terrorist movements. The terrorist leaders themselves have become prime minister / president of newly independent countries. Now, they are more corrupt & barbaric than their predecessors . even after getting independence, the lives of commonfolk has become bad to worse. By independence , only leaders have benefited. Will you lead another struggle ? this is endless, as the selfishness , greed of leaders knows no bounds.

In the past, government of India aided tamil separatists, Pakistan terrorists, etc, butchering innocents. The government of U.S.A aided terrorists in Africa, afghanisthan, latin America , murdering innocents. Various countries have aided terrorism while preaching peace. These barbaric acts were motivated by selfish, corrupt, ego-centric leaders. Now, in the bomeerang effects of their actions, innocents are dying in bomb blasts, etc.

Violence breds violence. Peace & compassion results in all round harmony, prosperity. Every human being must struggle against injustices in a peaceful & legal manner. The struggle must be against the corrupt system, for that peaceful struggle democracy is the best forum. Don’t be pawns in the hands of foreign powers, politicians. They are not at all interested in your welfare, well being. At the end, it is the leaders who become ministers & amass wealth through corruption. The common folk like you will remain as fiddlings, minions forever.

Just imagine yourselves in the place of victims of delhi serial bomb blasts        (29/10/2005) or Mumbai blasts of 26/11/08 . just imagine the plight of little child MOSHE who has lost both his parents , imagine Your mother & wife are crying, your children are dead , your father’s hands & limbs are ripped apart in the blast. How does it feel to be one ? no religion, no god asks it’s followers to cause destruction. All religions, gods are full of eternal love & compassion. Let that god shine his light, upon you all on the violent path.

 

Whether it is in india or else where , democratic system is best form of governance. The people in those countries suffer due to corrupt public servants . in all such cases , the legal , non violent fight must be against the corrupt people , corrupt police , corrupt judges , CORRUPT public servants but not against the system itself.

Let us build ram rajya of mahatma’s dream through non violent means within the existing democratic framework . Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.

 

Your’s sincerely,

Nagaraj.M.R.

 

Imposition of  Industrial Projects – Cause  of Naxalism , SALWA JUDUM

    India  is a democratic country   with self governance  of people.  Members of Legislative  Assemblies  and  Members of  Parliament  are  elected by people to be their representatives in the respective houses.  These  MPs , MLAs  must represent  the  aspirations of  people in their constituency  in the floor of the house.  They  must  not  work against the  aspirations of people , in that case  representative role ceases. When a  people say  in bastar  district  doesn’t  want   a particular industrial project  in their area  and  communicate it to the government through their MPs & MLAs , who the  hell MPs , MLAs , State Government Ministers &  Central government  ministers are  to impose it on those particular  area people.  It  is  illegal , breach of democracy.  In these type of impositions , public servants  take sides with  big industries , MNCs  which flout  many laws and pays a pittance as compensation to people.  Gross injustices are meted out to public , which  raises discontent  in public. Fertile ground of discontented public  is used by  criminal elements  to raise terror out fits like naxalites , salwa judum , etc. Law  must be held high , naxalites , salwa judum cadre  must  be dealt with the same footing on the same ground and root cause must be addressed by government. Any displacements of people , invite to big projects must be done as per the aspirations of people , if  people  don’t want  a project , a skewed model  of development , reject it. Who the hell government ministers are to impose it on people . Ministers are public servants  not  dictators to impose on people.

 

A B C D of Democracy – A Lesson for all people’s representatives

HOW MPs ,MLAs  , Ministers – PEOPLE’S REPRESENTATIVES MUST FUNCTION 

 
People are the kings , self rulers in a democracy . Peoples representatives must just represent the wishes ,  aspirations of people.  Example : PEOPLE  are nothing but land owners , MPs , MLAs , people’s representatives are just GPA Holders. The Electorate – Citizens of India are  SUPREME than Parliament , Ministers and all Other Institutions. When  people in Jaitapur , Maharashtra state of India  and  People of Koodankulam , Tamilnadu are totally against a nuke plant in their area  and they don’t want it , still the authorities are forcing this project over their head.
Since 68 years of independence , In India the learned IAS babus & Netas are forcing their agendas , SEZs , Projects over the people for their own selfish gains , against the wishes of people. This is not DEMOCRACY.

In india, indirect democracy is the form of governance. In this form, people’s representatives are bound to raise the questions , issues concerning their constituents on their behalf , on the floor of the house. However the sad part in india even after  68  years of democracy , is the lobbying is at it’s peak. The lobbying is a gentleman’s white collared crook’s way of forming favour seeker’s group , creating a corpus to pay lumpsum bribe & influencing decision making.


The people’s representatives are bound to represent their people first , then their party & party think tanks. India has come to this sorry state of affairs , widespread corruption , huge black economy & rampant poverty, all due to inefficient legislations & enforcements.


These think tanks & IAS lobby, consider themselves as most super brains on earth & gives out suggestions . the present state of affairs is a barometer of their brilliance.  Take just one case for the brilliance of our cabinet ministers & IAS babus , In  India nearly 50 crore people are barely surviving on a single piece meal per day , hundreds of people are dying due to HUNGER & MALNUTRITION at one end  at the other end thousands of tonnes of food grains are rotting away , wasted  in FCI Godowns (ie the food procured by the government) , what  brilliant ministers & IAS officers ? These think tanks & IAS lobby are the hand maidens of lobbyists / bribers.

Now consider the following example :
Mr.raj gandhi is a member of parliament from mandya constituency in karnataka state. He is a MBA graduate & member of ruling Indian progressive party. The multinational giant M/S GREY HOUND CORPORATION wants to enter into paper manufacturing business in india. It’s sight falls on the public sector paper giant mandya national paper mills (MNPM) in mandya district of karnataka. The MNC effectively lobbies with the government. The ruling party think tank & the cabinet advisory group recommends to the government to make strategic
disinvestment in the PSU M/S MNPM. They bring out graph with full power point presentation stating that it is good for the company as well as the government. The lobbyists follows it up with media reports on the positive aspect of strategic disinvestment. A favourable impression is created in the minds of literate public. The cabinet
committee okays it.

The ” strategic dis investment issue ” comes before the parliament for legislation / approval. The ruling party issues a party whip to it’s members to vote in favour of dis investment. However M.P mr.raj gandhi who is an MBA in his own wisdom also favours the dis investment. However ,most importantly the constituents – people in mandya parliamentary constituency through protest marches , mass post card campaigns lakhs in numbers expresses their disagreement with the dis investment & urges their MP mr.gandhi to vote against the disinvestment legislation.

On the D-day in parliament , mr. Raj gandhi as per his party whip & his own wisdom votes in favour of strategic disinvestment legislation, much against the wishes of his people , constituents & mis represents them in parliament. the democracy has failed here. in This way democracy is being derailed since 68 years in india.

In democracy, party whip , MP or MLA’s own wisdom / brilliance, think tank & IAS lobby recommendations are all secondary , the constituent’s of his constituency , people’s wishes aspirations are of primary importance & supreme. What people need is a honest
representative, who simply delivers the people’s aspirations on the floor of the house back & forth , without superimposing it with his own ideas & party ideas. For true democracy , the people’s representatives must be true postmans.

Towards this end , the people must be educated about their democratic rights & responsibilities. This is an appeal to the honest few in the parliament & state legislatures to weed out their corrupt colleagues , lobbyists, to uphold the dignity of the house & to install democracy in it’s true form. 

 

 

 

Naxalism a result of an oversight of statutes, says SC

 

Emphasising on validation of rights of tribals and forest-dwellers over the forest lands, the Supreme Court has said that Naxalism was a result of an oversight of constitutional provisions relating to administration of schedule areas and tribes of the country.

“Nobody looks at Schedules V and VI of the Constitution and the result is Naxalism. Urbanites are ruling the nation. Even several union of India counsel are oblivious of these provisions under the Constitution,” said a Bench led by Justice A K Patnaik.

The Bench made a reference to Schedules V and VI as they contain various provisions relating to administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes in several parts of the country. These provisions apply to states like Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Rajasthan and Northeastern states such as Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. Essentially these Constitutional provisions, with the help of plethora of judgments by the apex court, act as a guarantee to indigenous people on the right over the land they live in and its produce.

