Tag Archives: security forces

WSS Statement on the Assault on Adivasi Schoolgirls By CRPF Cadre During Imposed Raksha Bandhan Function

ASSAULT ON ADIVASI SCHOOLGIRLS BY CRPF AT IMPOSED RAKSHA BANDHAN FUNCTION

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression strongly condemns the molestation of school girls in the name of “Raksha Bandhan” by CRPF men and the deplorable act of the Collector and Superintendent in trying to suppress the matter.

On Monday, 31 July 2017, many officers and about 100 CRPF men went to a girlsschool in Palnar in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh to observe the festival of Rakhi by getting the girls to tie rakhis to the male members of the CRPF armed forces. It was clearly a PR exercise to show the CRPF men as the protectorsof the tribal girls studying in the school. Once there, 5 to 6 CRPF men used the opportunity to follow 3 young school girls while they were in line to use the bathroom. Three of these men entered the toilet when a girl ws already inside and stayed there for about 15 minutes. All this while, the men who were outside sexually assaulted the girls who were just outside the bathroom, squeezing their breasts and threatening them.

In the evening, the girls complained to the warden, Draupadi Sinha, who took the matter to the district Collector and the Superintendent of Police. However, instead of taking cognizance of the matter, both of them threatened the girls and tried to silence them. Later the warden and a police woman stood guard outside the school gates and stopped any Human Rights activist from entering the school to talk to the girls. It is only when the girls came back home from the hostel during break that Soni Sori, human rights activist, was able to meet the girls and talk to them. When Soni Sori went to the school to investigate the incident which has been further brought to light by the social activist, Himanshu Kumar in a facebook post, she was threatened and told to turn back.

This is another reminder of the horrific ordeals that the tribal women and girls are subjected to at the hands of the CRPF, para-military and the police in Chhattisgarh at the behest of the State. WSS in the past two years has, through various fact finding reports from the ground, highlighted cases of the mass rapes and sexual assault s of women under the pretext of fighting Maoist insurgents. The ex-IG of Bastar, Mr SRP Kalluri, oversaw indescribable acts against the tribal villagers as has been amply documented and reported by WSS. Mr Kalluri has refused to appear before the National Human Rights Commission despite a summons being issued. He had been invited instead to hoist a flag in Jawaharlal Nehru University on the occasion of the Indian Independence Day on August 15, and only political pressure on his repeatedly gracing education institutions instead of fulfilling his obligation to attend the NHRC summons seems to have led to a cancellation of the event.

Patriarchal customs like Raksha Bandhan evoke men as protectors of women while ignoring the patriarchal roots of violence against women. Despite the attempts to legitimize it by calling it a “celebration” of sibling bond, this only serves the interest of a patriarchal state in proscribing womens freedom and their legitimate demand for equal rights. In this case, the fake exercise of making the tribal girls tie rakhi to CRPF men to project them as the protector of their virtueand broadcasting it through state-controlled media served only as an opportunity for the repetition of the historic pattern of army men sexually assaulting adivasi women. These empty gestures are masterminded by the state to improve the image of CRPF and para-military in the region who are under severe criticism for their human rights violations and especially sexual violence in Chhattisgarh.

While it is a larger feminist struggle to fight against patriarchal customs like Raksha Bandhan which sees women as weak and designates brothers/men as their protector, the use of such regressive customs as a public relations opportunity by the state to justify the brutality wrought by CRPF, para-military, and the police on the tribal women reminds us once again of the depravity of the state that would stoop to such unimaginable levels.

WSS is glad that a case has been booked under Section 354 IPC and POCSO Act cand hope that after a speedy investigation the culprits will be appropriately punished as per criminal law. We repeat that criminal punishment for cases of sexual violence by the armed forces can not be substituted by internal army investigation and punishment.

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‘Gavahi’ – A WSS Book on Sexual Violence in South Chhattisgarh

 

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 booksbywss@gmail.com

Title – Gavahi
Language – Hindi
Cost – Rs100/- + Rs40/- postal charges if required.
Bulk orders accepted. Postal charges will be confirmed according to the quantity ordered.

WSS and THITS Statement On The Attack On A Transgender Woman By Army Jawans in Hyderabad

Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) and Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti (THITS)

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WSS and THITS condemn the barbaric attack on a transgender woman by army jawans in Hyderabad, demands immediate and stringent action for justice

10th July, 2017, Hyderabad: WSS and THITS express outrage at the brutal physical and sexual assault of a 34 year old transgender woman by a group of army personnel. WSS demands stringent penal action against all the accused, a speedy investigation and trial, as well as complete medical treatment, compensation and legal support to the survivor (name concealed to respect identity).  Continue reading

WSS Statement on Recent Blasts in Sukma

WSS Statement on Recent Blasts in Sukma 
 
14.3.2017
 

WSS condemns the IED blast in Sukma on 11.3.2017 in which 12 CRPF personnel lost their lives and several others, including members of a road-construction crew, were injured. We express our condolences to the families of the deceased.

We are concerned that this incident will further fuel the cycle of pointless violence in which the entire Adivasi community is made to pay the price for the violent acts of others. Our experience shows that such attacks are followed by violent reprisals against the community in surrounding villages, through random arrests, forced “surrenders” and illegal detentions. Such responses, and the rhetoric of “revenge for the blood of martyrs” that is used to justify them, only deepens the alienation and exclusion of Adivasi villagers.

We hope that the state government will continue with efforts to restore the rule of law and regain public confidence, signaled by the shake-up in the police and administration in Bastar. But this is only a first step – the situation on the ground continues largely unchanged. We have a long way to go in combating the mindset that labels all Adivasis and human rights defenders and journalists questioning state violence as “Maoist supporters”, thereby legitimizing the harassment and violation to which they are subjected.

