Physical and mental torture of village people by the police and para-military forces in the name of campaign vs Naxalites
1. Fake encounter killing During the past five months, three encounter-killings of “naxals” by para-military forces were reported in the media.
(1) a 30 year old house wife and mother of three small children by name Jasmintha Devi of Kherwa primitive tribe was killed in Ladhi village, Barvadih Block, Latehar Dist. on 27 April 2010, (2) a 45 year old Etwa Munda was killed near Gunti village, Tamar Block, Ranchi Dist. on 5 July 2010, (3) a 22 year old Rajesh Singh Munda was killed near Heso village, Namkum Block, Ranchi Dist on 1 August 2010. Jharkhand Nagrik Manch, composed of some concerned citizens, did a fact-finding study of all three incidents and found none of the three killings were encounter-killings but murder in cold-blood.
No magisterial enquiry has been done in any of these incidents as directed by NHRC regarding encounter-killings, especially an investigation by an independent police agency and a Magisterial Enquiry be done, and the District SP and DGP of the State be made jointly liable for non compliance.
No compensation has been paid to the families of Etwa Munda and Rajesh Munda. Jasmintha Devi’s family has been offered Rs. 3 lakhs but we are not in the know of whether it has actually been paid.
No police / para-military officer or police personnel have been penalized for committing these murders
to order a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial judicial inquiry into the aforementioned events, in accordance also with international human rights standards, such as the UN Principle on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.
2. Police Complaints Authority, as directed by the Supreme Court in its judgment dated September 22, 2006, in Prakash Singh and Ors Vs. Union of India, case. The. Court required each state government to set up a Police Complaints Authority. The functions of the police complaints authority is to inquire into allegations of "serious misconduct", like death in police custody, grievous hurt, rape or attempt to commit rape, arrest or detention without due process of law, extortion, land and house grabbing. The authority would also look into the complaints regarding incident involving serious abuse of authority against police personnel.
This injunction of the SC has not been adhered to in the State. Hence the common man has no where to go to complain against police excesses.
That Jharkhand Police Complaints Authority be constituted immediately.
3. State Human Rights Commission has not been constituted despite ten years of the State’s existence. This has paved the way for violations to the human rights of people by the State’s agencies with impunity.
That Jharkhand govt tenders an apology to the people of Jharkhand for not fulfilling this statutory obligation. A transparent process of selection of the members of the commission be followed with immediate effect.
4. Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, [PESA] is not being implemented in Jharkhand. Consequently, the Gram Sabha’s role in self-governance as per the Adivasi traditions and preventing the illegal alienation of their land remains unfulfilled.
5. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 has not been promulgated in Jharkhand. Therefore, violations of the rights of people over forest contiue unabated.
6. Indiscriminate arrest of mostly Adivasi men & women on flimsy grounds as having ‘naxalite literature’ in their possession, without defining what constitutes naxalite literature, is proving very damaging to the safety & security of people in the state.
We are very sure that most men & women arrested and kept in the different jails of Jharkhand under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are innocent. We urge the home ministry to set up an independent commission composed of some human rights activists, legal persons and some police officials to review all the cases of those arrested under UAPA and submit a report to the home ministry. All those found innocent should be set free as soon as possible.
7. Whereas very many young Adivasi men & women are being detained and several of them arrested for being ‘helpers’ or ‘supporters’ (“madadgar”) of naxalites, why does not the police take action against those mine-owners, contractors, business men who have contributed large sums of money to naxals?
All the mine-owners, contractors, business men who have contributed large sums of money to naxals be identified and booked under anti-corruption laws.
8. The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Government of India includes prohibition of torture, The covenant forbids torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, slavery or involuntary servitude, arbitrary arrest and detention. (UN’s Universal Covenant of Civil & Political Rights, 1976) This is being violated by Jharkhand State. Also, the D.K.Basu judgement of the Supreme Court (D. K. Basu v State of West Bengal,1997) which stipulates the process to be followed by the police in arresting a person and spells out the rights of the arrestee, is not being adhered to by Jharkhand police.
That clear instructions be given to all the police stations in the state to exhibit SC’s D.K. Basu judgement at a prominent place and that the police strictly adhere to the directions of the court.
9. Four persons who led resistance movement vs displacement and mobilized people against police atrocities have been arrested by the police. They are:
• Utpal Baskey (aged 25), s/o late Kumar Baskey, Reha village, Gawa thana, Giridih Dt., arrested on 29th June 2010. He was the one who moved around the districts of Jharkhand and composed the list of schools occupied by CRPF thus disrupting children’s education and stopping mid-day meal to children. We presented this list to Shri R.R. Prasad who acted decisively and had the Governor order vacation of all school buildings. The process is still on.
Sad but true, instead of appreciating his service, he has been thrown in jail.
• After the so called ‘encounter killing’ of Etwa Munda on 5th July 2010, a locally prominent human rights activist Xavier Soy (aged 45), Chiadih village, Chutia block, Sareikela-Khar4swan Dt., arrested on 27th July 2010, convened a meeting of village people of the area where Etwa was killed in Kharsawan district. A statement was made out wherein the whole episode of how, where, when Etwa was picked up and later killed. It makes it very clear that Etwa was not killed in any encounter. It is signed by 105 men & women. Now Xavier had this statement of the people in his possession and the police knew it. So he had to be removed out of the way. On 27th July 2010 the police came to his house and took not only Xavier but also his teen-age son who always accompanied his father who is a differently abled person and has difficulty in walking.
• The fourth person to be arrested is Naresh Bhuia (aged 35), s/o Bodh Bhuia, Bhandhar village, Tatagiri PO, Garwa Dt., arrested on 16th August 2010. Naresh was instrumental in bringing to light the murder of Jasmintha Devi in the neighbouring Latehar district by the police under the guise of “cross-fire killing”. So he also had to be put out of the way.
Is this the reward honest citizens get for standing up for the truth?
We can vouch for the fact that these four persons are neither naxals nor helpers of naxals. They have been unjustly framed and put in jail under UAPA.
We request that you may please instruct the police not to oppose the bail petitions as and when they are moved at District Court and / or High Court levels.