During a recent hearing on fresh guidelines over tiger reserves, the Bench made certain queries from Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising over the Centre’s proposal to relocate indigenous people who were still living in the core areas of tiger reserves.

The ASG had informed the Bench there were around 43,000 families still residing in core areas of tiger reserves and that the plan was to gradually move them out after proper consultation with Gram Sabhas. On being asked about the legal provisions to support the argument, she also read out from the 2006 Forest Rights Act and the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act.

Asserting that all stakeholders should first ensure the legal rights of the tribals are not violated, Justice Patnaik said their rights must be settled in accordance with the provisions of the law.

 

“There is apparently no human-tiger conflict at least as far as these tribals are concerned. Everyone must remember that forests belong to forest-dwellers. British government considered forests of immense value and said through laws that all forests belonged to government. These people were brought down to poverty and they couldn’t earn their living. They will be arrested for consuming the forest produce; such was their law,” said Justice Patnaik.

His concerns were echoed by senior advocate Dushyanat Dave, who said forest-dwellers used to get arrested trying and collect wood or pick fruits from the forests.

The Bench, however, seemed satisfied with the promulgation of the 2006 Forest Rights Act and said this situation was sought to be reversed by the new legislation as it sought to identify their rights.

“One law can make a big difference. Zamindari abolition law is a good example how a law can reverse the situation,” said Justice Patnaik, adding it was not the state but its forest departments’ officers who did not want to give up their control over the forests.

At this, the ASG said the Centre was conscious of its duty towards protecting the rights of forest-dwellers and would relocate them after following the legal process.

 

CPDR Condemns The Sacking Of An Upright Dalit Judge By Chattisgarh Government

By Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights

 

Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), Mumbai condemns the sacking of an upright dalit Judge by Chattisgarh government.

Prabhakar Gwal, Chief Judicial Magistrate during his posting at Sukma has been dismissed by the Chattisgarh government for being a pro-poor and pro-adivasi. A young dalit 2006 batch judge, he became known for taking on corrupt officers and for being a thorn in the flesh of the government and the police. He has now been summarily terminated “in the public interest” by the Chattisgarh government on the recommendation of the High Court. The government has stated that it is “dispensing with any inquiry since it is not possible to conduct an inquiry”.

What is Prabhakar Gwal’s crime or offence according to the High Court of the state and the government? A complaint forwarded by Sukma’s Superintendent of Police to the District Judge after getting several letters written by number of police station officers that the CJM’s method of working is to obstruct the police which was lowering the morale of the police. His dismissal is the latest in a series of attacks on journalists, lawyers, academicians by the Chattisgarh administration.

This was because this upright judicial officer would insist on asking the name, age, village, father’s name and all relevant details of those arrested, mostly poor tribals and produced before him. Rather than accepting the regular practice till then of permanent warrants produced by the police that have only the name of the arrestee and no other details, Judge Gwal chose to stick to procedure. He would also make it difficult for the police by asking questions about alleged seizures including of weapons, their activities. When it became obvious that the police could not establish any crime against those arrested, he would conclude that those arrested are ordinary villagers. Judge Gwal would go to the extent of communicating directly to those arrested through a Gondi interpreter in the language which the arrestee understood.

This judge was so fearless that he would term the arrests of thousands of people being produced before him as Maoists as fake arrests; he wrote to the District Judge and even Director General of Police Kalluri that the police is implicating innocent people. He went to the extent of issuing warnings to Thanedars that he would send them to jail if they framed innocent people.

In short, the BJP-led governments both at the Centre and in Chattisgarh are preparing for an all-out war on the tribals of Bastar and upright judges like Judge Gwal do not fit in their scheme of actions. Whereas for the people of Bastar, such a judge must have been a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak scenario of displacement and large scale repression, Judge Gwal is yet another blow.

CPDR condemns the unjust and unconstitutional sacking of Judge Prabhakar Gwal and demands his immediate re-instatement.

 

Condemn The Unconstitutional Termination Of Sukma Chief Judicial Magistrate

By Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers

 

On 14 April, 2016 the Chhattisgarh government dismissed Sukma’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhakar Gwal. A 2006 batch judicial officer, Gwal, belongs to the Dalit community and has questioned the manner in which the police have been indiscriminately arresting tribals in the conflict zones of Chhattisgarh. It is in this background, on 8th February 2016, the Sukma Superintendent of Police complained to the District Judiciary against Gwal stating that among other things he has been granting bail to naxal accused and such decisions have “adversely affected the morale of the security forces” and “weakens the judicial process”. It is based on such complaints that Chhattisgarh government dismissed Gwal on the grounds of “public interest” following the recommendation of the Chhattisgarh High Court.

Police high-handedness and harassment of those involved in the administration of justice is nothing new to the conflict zones of Chhattisgarh. Recently advocates of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JagLAG) have been forcefully evicted from Jagdalpur and pressure is being mounted on them by the police administration and police backed vigilante groups to cease their legal practice. JagLAG has been providing legal Aid to many tribals incarcerated in Jagdalpur and Dantewada. Similarly Social activists such as Soni Sori and Bela Bhatia and journalists like Malini Subramaniam, Prabhat Singh, Santosh Yadav and Somaru Nag who have been raising issues of Human rights violations by the police administration have been threatened, attacked or even arrested. Under the pretext of “Mission 2016”, i.e., the present offensive launched by the government to wipe out the Maoist movement in Chhattisgarh, the police in these areas have been taking steps to see that no alternate voice emanates from these areas.

Chhattisgarh jails are filled with tribals who have been arrested, several false and fabricated criminal cases are foisted upon them and they remain incarcerated for several years. Anyone who supports such tribals and questions the policies of the state are branded as “terrorists” or “anti-national”. In such a situation, the judicial system is their last hope. Hence, it is vital that the judiciary be allowed to carry on its functions in accordance with law and without any interference from the police. Gwal’s termination is a further step in this direction.

Interference by the security agencies in the judiciary seems to be a larger and concerted effort on the part of the BJP, the ruling party at both the Center and Chhattisgarh state. In an unprecedented move, the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval briefed the Supreme Court judges on national security issues and the threat of terrorism at the three-day retreat held earlier in this month. Police excesses in the name of security concerns have been abundant especially in Kashmir, the North-East, Chhattisgarh, etc. It is wrong that only one view point is projected. To present a one-sided, security-centric view would amount to interfering in the judiciary.

The Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL) condemns these acts of interference in the judiciary and harassment of those administering justice by the security agencies. Such interference also militates against the basic structure of the Constitution – namely the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. IAPL calls upon all, especially those from the legal fraternity to resist these moves to prejudice the judiciary and also demands the immediate reinstatement of Prabhakar Gwal as the Sukma CJM.

Sd/-

Adv. Surendra Gadling (Nagpur),

Adv. Ravindra Balla (Hyderabad),

Adv. Maharukh Adenwalla (Mumbai),

Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj (Raipur)

Adv. Ankit Grewal (Chandigarh)

for IAPL

 

 

 

Another Village In Odisha Rejects Mining

 

The community people of Kamanda Gram Sabhaof Kalta G.P inKoidaTahasilhave differed land acquisition by IDCO for Rungta Mines in Sundargarh. Using the PESA Act 1996 and Forest Rights Act, 2006 a Gram Sabha was recently held on 23rd March 2016 in which the community people unanimously decided not to give their private land for the Rungta Mines. The Gram Sabha meeting was presided by the present Sarpanch Sabita Nayak in which around 400 members of the gram sabha participated.

Location and Demography of the village

The village Kamand is surrounded by Harischandanpur revenue village in the East, Taldidi reserve forest in the West, Revenue village Kusmundi in the North and revenue village Kula in the South. As per 2011 Census, there are 233 households in the village Kamanda having 1081 population. While the total population of scheduled tribe is 681 mostly(Bhiuya and Munda),the population of scheduled caste is 88. As per the Record of Rights(RoR) of the village, there are in total 1015.59 acres of community land recorded as Government land available in the village out of which 758 acres are forest land. Besides, Taldidi RF is adjacent in the west side of the villages which comes under Community Forest Resource area recognised under FRA, 2006.

