We must protest human rights violations in Chattisgarh. The Chief of Police who has been silencing dissent and as Salwa Judum spreads terror in the interior tribal villages, is visiting California this week. Please read on:
Himanshu Kumar, who has been working for more than 15 years with Vanvasi Chetana Ashram in the tribal villages of Dantewara, in Chattisgarh, has sent this message about the Peace March they are taking through the villages:
“We are starting a padayatra from Errabore today. Our padyatra will end on 2nd October, Gandhijis birthday in Dornapal. We plan to cover 22 interior villages in 12 days. We are a group of 14 volunteers from Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, including 3 girls. Our night halt today will be at Nendra village….”
Meanwhile, the Director-General of Police, Mr. Vishwa Ranjan is visiting Berkeley California, to speak at a seminar on “Indian Democracy.”
Concerned individuals are planning to raise tough questions for the DGP at this seminar. Concerned faculty are endorsing a letter to present to the DGP in Berkeley. If you are / know faculty who would like to see & sign this letter pls respond to paravinda gmail.com with your name, title and affiliation.
Himanshu Kumar has a question for the DGP of Chattisgarh:
Why have FIRs have not been filed against the Salwa Judum/ SPOs/ Police officers?
1. On 18th March 2008, three tribals living in Matwada Salwa Judum camp in Bijapur district, under the protection of police and SPOs, were brutally killed by the salwa judum/police. The attackers started beating them up at 4 pm and continued beating them for 4 hours till they were finally killed at around 8 pm–their eyes were gouged out and their heads beaten with rocks.
Himanshu ji took the three widows to meet with the DGP. He listened to them and consoled them and told them that such atrocities will not happen again. But later, he claimed that Himanshu ji had lied about this incident, and claimed in court documents that the widows are making false accusations under the influence of the Naxalites. The police has refused to file any FIRs on this matter
More about this incident can be read (in Hindi) here
2. On August 11th, 2008, Salwa Judum/police visited the Arlampalli village and killed 5 people who were engaged in agriculture at that point. The village people claim that they were involved peacefully working in the fields at the time they were killed by the police. They were not threatening the police in any manner. Again, Himanshuji took the parents of one and the wife of another deceased person to meet with the SP of Dantewada, where they complained to him that the police killed their loved ones with no justification. Once again, no FIR was filed.
More information here (again in Hindi): (including the report by Himanshu ji, and petitions by parents and wife of deceased).
If you can BE IN BERKELEY to demand that the DGP STOP supporting Salwa Judum, STOP imprisoning human rights activists, STOP silencing voices of dissent in Chattisgarh and DROP CHARGES against and RELEASE political prisoners including Dr. Binayak Sen, Ajay TG and others, please go to Barrows Hall on Saturday Sept 26 at 2 pm and make your voice COUNT.
This Saturday, come question Vishwa Ranjan, the head police official in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, where police are responsible for:
- jailing public health activist and civil rights leader Dr. Binayak Sen
- widespread violence & brutality against the states’s Tribal communities
- supporting and arming a militia which has razed 100s of villages and uprooted several hundred thousand people from their homes since 2005
Ranjan will be speaking at a conference at UC Berkeley on Saturday, and we need your help to ask him the tough questions that his local critics haven’t been able to ask. Join us, in solidarity with the embattled Tribal communities of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh!
Stand up to Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan
The Berkeley Conference on Indian Democracy
Saturday 9/27, 2:00 pm
Call for endorsements:
Please endorse the attached flyer, protesting the actions of Vishwa Ranjan, the Chief of Police of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, who’ll be speaking at a UC Berkeley conference this Saturday (2pm, September 27, at Barrows Hall).The Chhattisgarh state government has been implicated in numerous human rights violations, including the imprisonment of noted physician and human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen for the last 16 months, mass diplacement and disenfranchisement of approximately 300,000 tribals, and the sponsorship of the violent Salwa Judum militia movement.
Despite an international campaign to ensure due process, including an appeal signed by 22 Nobel laureates, Dr. Sen and other human rights activists, lawyers, and journalists continue to be harassed by police.The DGP (Director General of Police) of Chhattisgarh is an invited speaker at a panel during “Justice and the Law,” a conference on Indian democracy at UC Berkeley this weekend. Given his active role in silencing and vilifying human rights critics in his own state, it’s
critical for us to speak out.
We ask you to:
1. Endorse our flyer by sending email to [email protected]
2. Express your solidarity with the people of Chhattisgarh by attending the panel and supporting our representative who has been invited to participate in the panel to challenge the DGP:
Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley
Saturday, September 27, 2:00pm (show up at 1:30pm)
3. Demand that the DGP:
STOP supporting Salwa Judum,
STOP imprisoning human rights activists,
STOP silencing voices of dissent in Chhattisgarh
DROP CHARGES against and RELEASE political prisoners,
including Dr. Binayak Sen, Ajay TG and others.