WSS and Citizens for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh had organized a press meet in Delhi on 12th January 2017 to highlight the emergency-like situation in Chhattisgarh and the brazen attacks on human rights defenders demanding accountability from the state and police department.
Prof Nandini Sundar, Advocate Shalini Gera, researcher and journalist Vineet Tewari, WSS member Rinchin and human rights lawyer Adv Vrinda Grover and Advocate Savithri (member of the Telengana Democratic Forum and wife of Advocate Balla Ravindranath, one of the seven members of a factfinding team on their way to Bastar who were picked up on Christmas Day by the Chhattisgarh police) spoke on the occasion.
Read the press release here
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression
7 January 2017
NHRC indicts Chhattisgarh police for sexual violence against Adivasi women in Bastar
Interim order validates WSS complaints
WSS welcomes the decisive intervention of the National Human Rights Commission in cases of sexual violence against Adivasi women by police and security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh. Validating our assertion that sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war in Bastar, the Commission has held the State government “vicariously liable” for gross violations of human rights.
Taking cognizance of press reports based on WSS fact-findings and successive complaints submitted by us, the NHRC conducted its own field investigation in March 2016, meeting and recording the statements of 16 women. In its strongly-worded note issued today, the Commission has prima facie validated their FIRs of rape, sexual assault and physical violence. Statements are awaited from 20 more women who have also filed FIRs of sexual violence ranging from mass rapes to sexual assault of minor girls and pregnant women. Continue reading
Hindi version of the WSS statement on harassment and intimidation of Adv Shalini Gera and the team of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group: statement_hindi
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression
28 December 2016
Bastar police continue their vendetta against women human rights defenders. SP Bastar threatens Adv Shalini Gera, JagLAG lawyers with false cases
Clearly rattled by the mounting body of evidence of blatant violations of the rule of law and Constitutional rights under the cover of anti-Maoist operations, the Bastar police has launched a no-holds-barred attempt to silence all those who are calling them to account.
Advocate Shalini Gera and her colleagues of JagLAG who were in Jagdalpur in connection with a case of false encounter of a young Adivasi boy , were confronted on the night of 26 December by a police team which entered the dharamshala where they were staying and accused them of being there in an “unauthorised” manner. Despite the fact that they were following up on an order by the Chhattisgarh HC for exhumation and a second postmortem in the case and their accommodation had been arranged by the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Adv Shalini and her colleagues were ordered to come to the police station for interrogation. Attempts were also made to forcibly search their rooms and belongings. When asked to produce a warrant, the SI in charge of the team became even more aggressive and abusive. It took a personal call from the Divisional Commissioner to the SI to force the police to back off.
Press Note. Mumbai. 17 December 2016
At an exclusive meet-the-press in Mumbai, American black feminist activist and human rights defender, Angela Davis joined feminists in India spearheading a global women’s campaign appealing to the President of India to use his Constitutional powers and repeal the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). In doing so, she extends her solidarity to the struggles of women in India against the impunity granted to security forces under the AFSPA and the consequent widespread violation of rights in all areas where this law has been in force. In particular, Ms Davis salutes the historic struggle of Irom Chanu Sharmila whose 16 year long fast against the AFSPA helped foreground the issue both nationally, and internationally, saying “I am utterly inspired by Irom Sharmila’s strength and perseverance.” Continue reading
- A graphic booklet on the why’s and what’s of demonetization and its impact on the people.
- WSS statement on Demonetization in HINDI.
- WSS statement on Demonetization in MARATHI.
Wake up Call – There is no light at the end of demonetisation tunnel
Razia of Aligarh died on December 4. On the night of November 20 when she was rushed to the district hospital in a critical condition she told media persons that she took the extreme step after failing to exchange her old 500 rupee notes for days together “out of total helplessness as her four children had not eaten any thing for three days”.
The toll brought about by demonetization has now crossed 100. This includes old people unable to bear the strain of standing in queues, people denied treatment at hospitals, students unable to pay their fees – situations created due to demonetization and lack of available currency.
The sudden withdrawal of 86.4 per cent of the currency value in circulation without any preparedness and efforts to replace it with notes of lower denominations for daily transactions has resulted in unprecedented and continuing collapse of people’s earnings, purchasing power and economic chaos.
With the beginning of a new month, even the salaried middle class has been pushed into a critical position with no cash in hand. Continue reading