In its gram sabha resolution, the Kamanda Gram Sabha has disowned the gram sabha resolution of dated 13th Feb 2009 convened by the Government of Odisha(by notice No.1512 dated 11/12/2008) for land acquisition for Rungta Mines. They have alleged forging of Gram Sabha resolution by the district administration hands in glove with the Rungta Company(BhagbanSahu-Land Acquisition Officer),Bhawani Shankar Mishra(BDO-Koida) and Aswini Kumar Das(the Executive Officer of Rungta Company were present in that meeting). “while only 30 people of the village were present in that 13th Feb 2009 gram sabha meeting, the district administration along with the Rungta company had brought about 100 people from outside who signed in the gram Sabha resolution” said Binod Nayak, the present Nayab Sarpanch of village who was present in the 13th Feb 2009 gram sabha meeting. The Kamanda Gram Sabha has sought high level investigation over the forged gram sabha resolution.

The gram sabha has also protested illegal construction of wall by Rungta Mines over both private and community land in the village.

It is to be noted that based on the 13th Feb 2009 Gram Sabha resolution, Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha (Idco) reported to have been acquired 75.40 hectare(186.34 acres) of private land in Kamanda village in Koida Tahasil of Sundargarh district and have allocated to Rungta Mines Ltd for expansion of its existing steel plant facility for a period of 90 years with a value of Rs.19.40 crore(Business Standard on Sept 2, 2014 has also reported http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/rungta-mines-gets-land-for-sundergarh-steel-plant-expansion-114090201118_1.html).The Company in its application submitted on 18th August 2015 vide Letter No. RML/KSP 406-/98/15-16 for the extension of Environmental Clearance to the MoEF claims that the total plant area is 154.489 ha (381.740 Acres). Out of 154.489 ha of land, the Rungta Mines claims to have purchased 111.08 acres of private land directly, which is already under industrial usage. The Company also claims that 186.34 acres private land of village Kamanda has been already acquired through IDCO for the company. Besides, another 61.52 acres Government land has been acquired by IDCO and balance 22.80 acres government land is under process.

However, the Kamanda Gram Sabha has contended that the 186.34 acres of private land which the Rungta Company claims to have been acquired by IDCO is false. The gram sabha is of the view that these 186.340 acres of private lands from two villages(180.62 acres of Kamanda and 5.72 acres of Kusmundi) belong to 103 families of the village including 54 STs, 39 OBCs and 10 SCs community. And out of 103 land owners, only 24 families have so far received the compensation amount of Rs.8500/-per decimal and rest 81 families have not received the compensation till date and are protesting against land acquisition.
The Kamanda Gram Sabhahas also alleged the Rungta Mines too have fooled the villages in 2003-04 while purchasing 111.08 acres of private land which it purchased @25.000/- per acre and promised to provide jobs to the land losers. The villagers have also alleged community land grabbing by Rungta Mines. The Kamanda Gram Sabha have sent its 23rd March 2016 Resolutions to all the concerned State and district level officials.

They have also challenged the land acquisition in the High Court in 2012 and 2015 have requested the high Court to cancel the land acquisition by IDCO for the Rungta Sponge Iron Ltd. JualOram, the Tribal Affairs Minister, Govt. of India can be seen objecting land acquisition for Rungta Mines in Kamanda village in the link….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UyFEblvhRg

Basil Ekka, leader of the Aam Admi Party(APP) who supports the villagers said “the so called land acquisition by IDCO in the village Kamanda is in direct violation of Supreme Court’sSamata Judgment, 1997, Article 39 of the constitution, PESA, 1996. It is also violates the spirit of the 5th Scheduled of the Constitution”.

Ms.Bidesini Patel, Video volunteer of ‘India Unheard’ said “the Govt. of Odisha who claims to be champion of the tribal’s should adhere to the law of the land. PESA gram sabha should be organised properly and people consent should be given priority.”

According to Dr.Manohar Chauhan, member Campaign for Survival and Dignity who works for tribal rights in the State, “out of the 186.34 acres of private land said to have been acquired by IDCO from village Kamanda, 117.11 acres belongs to the 54 tribal families which is in direct violation of OSATIP 1956, Regulation-2 duly amended in 2002 and the Order of the Revenue Department, No.46008/Ag-49-2013 dated 3rd Dec, 2013 which supersedes all other laws. Quoting the circular he said “transfer of immovable property” as defined in Para-2 (f) of the Regulation 2 of 1956 has to be assigned a very wide meaning including any transaction or dealing with immovable property which would have the effect of extinguishing title, possession or right to possess such property in the tribal and vesting the same in a non-tribal. Hence, the consent given by the tribal to the mining lease to start mining operation over his land would deprive him the possession, use and enjoyment of the land though may be for temporary period vesting such rights in the lease. Thus, since transfer of surface rights is coming within the meaning of transfer of immovable property, as defined in clause (f) of Para -2 of Regulation of 1956, grant of surface right or giving consent for mining operation either by a tribal or acquired by IDCO for Rungta Mines (a non-tribal be null and void and the lease (IDCO or Rungta Mines Ltd) would be liable to eviction.” Thus, all the tribal lands being purchased by private companies or acquired by Govt. in scheduled 5th area is illegal as per the Revenue Dept. Circular, He said.

 

Brutal Rape And Murder Of Dalit Law Student Creates Outrage In Kerala

 

A 29 year old dalit law student was raped and brutally killed at her home in Kerala. More than 30 injuries were found on her body. According to the post-mortem report the woman was beaten savagely using a sharp weapon that pulled out her intestines. Two sides of her chest were pierced to almost two inches deep using a sharp knife. She was also struck in the genitals with an iron rod. A severe injury on her head is cited as the main reason of her death. The police inquest report says that the girl’s nose was severed due to receiving a blow from a hammer- like object. When the victim’s body was found, only her Churidar top was remaining on her body. The woman was found dead by her mother Rajeswari at their house in Rayamangalam panchayat, near Perumbavoor on Thursday, 28th April night after she returned from her daily work around 8.30 PM.

The investigators are clueless even almost one week after the brutal incident, which is being called as the Nirbhaya case of Kerala, as the victim’s private parts were injured and her entrails were forced out of her body due to heavy application of blunt force. It is suspected that it is to destroy the evidence of rape.

Ernakulam rural SP Yathish Chandra GH however told Times of India that the police are yet to confirm whether the woman was raped. “It is a case of violent murder. Though the post-mortem report suggests chances of sexual assault or rape, we are waiting for a few laboratory results to confirm the same. We have ruled out chances of theft as the woman hailed from a very poor family. Various police teams constituted for the probe are fully engaged”, said Yathish Chandra.

The woman’s murder has become a political campaign issue in poll bound Kerala, which goes to poll on 16th of this month. A hashtag with girl’s name is being used by CPI(M) led People News channel. However, the Congress led government and pro-UDF (the ruling coalition) media are playing down the incident.

The brutality of the murder has shocked Kerala and a lot of people on social media are using hashtags #JusticeFor… (girl’s name), #JusticeForKeralaNirbhaya. It’s only after intense social media campaign that the government has started to react.

 

Fascism In Many Hues: Attack On Judiciary

By Rakesh Sharma

 

Some days ago, the Chief Justice of India broke down while speaking of the Judiciary’s problems. His audience included several luminaries from the Executive, including the Prime Minister. A closed door meeting followed.

In the meeting, I hope the CJI has put his foot down on transfers of senior HC judges as well as sacking of judicial magistrates and persecution of trial court judges.

Within the last week or two, there have been reports about sacking of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhakar Gwal at Sukma in Chhatisgarh – apparently, the BJP government wasn’t happy that instead of rubber stamping, he was applying his mind and the law ( among other cases, refusing to brand scores of tribals as ‘extremists’). See catchnews link below in the comments section.

