Category Archives: Press Releases

Press Release Of The CDRO and WSS Fact Finding of Khunti, Ghagra, Palamu Tiger Reserve And Sedition Cases

Press Release 19th August 2018

From 17th to 19th of August, a ten member fact finding team of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), along with local activists, travelled across the state of Jharkhand and investigated incidents of violation of human rights in Jharkhand state. The first case was the recent incident of the rape of five women in Khunti district, the second was the Betla Tiger Project and the team tried to speak with several persons on whom the Jharkhand state has filed cases of sedition. Following news coverage and reports from human rights activists in Jharkhand, the fact-finding team reached out to as many people as possible including the villagers, intellectuals, activists, journalists, lawyers and the police. Continue reading

CDRO & WSS Press Release On Fact-Finding Related To Police Firing And Killing Of Anti-Sterlite Protesters

CDRO & WSS Press Release on fact-finding related to police firing and killing of Anti-Sterlite protesters

The Co-ordination of Democratic Rights Organization (CDRO) and Woman against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) team, consisting of 17 members undertook a fact finding from 16.06.2018 to 18.06.2018 in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu regarding the firing and killing of Anti Sterlite protesters and the Civilians on 22nd and 23rd May 2018. The fact finding team visited the family of the deceased, injured people in the firing, the villagers in the proximity of the Vedanta Sterlite plant, Bar Association of Thoothukudi, Trade Unionist and Civic and Administrative officials of Thoothukudi district.

Targeted Killings:

During our visits and the interaction with the cross section of people involved in this Anti Sterltie protest movement, the fact finding committee has observed that the firing by the police on 22nd and 23rd of May at the Collectorate and Anna Nagar 6th Cross road were deliberate and pre-planned. Most of the people killed were specifically targeted by the police as they have been in the forefront of this protest. Out of 13 people killed, we visited 6 families of which 3 were a clear case of targeted killing of either leaders or active participants of the protest. The family members of all the deceased had claimed that they intended for a peaceful protest and not indulge in violent protest as claimed by administration. Most of them carried children and food packages for a peaceful protest at collector’s office. The state and Sterlite engineered violence to repress the anti-sterlite movement by indulging in unprovoked indiscriminate firing on the people.


As per the information received from the hospital authorities by the fact finding team, in total 125 were injured on both the days. The team visited 10 injured in the hospital of whom majority were bullet injuries in the ankle, knee and one bullet injured patient had to be amputated above knee. The compensation though immediately dispersed to the family members by the State was insufficient and they demanded further justice for the dead and the injured. The key observation from the family members of the deceased was that the post Mortem report was not handed to any family despite request. Instead they were threatened, beaten, lathi charged at the Hospital mortuary, some of the family members recalled that the police had asked them to file RTI to receive the post mortem report.

Witching Hunting/ Repression:

The local people of these villages informed us that there has been an ongoing police repression in the form of midnight raids, targeting innocent men and woman. The lawyer’s forum of Thoothukudi has said that more than 250 people have been detained and booked under various charges. It has also come to the knowledge of the team that 7 people have been booked under NSA act in the past one week alone.

Health Hazards:

The committee also visited villages around the plant and met men and woman who shared their health concerns. The incidence as narrated includes cancer of uterus, breast and other organs, skin disorders, blindness, infertility, respiratory problems like asthmatic bronchitis, severe gynaecological disorders affecting girls and woman and paediatric disorders with children born with mental retardation and other physical deformities, ENT problems etc. The government and the Sterlite had not taken any steps to mitigate these severe health problems. The villagers reiterated that such diseases were not as prevalent before the establishment of Sterlite plant.

We Demand:

  • All cases registered against the protesters be withdrawn with immediate effect.
  • All the arrested Anti-Sterlite protesters including those booked under NSA be released unconditionally.
  • Immediate permanent closure of Sterlite copper smelter plant as a policy decision by the Government.
  • Criminal Action under Section 302 of IPC should be initiated against the civil, police and management of the Sterlite company for their criminal negligence of duty and massacre of anti-Sterlite protestors
    in Thoothukudi.
  • All land acquired for the Sterlite plant through SIPCOT be returned to its original land owners.
  • The compensation amount should be increased for those killed and injured, akin to the Mandsaur MP firing victims where Rs 1 crore was granted to each person killed and Rs 50 lakhs to the injured.
  • To conduct health/Epidemiological survey in the Industrial belt of Thoothukudi to assess the various increasing disease patterns prevalent in the region.

