The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) strongly condemns the ambush and killing of a Congress party election cavalcade by the CPI (Maoist) party in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday, 25th May, 2013, resulting in the death of more 30 people which included politicians, security personnel and locals of the area and critically injuring former Union Minister V.C. Shukla.
SICHREM denounces as totally unacceptable, the abduction, kidnapping and killing of NK Patel(Congress Party President) and his son Dinesh.Salwa Judum’s founder, Mahendra Karma was also killed. SICHREM expresses its deepest condolences to the families of all those who were killed.
SICHREM’s stand, is that, under no circumstances can acts of brutality be justified, even if they be in response to equally heinous and brutal acts unleashed by the state or non state forces.
Even while, politicians across the political spectrum are terming this act, as an attack on democracy, it should also not be forgotten that every time an adivasi is killed, jailed, houses burnt, women raped etc they only be termed as collateral damage in the ‘Operation Green Hunt’, whereas it is an attack on democracy and human rights. Complaints are a plenty of state security forces committing torture, secret detentions, abductions, enforced disappearances, unfair trials, arbitrary and prolonged incommunicado detention which is going on for all these years with impunity.
While SICHREM firmly condemns the violence of the Maoists and acknowledges the constitutional duty and responsibility cast on the Governments to protect the life of all people it equally stresses that whatever be the situation, the state forces must act within the confines of law.
SICHREM asserts that any counter strategies devised by the Government should adhere strictly to the rule of law, constitution and specific standards and obligations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Important to note in this regard is the, Declaration on Upholding Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Combating Terrorism,2005 (“A pervasive security-oriented discourse promotes the sacrifice of fundamental rights and freedoms in the name of eradicating terrorism. There is no conflict between the duty of States to protect the rights of persons threatened by terrorism and their responsibility to ensure that protecting security does not undermine other rights. On the contrary, safeguarding persons from terrorist acts and respecting human rights both form part of a seamless web of protection incumbent upon the State. Both contemporary human rights and humanitarian law allow States a reasonably wide margin of flexibility to combat terrorism without contravening human rights and humanitarian legal obligations”).
SICHREM joins in appeal with all other democratic and peace loving citizens for the immediate stopping of killings and violence by both the State and the Maoists.