Last year, there were a set of rather disturbing reports (see 123 )about threats and harassment of Retd Judge Jyotsna Yagnik, who delivered the landmark judgement in the Gujarat 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, wherein she convicted Modi’s ministerial colleague Maya Kodnani and the butcher of Patiya, Babu Bajrangi, who’d openly boasted about ‘help’ from his political masters in evading arrest and then getting bail. Despite the stinging judgment and harsh terms therein (in lieu of the death penalty that the Judge didn’t wish to impose), Kodnani has been out on a long parole and Bajrangi has been out of jail 6-8 times in the last 3-4 years.
In 2014, just a couple of months after BJP came into power, Special CBI judge presiding over the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter (a multiple murder case, in which a totally innocent woman Kausarbi was apparently raped, killed and burnt) found himself suddenly transferred (See 12 )- he’d been rather tough on the lawyer for the main accused ( the current BJP President Amit Shah).

Now comes this report about the transfer of eminent Justice of the Bombay High Court Abhay Thipsay. Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the Delhi High Court was also transferred, despite protests from senior lawyers in February. Is it sheer coincidence that both passed judicial orders that the ruling party has been less than happy with? Once again, Gujarat carnage cases figure here – Justice Thipsay handled the landmark Best Bakery case!

Earlier, this government tried to set up the NJAC, which would’ve allowed the Executive greater say in judicial appointments to the Supreme Court and the appellate courts. The SC has so far chosen to assert itself on this issue.

These are deeply worrying signs – for any robust democracy, an independent, fearless and nonpartisan Judiciary is vital.

I dread the extension of the Gujarat model wherein the bureaucracy and the entire police machinery bent over backwards – with pliant officers rewarded and upright officers harassed & hounded out. Gujarat has also had the dubious distinction of courts buying the prosecution line in at least 2 major cases, only to find the verdict overturned by appellate courts ( The Haren Pandya assassination case and the Akshardham terror attack case, in which initially the courts found Muslim men arrested by Gujarat supercops to be guilty).

These are deeply troubling times indeed.

 

Stop Police-Sponsored Terror Of Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad In Latehar

 

During the last few years, villages of Manika Block in Latehar District have been terrorised by Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), a police-sponsored outfit allegedly aimed at countering Maoist influence. Under this pretext, armed JJMP gangs are roaming in the area and harassing innocent villagers – extorting money, interfering with elections, supporting corrupt contractors, beating up dissenters, and even attempting to siphon off funds from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

Among other recent incidents is the harassment of members of Gram Swaraj Mazdoor Sangh (GSMS), a local organisation of NREGA workers set up with the help of NREGA Sahayata Kendra Manika. During the last few months, GSMS and the Sahayata Kendra have worked together to revive NREGA in the area and ensure that people get work. The GSMS and Sahayata Kendra also convened a public hearing on the Public Distribution System (PDS) on 19 February 2016, which led to the dismissal of several PDS dealers. Due to these activities, some members of GSMS have become a target of JJMP harassment. One of them was badly beaten up just a few days ago, on 26 April.

In an earlier incident, JJMP goons demanded NREGA money from a worksite supervisor. When he explained that he had no money to give, they told him to close the worksite or he would be killed. There have been similar threats during the recent Yojana Banao Abhiyan.

We strongly condemn these criminal acts and demand strict action against those responsible for them. We also demand the immediate disbanding of JJMP – it is nothing more than a police-sponsored criminal gang.

(Note: Names of the victims have been omitted to protect their safety.)

Anil Anshuman (All India People’s Forum)

Balram (Advisor to Supreme Court Commissioners in right to food case)

Bela Bhatia (independent researcher)

Dheeraj Kumar (Right to Food Campaign)

Jean Drèze (economist)

Kavita Srivastava (People’s Union for Civil Liberties)

Moushumi Basu (People’s Union for Democratic Rights)

Stan Swamy (writer and researcher)

 

Puttakota Killing Of Adivasi Farmers By Greyhounds Police

By The Human Rights Forum

 

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that Greyhounds police personnel responsible for the killing of two adivasis Ganga Madkami (40) and Ganga Podiami (33), on the afternoon of February 21, 2016 in the Puttakota forest area of Koyyuru mandal in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh be booked under relevant penal sections of the law and criminally prosecuted.

A two-member HRF team visited several villages in Korukonda block of Malkangiri district of Odisha on 31-3-2016 to elicit facts about the alleged encounter at Puttakota that resulted in the death of two adivasis and bullet injuries to one person. The team visited Balakati village in Dudametta panchayat, the native village of the two deceased and spoke with residents and family members. We went to Tumasapalli village, where we met and spoke with Irma Kawasi (50) the injured survivor of the February 21 firing.

Contrary to the fiction being peddled by the AP police including senior officials, Madkami and Podiami were not members of the Galikonda area committee of the Maoists. Nor was there any exchange of fire as the police have maintained. In matter of fact, there was no provocation of any sort by the adivasis warranting the police to exercise any force upon them, much less kill them.

Madkami and Podiami were adivasi farmers of Balakati who were, along with Kawasi, part of a group of 22 adivasis, all of them belonging to the Koya tribe, from three villages of Korukonda block — Balakati, Tumasapalli and Nemelguda (Mariwada panchayat). They set out into the forest on February 14 in search of wild game, a custom that is traditionally undertaken twice or thrice a year by the Koyas. Only those who are adept at tracking and trapping wild animals in the forest go out on these trips. The group ventured quite far from their area into the Puttakota reserve forest in AP since game there is aplenty and they expected to bring back home some good catch.

At about noon on February 21, Madkami, Podiami, Kawasi and Mukka Madkami set out for the hunt while the other 18 were preparing food. About two hours later, they were resting in a fairly open area with traditional bows and arrows and 2 country-made weapons when there was a burst of gunfire which felled Madkami and Podiami killing them instantly. A bullet hit Kawasi on his left upper arm and lodged itself inside while another one went through the upper portion of his right arm. A terrified Mukka Madkami,who was lucky to escape any injuries, fled. He returned to his village Tumasapalli five days later. (Tragically, he died on the night of March 30 of a snake-bite while asleep in his house.)

Irma Kawasi ran in the direction away from the gunfire and managed to reach Puttakota village where the residents helped him lie down in the village church. He was semi-conscious and unable to eat anything only sipping some water an old woman gave him. The police came looking the next morning and took him away with them and along with the bodies of Madkami and Podiami shifted them to Narsipatnam. After a post-mortem was done and information sent to Balakati, the police handed over the bodies to relatives of the deceased who brought them backand cremated them on March 25. The police also gave Rs 10,000 each to the two families. After preliminary treatment, Kawasi was taken to Visakhapatnam to a place he calls the ‘police medical centre at Kailasgiri’. He was operated upon and the bullet removed from his left hand. After convalescing, he was sent home by the police on March 16 after being given Rs 5000.

It is clear to us that on February 21, a combing part of the Greyhounds chanced upon the four adivasis, two of them with country-made weapons, in the Puttakota forest and opened fire straightaway. If their reaction was provoked by two of the adivasis holding country-made weapons, then it makes it no less of a crime. There was no attempt by the Greyhounds whatsoever to call out to the adivasis. A hail of bullets were immediately let lose killing two instantly and injuring a third.

Contrary to the habitual assertion by the police, this was not a case of “firing in self-defence resulting in the death of two Maoist cadre”. The Greyhounds shot dead two adivasi farmers as if they were wild game. Those responsible for these deaths cannot be allowed to wash their hands off in such a cavalier manner. They must be held accountable to the law.No mention has been made till date by the police about the injured Kawasi. The reason for keeping secret the treatment they got done for the injuries he sustained is obvious. Revealing it would have opened up the truth about the one-sided and unilateral firing by the police and the wanton,consequent death of two adivasi civilians.

We demand that the Greyhounds personnel as well as police officials concerned be charged under IPC 302 and other relevant penal provisions including screening of evidence as well as the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The investigation into this case must be handed over to the CBI. The families of the two deceased must be paid not less than Rs 10 lakh each and Rs 5 lakh must be given to Kawasi. We urge the Malkangiri Collector to visit Tumasapalli, meet Kawasi and ensure that he gets proper medical treatment in the weeks ahead so that he may fully recover.