बलात्कारियों को राजकीय संरक्षण देना बंद करो!!!! (WSS Press Release)

बलात्कारियों को राजकीय संरक्षण देना बंद करो!!!!

हम हाल ही में देश में लगातार हो रही बालात्कार और यौन हिंसा की घट्नाओं की कड़ी निंदा करते हैं: जम्मू के कठुआ जिले की आठ साल की बच्ची, उ.प्र. के उन्नाव जिले की १५ साल की लड़की, सूरत, गुजरात में  ११ साल की लड़की, १५ साल की फरीदाबाद की लड़की, जिसकी लाश को भी नहीं बक्शा गया, पानीपत की ११ साल की लड़की, इन सभी घट्नाओं के खिलाफ हो रहे देशव्यापी आक्रोश के बावजूद हाल ही में हुई इंदौर की घटना, जिसमें एक चार महीने की बच्ची के साथ बलात्कार किया गया। हम आपराधिक कानून (संशोधन) अध्यादेश, 2018 के द्वारा यौन अपराध अधिनियम (2012) में लाये गए बदलाव की भी निंदा करते हैं जिसके जरिये सजाये मौत का प्रावधान किया गया है।

२१-२२ अप्रैल को इंदौर में यौन हिंसा और राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ महिलाएं (डब्लू.एस.एस) की दो दिवसीय,आठवी राष्ट्रीय बैठक हुई, जिसमें तेलंगाना, कर्नाटका, दिल्ली, छत्तीसगढ़, उत्तराखंड, हिमाचल प्रदेश, महाराष्ट्र, ओडिशा, राजस्थान और मध्य प्रदेश के सदस्यों ने भाग लिया। इस बैठक में डब्लू.एस.एस ने यह निष्कर्ष निकाला:

बलात्कार की बढती घटनाओं के खिलाफ देश व्यापी जन आक्रोश के बीच अपराधियों को मृत्युदंड देने की मांग उठी है, डब्लू.एस.एस मृत्युदंड के खिलाफ है।

गणतंत्र दिवस के एक दिन पहले 25 जनवरी को मध्य प्रदेश के आठ थानों की पुलिस ने धार जिले के भील समुदाय, पहले से ही अपराधी माने जाने वाले, के गाँव पर कथित रूप से उन लोगों के घर पर, जिनके खिलाफ पहले से ही वारंट है, बड़ी संख्या में छापा मारा। इन छापों के दौरान, चार महिलाओं का बलात्कार हुआ, जिनमें से एक गर्भवती थी और दो नाबालिग लड़कियों के साथ छेड़ छाड़ हुई। इन महिलाओं की आपबीती उतनी ही दहलाने वाली थी, जितनी की पड़ोसी राज्य छत्तीसगढ़ के बस्तर में आदिवासी महिलाओं के अनुभव थे।  इस खनिज प्रधान दक्षिण छत्तीसगढ़ के इलाके में कॉर्पोरेट घरानों के लिए रास्ता साफ़ करने के लिए पुलिस एवं सशस्त्र बलों के
छापे मारी अभियान में पिछले तीन वर्षों में पचास से अधिक महिलाओं के साथ यौन हिंसा व् बलात्कार की घटनाएं सामने आई है।

उपरोक्त घट्नाओं की रौशनी में यह स्पष्ट होता है की यौन हिंसा में राज्य सत्ता के नुमाइंदे, दबंग जाति एवं धार्मिक समूह द्वारा यौन हिंसा को अंजाम दिया जाना देखा है। जिससे साफ़ जाहिर होता है कि आपराधिक कानून संशोधन अध्याधेश (२०१८) महज एक छलावा है।  राष्ट्रीय अपराध रिकॉर्ड ब्यूरो २०१६ के आंकड़ों के अनुसार धारा 376 एवं बाल यौन अपराध संरक्षण कानून, २०१२ (pocso) के केसों में 94.6% बलात्कारी पीडिता की जान पहचान का होना पाया गया था- वो या तो करीबी रिश्तेदार, पडोसी, या परिचित था। ऐसी स्थिति में, पीडिता के लिए शिकायत दर्ज कराना बेहद मुश्किल हो जाता है, खासकर जब वह नाबालिग हो। नेशनल लॉ स्कूल ऑफ इंडिया यूनिवर्सिटी, बैंगलोर द्वारा जारी एक रिपोर्ट में, यह पाया गया कि वर्ष 2013 और 2015 के बीच पोक्सो के तहत दर्ज 667 केसों में , 67.5% पीडिता ने अपने बयान पलट दिए। पीडिता की चुप्पी या उस पर चुप रहने का दबाव, परिवार और समाज में पितृसत्तात्मक ढाँचे की गहरी पैठ का परिणाम है।

