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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
शोमा सेन, सुधीर धावले , सुरेन्द्र गड्लिंग, रोना विल्सन और महेश राउत की महाराष्ट्र पुलिस द्वारा गिरफ्तारी की wss द्वारा भर्त्सना
यौन हिंसा और राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ महिलाएं (WSS) देश भर में नागरिक अधिकार कार्यकर्ताओं पर कठोर दमनकारी कानूनी कार्रवाई के तहत अपनी सक्रीय सदस्य, प्रोफेसर शोमा सेन के साथ-साथ अन्य प्रमुख दलित और मानव अधिकार कार्यकर्ताओं की मनमाने ढंग से की गयी गिरफ्तारी से स्तंभित है और सरकार के इस कदम की घोर निंदा करती है. Continue reading
शोमा सेन, सुधीर ढवळे, सुरेंद्र गडलिंग, रोना विल्सन आणि महेश राऊत यांचा महाराष्ट्र पोलिसांनी केलेल्या अहेतूक अटकेचा जाहिर निषेध!
संपूर्ण देशभरातील नागरी स्वातंत्र आंदोलकांवरील भयानक कारवायांमध्ये, लैंगिक हिंसा आणि राज्य दडपशाही विरोधात महिला (WSS) आपल्या मौल्यवान सदस्या प्राध्यापिका शोमा सेन व इतर आघाडीचे दलित मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ते यांच्या अहेतुक अटकेबद्दल निषेध व्यक्त करत आहोत.
दिनांक 6 जुन रोजी सकाळी 6.00 वाजता प्राध्यापिका शोमा सेन, अॅडव्होकेट सुरेंद्र गडलिंग, सांस्कृ्तिक कार्यकर्ते सुधीर ढवळे, मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ते रोना विल्सन, आणि विस्थापन विरोधी आंदोलक महेश राऊत यांना नागपुर, बॉम्बे आणि दिल्लीच्या वेगवेगळया ठिकाणाहून महाराष्ट्र पोलिसांकडून अटक करण्यात आली आहे. Continue reading
Condemn the arbitrary arrests of Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, and Mahesh Raut by the Maharashtra Police!
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is outraged at the arbitrary arrest of its valued member, Professor Shoma Sen along with other leading Dalit and human rights activists, in an alarming crackdown on civil liberties activists throughout the country.
Today, on 6th June 2018 at 6 am in the morning, Professor Shoma Sen, Advocate Surendra Gadling, cultural activist Sudhir Dhawale, human rights activist Rona Wilson and anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut were arrested from different locations in Nagpur, Bombay and Delhi by the Maharashtra police. Continue reading
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
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) condemn the recent spate of genocidal violence unleashed by the Indian State on the adivasis of Central India in the form of ‘encounter’ killings in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra and Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. The alleged ‘encounter’, a term used in the subcontinent to describe the extra-judicial killing of citizens by the armed forces and police, in Gadchiroli district took place in the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border in the Rela-Kasnasur forest in the intervening night of 22nd-23rd April 2018. With more bodies being fished out of the Indravati River, the death toll of this alleged encounter has reached 39, nineteen of whom were women, all of whom killed by the Commando-60 (C-60) Squad of the Maharashtra Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). This was quickly followed by another encounter in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh on the 27th of April 2018 where eight more were killed in an operation led by the notorious Greyhound force of the Telangana Anti-Naxal Unit along with Chhattisgarh Police and the CRPF. This alleged encounter took place near the Ipenta village in Bijapur district with six women among those declared dead. These extra-judicial killings have resulted in the death of 47 persons, several of whom are unidentified, and with fears of more persons, including minors, missing from the districts of Gadchiroli and Bijapur. Reports coming out of area reveal heartbreaking accounts of how villagers including children gathered for a marriage function were rounded up and killed without provocation by the security forces. Continue reading
Posted in Statements
Tagged Andhra Pradesh, Bastar, bijapur, Chhattisgarh, Gadchiroli, impunity, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, security forces, sexual violence, state repression
WSS condemns the wave of state repression following the peaceful commemoration of the Ambedkarite community on the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. The most recent wave of repression is a set of raids without a warrant conducted simultaneously at 6 am on 17 April, 2018, upon the homes of Kabir Kala Manch activists Rupali Jadhav, Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaichor, Sagar Gorkhe and Dhawala Dhengle in Pune; Republican Panther activists Sudhir Dhavale and Harshali Potdar in Mumbai; and Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling and Delhi-based CRPP activist Rona Wilson. Rupali and Jyoti are also members of WSS and staunch feminist activists. Continue reading