 

 

Anti-Mining Activist Deba Ranjan Sarangi Speaks Out

By Countercurrents.org

 

Deba Ranjan Sarangi was arrested on March 18, 2016, by plainclothes policemen from the Kucheipadar village of Rayagada District, Odisha. Debaranjan was in Kucheipadar to attend a funderal ceremony of one of his friend’s father. He was arrested with a non-bailable warrant issued by the court of JMFC, Kashippur in pursuance of a case registered in Tikri police station of Rayagada district in 2005, when Debaranjan was actively involved in the struggle of the Adivasis in Kashipur to protect their lands from the invasion of the bauxite mining companies.

Deba Ranjan Sarangi has been a consistent and passionate voice against injustice both within and outside Odisha. As a writer, film maker and human rights activist, he has highlighted and critiqued policies of destructive development, unbridled mining practices, displacement, police impunity, atrocities on Dalits, Adivasi issues , growth of communal fascism in Odisha, violence on women and farmers’ suicide in the context of acute agrarian crisis.

Deba Ranjan Sarangi is also a member of Ganantrik Adhilkar Surakya Sangathan (GASS). His films include: 1. At the Crossroads, 2. The Conflict: Whose Loss Whose Gain, 3. From hindu to Hindutva, 4. Visit to Basaguda.

After he was released on bail Countercurrents.org conducted an Email interview with him.

Countercurrents: What was the reason for your abrupt arrest? The warrant against you was issued in 2005. Why did they arrest you in a funeral function so abruptly for a long standing warrant? Do you see a political motive in the arrest?

Deba Ranjan Sarangi: Definitely a political motive is there. It was an operation of police of two districts like Malkangiri and Rayagada. It is true that warrants were issued in 2005. During the days of Kashipur anti-bauxite mining struggle against Aditya Birla, FIRs were written in the police stations. In none of the cases ‘accused’ ever were informed or proper investigation by the police were ever happening. During 2005-07 many of our activists, in hundreds, were arrested and spent months or more than a year in jail for simple charges of 506(criminal intimidation), 323(causing hurt), 347(wrongful confinement), 147(rioting), 149(unlawful assembly) of IPC. Had I been caught during that time I would have been in jail for some months without any fault or crime.

Since 1950s, it has been a practice that the police often write FIRs to implicate activists. Here,Indian Penal Code (1860)has been a good weapon to vitiate the people’s movement. Since independence, all most all regional governments in many parts of India have succeeded on foisting false cases against the movement activists to suppress the movement, either of workers or peasants. Each and every big Indian Corporates we see today have such a black history of (mis)using police, administration and politicians to win over the aggrieved community. This is why the IPC and Police Act of British regimes are still operational even today.

For last few years we are seeing fake encounters and illegal arrests of those tribals in southern part Odisha in which Kashipur also comes. As part of human rights movement I became part of several fact findings and filing petitions condemning such deaths and arrests. I again came under scanner by the government. During this time of änti-naxal operation” all these governments have no minimum patience to digest any dissenting tone. They have gathered enough paramilitary forces, intelligence wings and experts not only to counter naxals/Maoists but also to others who are critical of the government policies. Even on the day of arrest I was not informed about the charges. In subsequent days when I demanded to get FIRs and charge sheets as my fundamental rights then only I was provided.

CC: Give us a brief against your case

Deba: There are five criminal cases are against me. All these cases are sub judice now. But I can say that in these cases at least I have not seen faces of the complainants. I don’t know them even by name. But common criminal charges are of 506, 323, 347 of IPC have been foisted. Rayagada police had not done minimum investigation about name of my father and actual address but they had included me in 5 criminal cases with others. Nearly 50 such criminal cases were registered against 500 people during the time of 2005-07. In some cases, judgments have already come and those were arrested earlier had been acquitted. The court did not say to compensate those activists who were put in jail for months in same cases in which I have been charged. Even our judicial system at lower level never says a word against those police officers or the government officials for harassing a citizen intentionally. Though court judgments in many cases in Kashipurhas favoured the tribals but in none of the cases guilty police officers and company officials have been punished for false FIRs. In my case the trial would start again.

CC: Is the bail conditional? If so what are the conditions?

Deba: Yes, this bail is conditional. I have to appear before the District Magistrate personally on each date. So, for that I have to travel 400km from my home town to Rayagada whenever the Court directs.

CC: How did they treat you in jail?

Deba: Jails are separate from direct control of the police. It has different rules and regulations. The jail authorities treated me like any other prisoner. I was happy with that. My co-prisoners were beautiful. Most of them are from poor tribals and dalit families who have been falsely implicated due to faulty investigation by the police. Had police investigation been proper one fourth of them would not have been in jail. In India police takes 3 to 4 months to file the charge sheet and Final Forms. During that time the áccused would be in jail and the police would gather evidence to strengthen the cases. Money and influences here matters a lot. Only when the charge sheet comes the trial would start.

Our legal system never feels sorry before the ‘accused’ for a prolonged trial. It has no time limit even. It can continue for months and years. These poor prisoners don’t have money to apply for bail. The Supreme Court should at least simplify the bail procedures and should make it free from clutches of the advocates. I helped 5/6 prisoners in writing bail petitions and had insisted them to present the same before the magistrate through the Superintendent of jail for bail. All of them have already spent 2-3 years without committing any crimes. I will write my prison experiences and about our legal system in another article later on.

On the day of my release my co-prisoners of my ward did a farewell meeting. They sat for two hours and many of them said many things about me – on what they had observed and what I had discussed with them during that month. At the end they gathered whatever fruits they had and we all ate. I will never forget it.

CC: A false case was slapped on you last year. Now this arrest, do you think that Odisha state is targeting you personally?

Deba: The Odisha government is in fear of human rights movements and fears human rights activists including every demand for protecting human rights and social justice. The government knows well that in this era of post-reforms they can not fulfill promises they had given and they cant go towards social justice. We are the people who often remind a government to protect human rights of every person and pressurise the government to work for social justice. In the past the government has targeted many of such activists in different ways including surveillance, detention and arrest. In such a series my arrest is a recent phenomenon only.

CC: Why do you oppose mining in Odisha?

Deba: I have said it several times that in these 60 years of development in independent India we have done sufficient damage to the community and the ecology. Instead of copying the principles of the World Bank, IMF and fulfilling requirements of CII the policy makers should review our development policy and find our own way of development. For example, I oppose big dams. In India it was started in 40s. In independent India, the ruling class accepted the same big-dam model as our development they used police force to vacate farmers. Our rivers are big and we are in a tropical climate. We are getting enough sunlight. Our model for generating power and providing irrigation should have been different from the European model of development. But the ruling congress tried to centralize the system of supplying power and water so that they could generate revenue as well as distribute both power and water according to their wishes. This model from Europe was copied here but we claimed ourselves as independent. Why there are aluminium plants of Aditya Birla (son of GD Birla) near to every dam like in Hirakud dam (Odisha) and Rihand Dam (border of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh)?Now they are anxious to complete the Polavaram Dam which would cause much more damage than any other dams had ever done.

The Indian ruling class did the same in case of mining. Now a days steel has lost its market and aluminium is replacing steel. So, all corporate houses and international agencies are after bauxite. There is absolutely no research on how bauxite preserves rain water and why in each and every bauxite-hilly areas streams are perennial. But our research is on how far aluminium would be better than steel and how to extract aluminium on a faster way from bauxite. This is capitalist development.

CC: Why is the Odisha government promoting mining in the state?

Deba: The political Party runs the government. The Party wants black money to run its campaigns. Earlier businessmen of forest produces, liquor barons, small mine owners and rice mill owners were richer people than any ruling party office-bearers. So, they were financing the Party. Now the ministers and district presidents have gathered wealth of that level. They are not aspiring much from above business people. But ministers and party office bearers are inferior to the mining corporates. Now mining corporates are of first interest for the government. But the party government has not left rice mill owners. That nexus is one of the reasons behind growing farmer suicide in the state.

CC: Do you think that there is an alternative to mining as a developmental model for Odisha?

