Against Chhattisgarh Government and Police
Demand the Release of Soni Sodi and Lingaram Kodopi
Demand unfettered access to Journalists and Civil Society activists across the
conflict torn areas of Chhattisgarh
Demand the repeal of black laws like Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Ac
Shankar Subbu Sr.Adv, High Court of Madras
V Geetha Writer
A Marx Human Rights Activist
Mangai Theater activist
R Mohan Madras Union of Journalist
Tamilazhagan Journalist for Change
Date: 4th November 2011 (Friday)
Venue: Near Panagal Maaligai, Saidapet Bus Stand
Ever since the conflict between State forces and Maoist escalated in resource rich Chhattisgarh and the wider central Indian areas including West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and parts of Bihar, the State has tried to black out information from these areas. The CRPF and State police in collusion with the State Governments have hounded out the civil society and journalists. While the incarceration of Dr Binayak Sen gained international coverage and the Supreme Court had to intervene twice to set him free, the travails of many a ‘not so well known’ voices have been brutally suppressed. Himanshu Kumar, a Gandhian was hounded out of Chhattisgarh and his ashram in Dantewada razed for being critical of state sponsored militia group-Salwa Judum; Advocate Amarnath falsely charged with abduction for filing case against powerful police officers for rape of a tribal woman named Ledha in police custody; and many others like Kopa Kunjam, Sodi Sambhu, Kartam Joga. Last month, the Chhattisgarh police falsely implicated Soni Sodi, a government school teacher and Linga Kodopi, her nephew and a budding journalist in a further attempt to gag all independent voices and flow of information from this conflict torn area. Journalists are targeted for bringing out uneasy truths and worse their local sources severely punished and threatened. A systematic campaign against freedom of expression and freedom of information has led to a black hole of information and accountability. In the darkness, State’s excesses atrocities against tribals and human rights violations have become the order of the day.
Binayak Sen, Himanshu Kumar or Lingaram Kodopi and Soni Sori have not resorted to violence. They have only exercised their democratic right to express their opinion. They have only tried to make this republic more transparent and accountable. Under the garb of fighting Maoists, the State is systematically destroying democratic voices so that the adivasis are forced to move and their mineral rich lands are sold off to mining corporations.
We invite you join this protest and demand
1. The immediate release of Soni Sodi and Lingaram Kodopi and transferring of their cases to courts that can guarantee fair trail.
2. Independent investigation into the accusations against police of use of torture methods and framing of false charges in an attempt to silence dissenting voices.
3. The unfettered access to journalist and civil society activists across the conflict torn areas.
4. Repeal of anti democratic legislations like Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act
2005 that incarcerate innocent people without proper trail.
Campaign for Justice and Peace-Tamil Nadu
C/o H 16/9 Seevakan Street, Kalakshetra Colony, Chennai 600 090