PRESS RELEASE – SICHREM Condemns Killings of Congress Party leaders and all others by Maoists in Dharba Ghati of Sukma District, Chhattisgarh

May 29, 2013

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.

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Complaint to SHRC regarding death of Dalit woman and negligence by police

July 2, 2010

SICHREM have filed a complaint with the SHRC with regards to the death of Honama, a Dalit woman in Tumkur district.

Honamma was a local activist and was involved in a quarrel regarding the laying of drains. After the quarrel the police arrested her and sent her to judicial custody. Upon her release on bail, the quarrel resumed. The events that followed led her to fall into a drain and be stoned to death by a group of around 10-15. Her body was dragged out of the well and dumped at Gopalapura Bus Station.

So far 9 people have been arrested. The case involves a total of 27 people. 

Honamma’s son has been given a government job and her kin will receive Rs 2 lakh compensation.  

There is news of  an announcement  of the suspension of Police Inspector A. Krishna Naik for dereliction of duty. This is in addition to the suspension of two other officers. These suspensions serve as proof as to police negligence.

We have asked for a thorough investigation into the matter and will send our own fact-finding team to investigate.

To read our complaint: comp of Honamma is murderTUM July 1[1]


Condemnation of Maoists massacre in central India

April 22, 2010

Last week, on 15 April 2010, the following human rights groups in Karnataka – PUCL –K – People’s Union for Civil Liberties, PDF- Peoples Democratic Forum, SICHREM -South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring, HRLN – Human Rights Law Network  and Visual Search – released a press statement on the Maoists’ massacre of 75  CRPF jawans  in Dantewada, Chattisgarh.

Please click here to read the full press statement – Massacre_in_Dantewada final.


Stop this Mindless Killing

April 7, 2010

SICHREM’S PRESS STATEMENT

SICHREM condemns the brutal killing of 74 security personnel by Maoists in Chintalnar –Tarmetla village. This kind of violence is unacceptable as it is a serious human rights violation by those groups who claim to be working for the poor. Those who are fighting for human rights should not indulge in destruction of human lives. SICHREM firmly believes that violence in any form can never be a solution to achieve social justice. This sort of violence cannot have a place in a democratic society that is India. SICHREM has been watching the fight between the security forces and the Maoists in many parts of the country with lot of pain and anxiety. Any fight for social justice should be within the constitutional framework and the process should be democratic. Adoption of violent means of struggle has undermined the liberal and democratic spirit of the Indian constitution.

We call upon the Maoists to use only constitutional and legal strategies to fight for human rights. Come back to main stream politics and work for strengthening enforcement of Forest Rights Act; better implementation of NREGA; strengthening Right to Information Act; implementation of Right to Education; implementation of Land Reforms; strengthen the functioning of Human Rights Commissions to prevent torture and police atrocities on people. Organize the poor and the Adivasis for non-violent struggles for their rights and justice.

SICHREM believes that the State must address the root causes of social and economic conditions that bring in violent movements and forcing groups of people to take arms against the State. This kind of insurgency further causes violations of basic human rights of people.

The impoverishment and displacement of tribals in the name of development in many parts of India should stop. The adivasis should be provided with adequate opportunities for means to livelihood, forest rights, education and health facilities. We also call upon the Home Minister Chidambaram to neutralize the ‘Salva Judum’ engaged in violence on an everyday basis, sponsored by the State, upper caste and the landlords. Before starting ‘operation green hunt’ he should do something concrete for guaranteeing justice to Adivasis; stop evictions and properly rehabilitate those who are already displaced. At the same time Maoists must give up using violent means of struggle which results in grave misery and even put lives of tribals themselves in peril, affecting thousands of innocent people also.

We urge the Governments not to approach the Maoists situation only as a law and order problem by trying to finish them through military means. Instead, it is high time that the Governments must engage them in a dialogue so that the issues can be sorted out democratically.

Mathews Philip

Executive Director

SICHREM