Deba: Definitely. One should reverse definition of development. Instead of GDP growth social and economic justice should be the primary. Then things will be clearer. Why we should go for mass production when our resources are limited? How long would we do that? Even in case of agriculture, green revolution was meant for huge production. It did not consider condition of the earth and our climate. It forced the earth to produce more. Now a days our fields are barren.

Same thing is happening in case of mining. If one goes to any mining area one would see how head of those hills have been caught like head of an animal and a big hole has been made for extracting the intestines of our mother earth. Blood is spilled everywhere in the process . One would also see there how much devastation human beings could do in the name of development. All these extractions of ore are happening using brutal force because even after so many decades local community is not happy. If we consider that mining is for development then why illegal mining is everywhere? Shah Commission was set up by the Supreme Court of India to enquire about such illegal mining in Odisha and Karnataka. What happened to its findings?

In this short interview it is difficult to explain everything. But it is true that these Corporates and the government have created enough intellectuals, writers, journalists and activists in support of mining and are giving so much awards and fellowships that in coming days it would be more difficult to criticize present development.

CC: There are reports of many physical attacks, false cases and intimidation by state police and mining company goons on social activists in Odisha. Why is this happening?

Deba: We are not new to such attacks. These big corporates have taken help of goons, both the government as well as of the private, to spread fear among the resisting communities because, the government and the Companies fear unity of local community. These corporates fear us. Often they brand us as ‘outsiders’ and ‘anti-development’. Even after that local community protects us. That becomes point of anger for the agents of the Company and they use all methods to spread fear among the activists. So, they are attacking. All these are sponsored efforts. I also have been attacked. Recently I was also gheraoed by such supporters of NALCO mining at Pattangi area in Koraput district in February, 2016 when I was there on a fact finding visit. Here the police support such mischievous actions.

CC: There were many instances of police firing on people resisting mining in their villages which resulted in the deaths of several people in the past decades in Odisha. Has the resistance subsided or is it still thriving?

Deba: Just one such police firing or one such arrest has never become a reason of failure of a struggle. The government knows it. So it goes for series of action in different phases to suppress a struggle. Earlier they were accusing us as anti-development. Now a new weapon has come like ánti-nationals’. The police are often threatening activists to book under UAPA if they oppose mining. Even after that activists of Kashipur struggle are going to Niyamgiri and other areas wherever the government starts giving mining lease to Vedanta. In Kashipur the resentment against Aditya Birla bauxite mining project is there. It could turn into a movement at anytime.

CC: If we take Kashipur struggle in which you were actively involved for instance, while Aditya Birla – Hindalco Alumina Company is in construction stage , you are put in jail and fighting your case. Do you think that you lost the struggle, and the corporates have won?

Deba: The Kashpur struggle went through different such phases of repression. In 2000 police fired and three tribals died at Maikanch. People took time and re-gathered strength. Enough support came from outside. KP Sasi has brought it in his doc film ‘Development at gun point’ and Meghnath has done same in his film ‘Bikash Bandhukki Nal se Beheti he’.

During 2005-07, again the government went on for illegal arrest, detention, picking up activists from river side and road side, continuous lathicharge and sealing off of the area. That continued for three years and every other day we were listening of arrest at one part then lathicharge at another place. I am witness of several such incidents in Kashipur – how a government could behave with its own people for helping outside corporates. Several organizations like PUDR, PUCL, INSAF and HRLN have brought out report condemning such state repression. Several writers including Arundhati Roy have written articles and Vinod Raj made a doc film named “Mahua Memoirs” highlighting such repression in Kashipur.

The Company would not have succeeded had not they gone for sponsoring few members of the community and engaging them in inner fighting. This was the years of 2009-11. The local community got divided into “pro-company” and “anti-company”. This was most shocking time. We failed to settle the conflict. I am witness to such conflicts. During that time I was making documentary film. After my film on Kandhamal anti-Christian communal violence I did the second one titled ‘The Conflict’ (2010) on such subject for a reason that the world should know real work of these Corporates.

Dividing the community between “pro-company” and “anti-company” and engaging them in-fighting were practiced also in Kaling Nagar (Tata) and Dhinkia (POSCO). Later I came to know that it has become a subject for the MBA students ‘how to manage the community’.

In Kashipur, the government also brought allegation of ‘Maoists’ and did encounter and arrests in the year of 2012-13. My new documentary film “At the Crossroads” speaks about such incidents in Kashipur and Niyamgiri area also.

This series of repression in different phases broke our backbone. This also caused the Aditya Birla’s success. Still resentment is there and at any time it could turn into a movement against the Company.

CC: There are also positive news coming from Odisha which signal victory for people’s struggle. South Korean steel giant POSCO is withdrawing from their project in Jagatsingpur district. Do you think that a people’s victory still possible in Kashipur?

Deba: I often think so. It is interesting in part of Kashipur that there was no MOU signed between such foreign companies and Odisha government. In 1993 when this process started Biju Patnaik was the Chief Minister. During that time bauxite mining was opened up for the first time for foreign companies as part of LPG plan of Narasimha Rao Congress government. Hydro of Norway, Alcan of Canada and Tata and Indal of India formed this Utkal Alumina International Limited in 1993. Odisha government gave them unconditional invitation. But people resisted. Interestingly the UAIL ,now owned by Aditya Birla group, has never done any Public Hearings. Samata Judgement and PESA were not applied here.Still then we filed a case under PESA in Odisha High Court. The case came twice upto to the final stage. But in both the occasions the judges left the bench without giving any judgment. The case is still pending before the Odisha High Court.

CC: As a social activist what is your advice to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take majority of the people of Odisha out of poverty?

Deba: The government should bow down before the demands of the people and cancel all MOUs with big corporates. The government should make its all functionaries including the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary accountable before public. They should be answerable for each and every plan they are adopting. Prior to that they should invite free discussion and should face legal battle when it fails. That will be a real test for the present government. This government has been ruling the state for last 17 years. They should have enough courage to face the questions from the community.

Now the government of Odisha has started “Aahar” programe, giving a day meal in few towns at Rs 5/kg. Money is coming from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The corporates like Vedanta, Tata and others are donating money to the Relief Fund and the government is diverting same for Aahar program. The Panchayat election in Odisha is around. In the long run, who will benefit – people or corporates? when we question the authorities, instead of answering us why are they taking help of the police and paramilitary forces to silence us?

None of the government is interested to mitigate poverty, neither in Odisha nor in any state of India, nor even the Central government. They know they cant do it. Specifically in the age of economic reform it has become a distant dream. It is causing more poverty than solving the economic crisis. So, all these governments want to make money for their Party people out of cheap slogans against poverty and to come to power again by giving such foolish slogans of “India Shining” or “sabke Saat Sabke Bikash”.

 

State of Siege: Report On Encounters And Cases Of Sexual Violence
In Bijapur And Sukma Districts Of Chhattisgarh

 

Release of Fact Finding Report by Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) entitled, “State of Siege: Report on Encounters and Cases of Sexual Violence in Bijapur and Sukma Districts of Chhattisgarh”

Between the 16th to 22nd January, 2016, members of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organization (CDRO) and Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) conducted a fact finding in villages of Bijapur and Sukma districts of Chhattisgarh. The team investigated the deaths of four unarmed villagers of Peddajojer (Bijapur) on 15 January 2016 by security forces and conducted enquiries into the large scale violence, particularly sexual violence, that the security forces unleased in Nendra (Bijapur) and Kunna (Sukma) villages, between 11th—14th January 2016. Besides meeting officials, the team met villagers and relatives of those killed in the fake encounter at Peddajojer village and the families affected by the brutality committed by men in uniform including acts of loot, plunder, rape, sexual assault and physical violence in Kunna, Chotegadam and Nendra villages. The team also visited Maharani Hospital in Jagdalpur and met two injured women who were lodged there.

