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
This book is a comprehensive compilation of the incidents of sexual violence in South Chhattisgarh, drawing on independent investigations or joint fact findings by WSS.
Pre-order your copy by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Title – Bearing Witness
Language – English
No. of pages – 128
Cost – Rs100/- + Rs40/- postal charges if required.
Bulk orders accepted. Postal charges will be confirmed according to the quantity ordered.
Sexual Violence and Police Impunity in Gadchiroli District
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)
The impunity with which police forces have been operating in south Gadchiroli has become a matter of grave concern. The mountain of Surjagad which has been leased to Lloyd’s Chemicals for mining will destroy the mountain which has religious and cultural significance to the highly marginalised Madia Gonds residing in the area. who have opposed the lease. Police repression on the tribals has been intensifying, with random picking up, illegal detention and inhuman beatings of tribals, Things really however, took an extremely murky turn on January 20th, 2017 when two tribal women of Gonwara Village of Bande Block of Chhattisgarh were picked up by C-60, Maharashtra police personnel near Todgatta village while they were on their way to Gadchiroli district. Continue reading
CONDEMN STATE REPRESSION AND ARBITRAY ARRRESTS OF THE WEST BENGAL GOVERNMENT
SUPPORT THE ANTI-LAND GRAB MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF BHANGAR, SOUTH 24 PARGANAS
A NOTE BY WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION (WSS)
FEBRUARY 6, 2017
WSS stands with the struggling people of Bhangar against the severe repression unleashed by the state in order to establish a power grid and high power transmission lines across the area by force. In the course of this struggle:
- Two people have died as a result of bullet wounds inflicted by the police and armed goons while several more people have been beaten and injured.
- On 22 January 2017, K. N. Ramachandran, General Secretary of CPI (ML) Red Star, was overpowered, blindfolded and abducted as he arrived at Howrah station. He was detained for twenty six hours by the police without being produced in court or any information provided to his family before finally being released without the money in his pocket with which to proceed to the location of the protests.
- On the evening of 25 January 2017, Sharmishtha Chowdhury (a member of WSS), Shahnawaz Mandal and Pradip Singh Thakur have also been picked up by the police around 6:30 pm from Panapukur in Bhangar area. A staggering array of false charges have been slapped on her
and 35 other people including other members of WSS, under sections of the IPC for allegedly inciting violence, instigating people, destruction of public property and various sections of the Arms and Explosives Acts, in FIR No. 339/17 dated 18.01.17.
- On 18.01.17. itself, 11 persons including 2 juveniles were arrested, of which the two juveniles have obtained bail as of 25.1.17.
- Since then, Sharmishtha Chowdhury, Shahnawaz Mandal and Pradip Singh have been held for eight days in police custody during which they were not allowed to meet family nor even allowed to take essential medicines which their families brought for them.
- Finally, attempt is being made to add sections 18 and 19 of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for which we await the next hearing.
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression
2 February 2017
WSS applauds the “NHRC Effect”
Government of Chattisgarh takes action to restore rule of law in Bastar
IG Kalluri asked to proceed on long leave
WSS welcomes the actions taken by the Government of Chhattisgarh to restore its credibility and regain the confidence of the citizens of Bastar. In a series of decisive administrative actions yesterday, the state government announced the appointment of Sri P Sundararaj, IPS as DIG of the newlycreated Dantewada Range. Bastar IG Sri SRP Kalluri has been asked to proceed on long leave.
These actions follow on the heels of the appearance of senior state government officials before the National Human Rights Commission on 30 January 2017. The NHRC had summoned these officials to answer for the apathy of the state government in responding to the egregious violations of human rights and vendetta against human rights defenders perpetrated by the police and police sponsored vigilante groups encouraged and supported by the police under Sri Kalluri. Continue reading
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression condemns the recent attack against Bela Bhatia, a researcher and activist, based in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. On the 23rd of January, 2017, a group of 30-odd men attacked Bela near her house. They barged into her house violently, and threatened to burn the building down if she did not leave immediately. The mob also attacked the owners of the building as well as their children, threatening them with dire consequences if Bela was not evicted immediately. Despite Bela’s assurances that she would leave, the mob continued to be belligerent, in the presence of the police, and even when the Sarpanch arrived.
In the meantime, concerned friends of Bela, who were informed by her of the attack and threat to her life, called SRP Kalluri, who is the Inspector General of Police, Bastar District, to enquire about her well-being. One person spoke to SRP Kalluri and asked him about Bela, and he lied to her that she had succumbed to her injuries in the hospital.
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