इसके पर्याप्त सबूत हैं कि सजाये मौत अपराधी पर लगाम लगाने में असफल रही है। उल्टे इसका असर, काफी हद तक, वास्तव में लोगों को अपराध की रिपोर्ट करने से रोकता है। इसके अलावा, विभिन्न अध्ययनों से निष्कर्ष निकले हैं कि मृत्युदंड मनमाने तरीके से दिया जाता है और लगभग सभी मामलों में, यह देखा गया है कि इसे केवल समाज के सबसे हाशिए के और उत्पीड़ित वर्गों के खिलाफ इस्तेमाल किया जाता है। यही नहीं, महिला आन्दोलन और वकीलों ने इस बात के समर्थन में तर्क दिए हैं कि सजा गंभीर होने के फलस्वरूप अपराध भी गंभीर रूप धारण कर लेता है और बलात्कार के बाद पीडिता को मार डालने की संभावना बढ जाती है।

निर्भया मामले के फलस्वरूप, 2013 में स्थापित न्यायमूर्ति वर्मा समिति ने मृत्युदंड के खिलाफ मजबूत सिफारिशें की, जिसमें उन्होनें मृत्युदंड को “सजा और सुधार के क्षेत्र में एक प्रतिकूल कदम” कहा। इसके चलते, केंद्र द्वारा आपराधिक कानून (संशोधन) अधिनियम 2013 में मृत्युदंड को नहीं जोड़ा गया। यहां तक कि पोक्सो के संबंध में, समस्या वास्तव में  सज़ा न मिलने की है न की सज़ा के कड़े नहीं होने की। व्यापक विचार विमर्श के बगैर, इस अध्यादेश को देश पर थोप दिया गया है। यह अध्यादेश जारी करके, भाजपा सरकार ने जान बूझ कर अपने दल के अपराधी तत्वों और उनके समर्थकों से ध्यान हटाने की कोशिश की है। मृत्युदंड के आम जनसमर्थन, जिसे मीडिया बड़ाचढा कर दिखा रहा है, उसका तुष्टिकरण करके सरकार ने वाहवाही लूट ली। औरतों के प्रति निहायत ही खोखली सहानुभूति दिखाने वाली सरकार ने मृत्युदंड को उनके बचाव के लिए लागू करके अपनी मर्दानगी का उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया है। वही, ट्रांसजेंडर व्यक्ति (अधिकारों का संरक्षण) विधेयक 2016, के अंतर्गत बलात्कार की सज़ा सिर्फ २ साल तक सीमित की गयी है, जबकी महिलाओं से बलात्कार की घट्नाओं में सात वर्ष की सज़ा का प्रावधान है। क्या किन्नर देश के नागरिक नहीं?

यह विडम्बंना है कि जहाँ मध्य प्रदेश राज्य सरकार ने बलात्कार को बेलगाम बढने का अवसर दिया है और देश में बलात्कार की घट्नाओं में सर्वोच्च स्थान पर है, आज वाह वाही लूटने के लिए बच्चों के बलात्कारियों के लिए मृत्यु दंड की मांग करने में सबसे आगे है।

देश में व्यापक तौर पर हाशिए पर फेके गए कमजोर समुदायों के खिलाफ जो डर व् आतंक का माहौल  आज भाजपा के शासन में फैलाया जा रहा है वह संघ परिवार की विचारधारा का हिस्सा है, और उपरोक्त  घट्नाओं को इससे अलग करके नहीं देखा जा सकता। अनिवार्य रूप से, ऐसे माहौल में महिलाओं का शरीर युद्ध का मैदान बन जाता है जिस पर यह हिंसा खेली जाती है। चाहे धर्म के नाम पर कठुआ में बकरवाल- मुसलिम जनजाति को खदेड़ने के लिए हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादियों द्वारा बलात्कार को राजनैतिक हथियार के तौर पर इस्तेमाल किया जा रहा हो, या फिर उन्नाव की तरह जहाँ आरोपी भाजपा का विधायक हो जिसे सत्ताधारी पार्टी का संरक्षण मिल रहा हो , इन सभी अपराधों में यह प्रतीत होता है कि सत्ताधारी दल की अपराधिक तत्वों से गहरी सांठ गाँठ है।