Following are the findings of the team:

Peddajojer village

  1. On the morning of 15 January, 2016, six villagers of Peddajojer village were on their way to the nearby market for buying daily provisions. These included three men and three little girls (See pp 8-9 and Annexure 1 of the report).
  2. On the way to the market they were ambushed by security forces lying in wait at a dense forest track en-route to the market. Of the six people, two girls managed to escape while the three men and one girl were killed.
  3. The villagers upon hearing gunshots and being informed of the incident by the girls who had escaped, rushed to the site only to find that the bodies were missing.
  4. The security forces took the bodies without informing the family members of the deceased. They did not conduct any inquest at the site of the encounter. The security forces took the bodies to Bijapur General Hospital. In violation of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) guidelines, the post mortems were done at the hospital without proper identification of the bodies. No video recording of the post mortem was conducted.
  5. Upon learning where the bodies were kept, the villagers assembled outside the hospital and demanded that the bodies be handed back to them. The police initially refused and even asked Rs. 4000 per body as transport charges. Only after the villagers protested, were the bodies returned on 17 January.
  6. The four killed were ordinary villagers of Peddajojer engaged in agricultural work and not Maoists as claimed by the security forces. The little girl killed was only 13 years old. The villagers also told us of how harassment by the security forces has become the norm in the village.

    Kunna village

  7. Between 11 to 14 January, security force occupied Kunna and Chotegadam villages of Sukma district. A combing operation by the DRG, CRPF, COBRA (around 500 to 600 troops) was being conducted in the area.
  8. The forces initially occupied a school but later occupied homes of people.
  9. During the first two days the forces sexually assaulted many women. At least two women were raped by the forces. Women were stripped, beaten and verbally assaulted. Young girls were also stripped by the forces.
  10. On 12 January several men and women from Kunna were taken into custody (see annexure 2 for details). On the way to one police camp, five men and five women were continuously beaten and the 5 women were also stripped and sexually assaulted. Apart from these, three boys were kept in illegal custody and forced to sign on a blank pieces of paper.
  11. Twenty-one-year-old Lalu Sodi was severely beaten by the security forces on 12th January. He died two days after, and the villages did not report the death as they feared further intimidation from the security forces.
  12. Livestock was consumed by the forces, houses were broken into and implements were stolen by the men in uniform (See Annexure 2).
  13. The team found the people of Kunna in a state of shock and their everyday life had become difficult because of the violence by the forces.
  14. Finally, an FIR was filed on 27th January, 2016 after a harrowing process by activists and the women of Kunna village (See page 15 for details)
  15. Chotegadam village witnessed a similar pattern of plunder and violence (See pp 11-12 and Annexure 2 for further details)

    Nendra Village

  16. Between 11 and 14 January, security forces occupied Nendra village(Bijapur). Four to five batches of police and security forces (CRPF, DRG, Koya) conducted search and combing operations while being stationed there.
  17. The men of the village fled immediately as staying back would have meant either getting beaten up or being implicated in false cases. The security forces occupied houses of villagers.
  18. Over thirteen instances of gang rape were reported by the women. Many other women were disrobed, molested, subjected to verbal abuse. Women’s faces were covered with a towel or even a mosquito net when rapes took place.
  19. The forces not only threatened to burn down the houses with children inside but also threatened the women with the kind of violence they experienced during the time of Salwa Judum.
  20. The security forces also looted rations, consumed poultry causing huge economic loss to the already impoverished villagers. (See annexure 3 for more details)
  21. When women asked the security forces for money for the rations they had consumed the women were beaten up with lathi and rifles. Older people were also beaten (See Annexure 3 for details)
  22. On 18 January, 2016, members from the fact finding team along with 12 women of Nendra went to the Collectorate to bring to his attention the incidents in Nendra. However, the women had to wait till the 21 January to get their FIR registered, that too after a prolonged struggle with the administration. (see page 16 of the report for details)

    State Response

A significant part of the team’s energies went into meeting officials in a bid to register FIRs against the accused. In all three cases the response of the administration was one of insensitivity and hostility. In the case of the fake encounter at Peddajejor, the official response was of “we will look into the matter”. The efforts involved in filing the FIR in the Kunna case took almost 13 days of constant pressure by the survivors and team members. In the Nendra incident, even when the Collector ordered the recording of statements, the police refused. Only after the fact-finding team was able to meet members of the NCW (National Commission of Women) who were collecting information regarding the infamous Peddagellur incident of October 2015, that the FIR was finally lodged on 21st January.

These incidents, along with the climate of fear that has been created for ordinary villagers, activists, lawyers and journalists, needs to be seen in the light of Mission 16, which forms the governments objective in eliminating Maoists and handing over these lands to mining companies.

A copy of the report can be accessed here:http://pudr.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/State%20of%20Siege_Report_29th%20April_0.pdf

Asish Gupta (Coordinator, CDRO)

Shivani (Coordinator, WSS)

 

 

US Corporate Tax Cheats Hiding $1.4 Trillion In Profits In Offshore Accounts

By Patrick Martin

 

A report issued Thursday by the British charity Oxfam found that the 50 largest US corporations are hiding $1.4 trillion in profits in overseas accounts to avoid US income taxes, much of it in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

The biggest tax dodger is technology giant Apple, with $181 billion held offshore. General Electric had the second-largest stash, at $119 billion, enough to repay four times over the $28 billion GE received in federal guarantees during the 2008 Wall Street crash. Microsoft had $108 billion in overseas accounts, with companies like Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, IBM, Cisco Systems, Google, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson rounding out the top ten.

Overseas tax havens have been the focus of recent revelations about tax scams by wealthy individuals, based on the leak of the “Panama Papers,” documents from a single Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, involving 214,000 offshore shell companies. The firm’s clients included 29 billionaires and 140 top politicians worldwide, among them a dozen heads of government.

But the sums involved in corporate tax scams dwarf those hidden away by individuals. According to the Oxfam report, the offshore manipulations by the 50 largest US corporations cost the US taxpayer $111 billion each year, while robbing another $100 billion annually from countries overseas, many of them desperately poor.

The $111 billion a year in US taxes evaded would be sufficient to eliminate 90 percent of child poverty in America, effectively wiping out that social scourge. It is more than the annual cost of the food stamp program, or unemployment benefits, or the total budget of the Department of Education.

Oxfam timed the release of its report for the April 15 income tax deadline in the United States (actually Monday, April 18 this year), when tens of millions of working people must file their income tax returns or face federal penalties. Working people could face additional tax penalties of up to 2 percent of household income, to a maximum of $975, under the Obamacare “individual mandate,” if they have not purchased private health insurance.

There is a stark contrast between the IRS hounding of working people for relatively small amounts of money—but difficult or impossible to pay for those on low incomes—and the green light given to corporate tax cheats who evade taxation on trillions in income.

 

“As Americans rush to finalize tax returns, multinational corporations that benefit from trillions in taxpayer-funded support are dodging billions in taxes,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America’s infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas, or the Cayman Islands.”

The Oxfam report, titled “Broken at the Top,” expresses concern that “tax dodging by multinational corporations…contributes to dangerous inequality that is undermining our social fabric and hindering economic growth.”

It continues: “This inequality is fueled by an economic and political system that benefits the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest, causing the gains of economic growth over the last several decades to go disproportionately to the already wealthy. Among the most damning examples of this rigged system is the way large, profitable companies use offshore tax havens, and other aggressive and secretive methods, to dramatically lower their corporate tax rates in the United States and developing countries alike.”

Oxfam collected figures available from the 10-K reports and other financial documents issued by the 50 largest US companies, covering the period since the Wall Street crash, 2008 through 2014, and presented them in an interactive table. The figures included total profits, federal taxes paid, total US taxes paid (including state and local), lobbying expenses, tax breaks, money held in offshore accounts, and benefits received from the federal government, including loans, loan guarantees and bailouts.

Among the most important findings:

* The top 50 companies made nearly $4 trillion in profits globally, but paid only $412 billion in federal income tax, for an effective tax rate of barely 10 percent, compared to the statutory rate of 35 percent.

* The 50 companies spent $2.6 billion to influence the federal government, while reaping nearly $11.2 trillion in federal support, for an effective return of 400,000 percent on their lobbying expenses.

