The Director General of Police,
I am writing to you with regards to the correspondence between me and the Former DGP, Chattisgarh Shri Vishwaranjanji on the heinous killings of the three tribal of Kothrapal village of the 18th of March, 2008. I attach herewith the letter written by me to the DGP which out all the facts. In response to my letter, the DGP wrote a lengthy letter, which, however was far more removed from facts and was quite misleading.
Having gone through the letter of Vishwaranjanji and confirming with activists and people on the ground, including the wisdoms and victims themselves, it seems to us that the DGP has written only on the basis of unverified information received from his staff on the field. The story he had written to me is far away from the description given by the widows and the one who survived. We have many reasons to rely on victims’ narration on the following factual grounds:
- All victims are giving the same narrative and there is no contradiction in any body’s version.
- The widows and persons survived have beating marks on their back; which confirms their claim of being beaten by police & SPOs and if their husbands were taken away and killed by Naxals; how these widows got beating marks; while survivor Somadu Kudiyam has broken rib & fractured arm, as shown clearly by the x-ray.
- Our field activists have talked personally with many other camp inmates who are confirming the widows allegation as true.
- The victims themselves met DGP Vishwaranjanji in his office at Raipur; where they narrated the whole incident to the DGP and he did not raise any questions on the reliability of the victims then.
It is also indeed true that people are forcibly being brought in Salwa Judum Camps and are still kept there by threat and intimidation.
I hope you will, at least now investigate into these unlawful acts and in fact the entire monstor of Salwa Judum and guarantee peace, justice and a life with all fundamental rights to the adivasis of Chattisgarh.
National Alliance of People’s Movements
Director General of Police,
Police Head Quarters,
This is with reference to the information received by us about the brutal killings of three tribal of Kothrapal village, right in front of the eyes of their wives, by police and special police officers, including, ASI Mr. Patil on the 18th of March 2008, who were residing at one of the Salwa Judum camps at Matwada, Chattisgarh. Subsequently to this heinous atrocity, we are told, the police issued a press release and declared that ‘naxalites’ killed these tribals. The information received by us is as follows.
On the 25th of March, 2008, the younger brother of one of the deceased tribals approached Himanshu Kumar, whose organization has been working on the rights of tribals in Chattiagarh, who narrated to him all the facts. On the 27th March, widows of all three deceased men narrated the entire incident before the media. The widows also wrote to the Supritendent of Police, Bijapur, to lodge an FIR against the police officer and Special police officers involved in the killings of their husbands. Thereafter, on the 29th March, the SP Bijapur, we are informed took their oral statement in a close door cell and got their thumb impressions on the paper written by himself. According to the brother of the deceased tribal, the widow of all the three deceased were cruelly beaten up by the police and are being ‘treated’ for injuries now in the Salwa Judum camp.
On the 30th March, when, with the assistance of Himanshu, the widows requested the SP, Bijapur to fetch back their children from Salwa Judum camp, Matwada, the SP, we are told, imposed a rider that they can see the children, only if they ‘re-enter’ the Salwa Judum camp. On the 1st April, the widows wrote letters to DGP and CG to intervene in the matter of releasing their children from the Salwa Judum camp. Which was also covered by media reports and subsequently, the children were released. Upon being asked as to why FIRs were not lodged against the named police personnel for the killings of the tribals, the response received was that, since an FIR has already been lodged against ‘unknown naxalites’ , there is no need to file another FIR.
Isn’t it true that, so far, the Government has not provided any sort of compensation to these widows and has chosen to remain silent on the whole incident? It is one of the fundamental rights of the kin of the deceased, to receive fair compensation from the state, for the unlawful killings of their relative(s), by state official, in addition to criminal prosecution, that must be initiated against the persons accused of the murder, (concerned police officials, in this case), whoever they may be.
These tribals have been forcibly brought and kept in confinement in the Salwa Judum camps for last 3 years in the name of their ‘salvation’. The State Government is more responsible, than ever, for the safety, security and well-being of these tribals, because it was on this assurance and claim, that they were forcibly brought in and camped at the Salwa Judum ghettos. I have also been informed that the police made an aborted attempt to murder one more tribal youth, who is now fearing for his life and hiding in some village.
I am also writing this to you , at a time, when the Supreme Court has also come down heavily upon the Govt. of Chattisgarh for arming private gangs of fighting naxalism and creating lawlessness and violence. If u still expect, the people of Chattisgarh to have any faith in the police establishment , it can be only by way of ensuring that extra-judicial killings, such as these, are effectively inquired into, and action initiated , in due compliance of the law and procedure, anticipating that you would act as per law and justice.
National Alliance of Peoples Movements