डब्लू.एस.एस. मांग करता है कि आपराधिक कानून (संशोधन) अध्यादेश 2018 को रद्द किया जाये। हम समाज के प्रगतिशील व्यक्तियों और समूहों का आह्वान करते हैं कि वे पीड़ितों के समर्थन में खड़े हों, ताकि कम से कम कानूनी प्रक्रियाओं का पालन हो और मौजूदा कानून प्रभावी बनाया जा सके।



अजिता, शालिनी, रिनचिन, निशा

        राष्ट्रीय समंवयक, राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ महिलाएं (डब्लू.एस.एस)

“यौन हिंसा व राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ महिलाएं” (WSS) नवम्बर 2009 में गठित एक गैर-अनुदान प्राप्त जमीनी प्रयास है. इस अभियान का मकसद है- हमारे शारीर व हमारे समाज पर हो रही हिंसा को ख़त्म करना. हमारा नेटवर्क पुरे देश में फैला हुआ है और इसमें शामिल हम औरतें अनेक राजनीतिक परिपाटियों, जन संगठनों, छात्र व युवा संगठनों, नागरिक अधिकार संगठनों एवं व्यक्तिगत स्तर पर हिंसा व दमन के खिलाफ सक्रीय हैं. हम औरतों व लड़कियों के विरुद्ध किसी भी अपराधी/अपराधियों द्वारा की जा रही यौन हिंसा व राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ हैं.



End Political Impunity to Rapists (WSS Press Release)

We strongly condemn the recent incidents of rape and sexual violence in the country: the rape of an 8-year old girl in Kathua, Jammu, of a 15-year old in Unnao, UP, of a tea-shop owner as well as 15 year old girl in Meghalaya, of an 11-year old girl in Surat, Gujarat, a 15-year old in Faridabad whose corpse was continually raped, another 11-year old girl in Panipat and closer home and even more recently, the rape of a four-month old child of balloon-sellers in Indore, MP while there is an outrage against rape in the country. We also unequivocally condemn the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 which seeks to amend among other things the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (2012) by sanctioning the death penalty in cases of rape of minor girls.

A two day national meeting of Women Against Sexual Violence and Sexual Repression (WSS)  was held in Indore on 21-22 of April, and attended by members from Telangana, Karnataka, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Women against Sexual Violence and State repression (WSS) concluded:

There has been an uproar about some of these incidents, and a wave of protests have swept across the country. Amidst this much-needed outrage against rape, there have also been calls for capital punishment for the perpetrators of these crimes. We, as WSS, do not in any way support the death penalty as a form of punishment.

On the 25th of January 2017, a day before Republic Day, police from eight thanas carried out a massive raid in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh with the intention to nab people with pending warrants against them – all of whom were members of the Bhil community, a tribe historically stigmatized as criminals. During this raid, four women were raped including one pregnant woman, and two minor girls were molested. The accounts of these women were chillingly similar to the testimonies of tribal women from Bastar, in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh. In the last three years over 50 women have been raped and sexually assaulted by members of the police and security forces in the mineral rich lands of south Chhattisgarh, as they “comb” the forests to make way for large corporations to begin mining.

In the light of the above incidents where the State machinery, dominant caste and religious groups is committing acts of sexual violence, it is clear that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 is a complete sham. It not only sanctions the death penalty for the rape of minor girls but also changes a gender-neutral act i.e. which applied to both boys and girls, to one that talks of only “women under the age of 12”. Moreover, according to the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) data of 2016, in 94.6% of the cases under POCSO and Section 376, the perpetrator(s) turned out to be a known person – he was either a close family member, a neighbour, or an acquaintance. In such a situation, it is extremely difficult for the survivor to report the crime, particularly when the survivor is a minor. In a report released by National Law School of India University, Bangalore, it was found that of the 667 POCSO judgements between 2013 and 2015, 67.5% of the victims turned hostile. The fact that victims are either silenced or forced to remain silent is a result of the deeply entrenched patriarchal structures within the family and society.