* The overseas cash stashed by the 50 companies, nearly $1.4 trillion, is larger than the Gross Domestic Product of Russia, Mexico, Spain or South Korea.

* US multinationals reported 43 percent of their foreign earnings from five tax havens, countries that accounted for only 4 percent of their foreign workforce and 7 percent of foreign investment. All told, US companies shifted between $500 billion and $700 billion in profits from countries where economic activity actually took place to countries where tax rates were low.

* In the year 2012 alone, US firms reported $80 billion in profits in Bermuda, more than their combined reported profits in the four largest economies (after the US itself): China, Japan, Germany and France. This figure was nearly 20 times the total GDP of the tiny island country.

The Oxfam report also pointed to an estimated $100 billion in taxes evaded in foreign countries, many of them rich in natural resources extracted by such global giants as Exxon, Chevron and Dow Chemical. According to the report, “Taxes paid, or unpaid, by multinational companies in poor countries can be the difference between life and death, poverty or opportunity. $100 billion is four times what the 47 least developed countries in the world spend on education for their 932 million citizens. $100 billion is equivalent to what it would cost to provide basic life-saving health services or safe water and sanitation to more than 2.2 billion people.”

The report cited former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s assessment that “Africa loses more money each year to tax dodging than it receives in international development assistance.”

Oxfam offered no solution to the growth of inequality and the systematic looting by big corporations that its report documents, except to urge governments around the world to close tax loopholes. The group also pleads with the corporate bosses themselves not to be quite so greedy. Neither capitalist governments nor the CEOs will pay the slightest attention. But the working class should take note of these figures, which provide ample evidence of the bankrupt and reactionary nature of capitalism, and the urgent necessity of building a mass movement, on a global scale, to put an end to the profit system.

 

Global Tax Havens or Havens For Dirty Money

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

 

Gabriel Zucman, the author of the 2015 book “The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens,” estimates that $7.6 trillion is stashed in tax havens. This amounts to 8 percent of the world’s personal financial wealth. The author believes that if all of this illegally hidden money were properly recorded and taxed, global tax revenues would grow by more than $200 billion a year.

Interestingly, on April 3, 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, leaked massive documents known as “Panama Papers” which reveal the shadowy world of hidden offshore finances of presidents and prime ministers. The biggest leak of financial data in history exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and provides details of the hidden financial dealings of 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.

The German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), which worked on the leaked documents with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, said the data provides rare insights into a world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of the world’s rich and famous: from politicians, FIFA officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to celebrities and professional athletes.

According to The Guardian, the Panama Papers are an unprecedented leak of 11.5m files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The documents show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. The massive leak of confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm has shown how some of the world’s richest people hide assets to avoid paying taxes.

Among national leaders with offshore wealth are Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister; Ayad Allawi, ex-interim prime minister and former vice-president of Iraq; Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine; Alaa Mubarak, son of Egypt’s former president; and the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has formed a high-level judicial commission to probe any financial wrongdoing, a day after three of his children were named in the ‘Panama Papers’ for owning offshore companies prompting demands for an enquiry by the opposition. Documents on the ICIJ website said Sharif’s children – Mariam, Hasan and Hussain – “were owners or had the right to authorize transactions for several companies”. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s relatives Samina Durrani and Ilyas Mehraj have also figured in the documents examined.

Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, became the first major casualty of the Panama Papers, stepping aside from his office amid mounting public outrage that his family had sheltered money offshore.

A $2bn trail leads all the way to Vladimir Putin’s best friend Sergei Roldugin who is at the centre of a scheme in which money from Russian state banks is hidden offshore. A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told The Guardian that the media investigation into offshore accounts is motivated by “Putinphobia,” and that he has not been implicated in any wrongdoing.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “it’s obvious that the main target of such attacks is our president,” and claimed that the publication was aimed at influencing Russia’s stability and parliamentary elections scheduled for September. He suggested the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which co-ordinated the international investigation, has ties to the U.S. government.

Family members of at least eight current or former members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s main ruling body, have offshore companies arranged though Mossack Fonseca. They include President Xi’s brother-in-law, who set up two British Virgin Islands companies in 2009. China’s foreign ministry dismissed reports of the leaks from the Mossack Fonseca database as ‘groundless accusations’. A Communist party censorship directive instructed news organizations to purge all reports, blogs, bulletin boards and comments relating to Panama Papers revelations.

Twenty-three individuals who have had sanctions imposed on them for supporting the regimes in North Korea, Zimbabwe, Russia, Iran and Syria have been clients of Mossack Fonseca. Their companies were harbored by the Seychelles, the British Virgin Islands, Panama and other jurisdictions.

Tax Havens

Jill Lawless of the Associated Press says there’s one part of the British Empire on which the sun still does not set: its tax havens. Britain’s former world dominance has left it with a string of tiny territories scattered around the globe, and many of them have become hubs for hiding money. Despite growing political pressure, shutting down these and other tax havens may be easier said than done, Jill said.

As Britain’s colonies gained independence after World War II, London encouraged several small Caribbean islands to become tax havens as a means to self-sufficiency. As a result, many of the world’s tax havens have British links, including overseas territories such as the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey off the French coast, which are possessions of the British Crown, have been havens for the wealthy and their money for almost a century.

More than half the 200,000 companies set up for clients by Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca in the leaked files are registered in the British Virgin Islands, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean.

According to the BBC two broad qualifications for being a tax haven are to have a low or zero rate of income tax and guarantee the rich a cloak of secrecy they would not receive in their own country. They have also been used to cover up criminal activity.

Since 2009, many attempts have been made to crack down on abuses. More than 700 tax transparency deals have been signed globally. Places including Switzerland, the Channel Islands and Luxembourg have tightened the rules, but Panama and the British Virgin Islands are among those criticized for not doing enough. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Group of 20 nations have persuaded more than 90 countries to share financial data in a bid to crack down on secret dealings.

Mossack Fonseca

The Panama Papers make it clear that major banks are big drivers behind the creation of hard-to-trace companies in the British Virgin Islands, Panama and other offshore havens. They list nearly 15,600 paper companies that banks set up for clients who want keep their finances under wraps, including thousands created by international giants UBS and HSBC.

Mossack Fonseca is one of the world’s top creators of shell companies, corporate structures that can be used to hide ownership of assets. The law firm’s leaked internal files contain information on 214,488 offshore entities connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories.

The offshore system relies on a sprawling global industry of bankers, lawyers, accountants and these go-betweens who work together to protect their clients’ secrets. These secrecy experts use anonymous companies, trusts and other paper entities to create complex structures that can be used to disguise the origins of dirty money.

The Mossack Fonseca law firm has worked closely with big banks and big law firms in places like The Netherlands, Mexico, the United States and Switzerland, helping clients move money or slash their tax bills, the secret records show.

Big U.S. firms hold $2.1 trillion overseas to avoid taxes

Not surprisingly, in October 2015, an economic study revealed that the 500 largest American companies hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to avoid U.S. taxes and would collectively owe an estimated $620 billion in U.S. taxes if they repatriated the funds.

The study, by Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, found that nearly three-quarters of the firms on the Fortune 500 list of biggest American companies by gross revenue operate tax haven subsidiaries in countries like Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Apple was holding $181.1 billion offshore, more than any other U.S. company, and would owe an estimated $59.2 billion in U.S. taxes if it tried to bring the money back to the United States from its three overseas tax havens, the study said.

General Electric has booked $119 billion offshore in 18 tax havens, software firm Microsoft is holding $108.3 billion in five tax haven subsidiaries and drug company Pfizer is holding $74 billion in 151 subsidiaries, the study said.

“At least 358 companies, nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of the end of 2014,” the study said. “All told these 358 companies maintain at least 7,622 tax haven subsidiaries.”

Fortune 500 companies hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to avoid taxes, with just 30 of the firms accounting for $1.4 trillion of that amount, or 65 percent, the study found.

In September 2015, a U.S. federal judge authorized the Internal Revenue Service to seek the names of Americans using accounts at two Belize banks.

 

 

Edited, printed , published owned by NAGARAJA.M.R. @ # LIG-2  No  761,HUDCO FIRST STAGE ,

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