7th May 2018
Massacres Masked as Encounters: The New State Policy for Development in Gadchiroli
In the morning of 22nd April 2018, an alleged encounter took place in Boriya-Kasnasur of Bhamragarh tehsil of Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra. In the day that followed, the police issued a list of 16 people with a press note saying that Naxalites were killed. On 24th April the police claimed that 15 more bodies were found in the Indravati River. Since then the count of the deceased has gone up to 40. A fact finding team comprising of 44 persons from across 12 states belonging to three major human rights networks and organisations – Co-ordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) , Indian Association People’s Lawyers (IAPL) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) visited the sites of the alleged encounters in the district of Gadchiroli. We also visited all the sites of police violence and encounters in the region in the recent past. This three day fact-finding was from 5th to 7th of May, 2018 and this team was assisted by local representatives of Communist Party India (CPI), local elected representatives, Gram Sabha members, lawyers and journalists. Our findings show that while the term encounter is being used for all of these instances, they are in fact fake. Continue reading
Ambedkar University, Delhi and Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression invite you to observe and commemorate the Kashmiri Women’s Day of Resistance and the horrific mass sexual violence unleashed by the Indian Army against the villagers of Kunan and Poshpora, Kashmir.
Date and Time: 23rd of February, 2017 (twenty-six years after the incident) at 2:30 PM, Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD), Kashmiri Gate Campus.
Jab Toot Girengi Zanjeerein
Commemorating Kashmiri Women’s Day of Resistance
On a cold February night in 1991, a group of soldiers and officers of the 4th Rajputana Rifles regiment of the Indian army entered two villages of Kunan and Poshpora in the remote district of Kupwara in Kashmir. The army claimed it was conducting ‘search and interrogation’ operations seeking out armed militants presumed to be hiding there. Instead, they pulled the men in the village out of their homes, subjected them to severe torture, including sexual assault and humiliation, and detained them all night. The women of the two villages were brutally gang-raped at gun-point; several women were sexually assaulted and stripped, and then left for dead in their own homes. The men were released in the morning and returned home to find the women raped and brutalized by the Indian army. Twenty-six years later, the memory of this mass rape, torture and humiliation by the men in uniform lingers in the valley. “Kunan Poshpora” and the day of the 23rd February has since become a symbol across Kashmir and beyond of women’s resistance to the militarization of this region by the State. Moreover, Kashmir was brought under the purview of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in 1990, after it had been in operation in several North Eastern States since 1958. Under this law, armed forces and other security forces in “disturbed areas” have the license to shoot to kill anyone on suspicion; make arrests without warrants; enter and search any home or establishment; detain and question anyone. Armed forces personnel and security forces have complete immunity for actions taken under this law, and their prosecution requires prior sanction of the government. RTI information has disclosed that Sanction for prosecution of armed forces even for egregious human rights violation has never been granted. 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.
In yet another instance of police brutality, a young man in Palnar, Bijapur, Chhattisgarh was killed and tied to a tree. Palnar is just a few kilometers from Korcholi, where Sukku Kunjam was killed and a young mother was raped in November and January respectively. A combined team of WSS and Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) investigated the incident. A copy of the report detailing their findings can be found here.
Visit of Natasha Rather and Ifrah Butt, co-authors of ‘Do you remember Kunan Poshpora’ to Kolkata during July 11 to 13, 2016
WSS, West Bengal arranged for the visit of Natasha Rather and Ifrah Butt, co-authors of Do you remember Kunan Poshpora, to Kolkata and held various programmes independently and with other organizations including students’ bodies. Following is a brief description of the programmes: Continue reading