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