There is sufficient evidence to show that capital punishment has never served to act as a deterrent to the committing of crimes. Quite contrarily, it in fact deters people from reporting the crime. Also, not only does research indicate that the awarding of the death penalty is largely arbitrary and in almost all cases so far, it has only been awarded to accused from the most marginalised and oppressed sections of society. In the particular case of rape, as several people from the women’s movement and lawyers have argued, the death penalty in fact further endangers the life of the survivor as the severity of the punishment then becomes an incentive to end the survivors life.

The Justice Verma Committee set up in 2013 in response to the Nirbhaya case made strong recommendations against the death penalty, calling it “a regressive step in the field of sentencing and reformation.” Despite that, the Centre chose to exclude this recommendation in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013. Even with regards to POCSO, the problem really is one of lack of conviction and not one of the severity of punishment meted out. Instead of working on effective implementation of the existing act, the BJP has hurriedly pushed forward the ordinance without consulting with people working on child rights and cases of child sexual abuse. By talking about death, the government has conveniently shifted attention from the legislators who have supported and perpetrated these crimes. Instead, by pandering to popular sentiment orchestrated by the media, they seek to gain political mileage from such heinous acts of violence. Masqueraded as concern about growing sexual violence against children, what the amendment actually does is perpetuate the hyper-masculine regime of the BJP – where justice in cases of sexual violence becomes an act of revenge in a sense, with the “honour” of India’s children and women being avenged by the tough manhood of the nation. At the same time, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 proposes a punishment of only 2 years in cases of rape against transgender persons, as opposed to the 7-year imprisonment in the case of rape against women. By bringing in such amendments in quick succession the state is seeking to undermine the citizenship rights of sexual minorities, once again cashing in on popular prejudices.

It is also ironic that Madhya Pradesh, the state which leads the country in the number of rapes, was the one to initiate the demand for the death penalty for child-rapists.

We do not see these as isolated incidents of violence, but as part of a larger reign of terror unleashed upon the most marginalised and vulnerable sections of our society. Inevitably then, it is the bodies of women that become the battlefields on which this violence is played out. Whether in the name of religion in the case of Kathua, where rape is used as a political weapon by Hindu nationalists to displace and dislodge Bakarwal, a marginalised Muslim tribal community, or in the case of Unnao, where the accused, who is a BJP MLA is protected with the impunity for belonging to the ruling party, in each of these incidents, we believe that the State is deeply complicit in these acts of extreme violence.

WSS demands the withdrawal of the sanction of the death penalty by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 and calls upon progressive individuals and groups in civil society to stand in support of victims and survivors ensuring that at the very least legal processes are followed and existing laws are implemented.



 Ajitha, Shalini, Rinchin, Nisha

               National Conveners, Women Against Sexual Violence and Sexual Repression (WSS),

Delhi Press Conference of Suneeta Pottam and Munni Pottam on Extra-Judicial Killings in Chhattisgarh: Press Release And Video


Two teenaged adivasi girls from Bastar take on the state in their fight against extra-judicial killings. A Public Interest Litigation challenging the spate of encounters in Bijapur was filed last year before the Chhattisgarh High Court in Bilaspur by two young women from Korcholi with extra-ordinary grit and determination –Suneeta Pottam (19 years old).and Munni Pottam (18 years old). A national women’s organization, the WSS ( is the third petitioner in this case. Faced with a dozen affidavits of the villagers whose family members were killed, the High Court of Bilaspur held that the questions of extra judicial executions and government policies which are responsible for these are similar in spirit to the issues raised by the Salwa Judum petition (Nandini Sundar and Ors vs. State of Chhattisgarh), currently being heard by the Supreme Court. Following which, the young Petitioners filed a Transfer Petition in the Supreme Court last year seeking the transfer of their PIL to the Supreme Court. Suneeta and Munni Pottam are in Delhi to attend the hearing of their transfer petition on Wednesday, 10 January 2018.

At the press conference these young women spoke about these cases of encounters along with the details of the very recent physical and sexual assault of the the women of the villages where Suneeta and Munni live. They also spoke about the harrassment and threats that they have been receiving by the Bastar police (as recent as few weeks back) as result of filing this petition, who have threatened them that if they keep raising these issues which show the police in a bad light, they would be arrested for Naxalite offences and thrown into jail. Shaken but not defeated, these young women have come to Delhi to put their continuous harassment on record before the apex court at the coming hearing. Continue reading