We reiterate our stand that militarization is not the answer to the present situation. The lives of combatants on both sides, and uncounted adivasi villagers continue to be lost in this war. Nothing can justify the bloodshed and loss of human lives and the destruction of the land and forests where this war is being fought.

WSS (Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression) is a non funded, nationwide network of women from diverse political and social movements comprising of women’s organizations, mass organizations, civil liberty organizations, student and youth organizations, mass movements and individuals. For more information, please see wssnet.org

WSS Hindi Press Release on Kashmiri Women’s Day of Resistance

कश्मीर हमारा पर कश्मीरी किसके? कश्मीरी महिलाओं के प्रतिरोध दिवस २३ फरवरी को एकजुटता की जरूरत

भारत के सेना प्रमुख जनरल रावत ने कश्मीर के नौजवानों को पिछले दिनों चेतावनी दी कि अगर वे किसी प्रकार से भी सेना के काम के रास्ते में आएंगे तो उन्हें भी राष्ट्र विरोधी मानकर उनके साथ सख्त कार्यवाही की जाएगी. पर इसमें तो कुछ भी नया नहीं है. कश्मीर पर हक़ जताने की भारत की मुहीम तो दशकों पुरानी है. वहां पर सेना और विभिन्न अर्धसैनिक दलों की भयंकर मौजूदगी भी उतनी ही पुरानी है. यही नहीं १९९० से सेना को यह अधिकार भी क़ानूनन रूप से सशस्त्र बल विशेषाधिकार अधिनियम के तहत मिला हुआ है सेना और अर्ध सैनिक बल किसी भी घर या जगह की तलाशी ले सकते हैं, मात्र शक की बिना पर किसी पर गोली चला सकते हैं और किसी को भी बगैर वारंट के गिरफ्तार कर सकते हैं. इस क़ानून के तहत की गयी कार्यवाई जवाबदेही से पूरी तरह से मुक्त है. साथ ही अगर सेना कोई ज्यादती करती है तो भी उसपर मुक़दमा चलाने से पहले सरकारी आज्ञा लेना पड़ती है.सूचना के अधिकार के तहत प्राप्त जानकारी बताती है कि भले ही कितना ही गंभीर मानवाधिकार उल्लंघन रहा हो सेना पर केस चलाने की इजाजत एक बार भी नहीं मिली है.

मानो कानूनी छूट मिलते ही सशस्त्र बालों ने उसका दुरुपयोग करना शुरू कर दिया. २३ फरवरी १९९१ क़ी रात को राजपुताना राइफल्स रेजिमेंट ने कुपवाड़ा जिले के कुनान और पोशपोरा नाम के दो गांवों में तांडव मचाया. वहाँ ये टुकड़ियां तलाशी और पूछताछ के लिए गयी थीं. आदमियों को पकड़ कर गांव से बाहर निकाला और उनके साथ हिंसा क़ी और उन्हें कठोर यातना भी दी. पर साथ ही गांव में घुसकर बच्चियों और हर उम्र क़ी औरतों के साथ बलात्कार भी किया.पत्रकारों, गांववालों और महिला संगठनों क़ी जद्दोजहद के बावजूद सेना के खिलाफ कोई कार्यवाही नहीं हुई.

याद रखना होगा कि किसी भी हाल में कानून में किसी सैनिक को बलात्कार करने की कोई छूट नहीं मिली है. पर 1994 क़ी संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ क़ी एक रिपोर्ट बताती है कि 1990-92 के बीच सुरक्षा बलों द्वारा ८८२ बलात्कार किये गए. राष्ट्रीय मानवाधिकार आयोग के अनुसार १९९०९९ के बीच सुरक्षा बलों को १०३९ केसों में मानवाधिकार के उल्लंघन का दोषी पाया गया. वारदातें तो अवश्य ज्यादा रही होंगी.

२० सालों से भारतीय सेना कुंण पोशपोरा क़ी सच्चाई से मुंह मोड़ती रही. प्राथमिकी दर्ज कराने के लिए भी गांववालों को संघर्ष करना पड़ा. प्रशासनिक असमर्थता दिखाते हुए जांच भी कई बार टाली गयी. और जब जांच हुई तो बड़ी अनिच्छा से. और ८० औरतों क़ी गवाही और संचार माध्यमों क़ी फौरी रिपोटों के बावजूद भी इसे जांच ने एक फर्जी मामला बता दिया. बी जी वर्गीज क़ी अध्यक्षता में जो जांच समिति बनी उसने इस मामले को व्यापक धोखा कह दिया.

अंततः कहानी २०१३ में बदली जब वहां क़ी अदालत ने यह मामला फिर से खुलवाया. २२ साल तक भुक्तभोगियों के जख्म हरे ही रहे. २३ फरवरी का दिन यादगार बन गया उस संघर्ष का जो एक पीढ़ी से औरतें करती रही हैं और अब जाकर कुछ पाने क़ी उम्मीद रख सकती हैं. यह दिन कश्मीरी औरतों के प्रतिरोध दिवस के रूप में मनाया जाता है.

कश्मीरियों के साथ इन २७ सालों में जो हुआ वह पूरे देश को शर्मसार करने के लिए काफी है. मात्र २०१६ में जन विरोध को इस तरह कुचला गया कि सुरक्षा बलों के हाथों १०० से अधिक लोग मारे गए और हजारों की तादाद में जख्मी हुए. इसी तरह से झूठी मुठभेड़ के खिलाफ २०१० में जन आंदोलन को कुचला गया था तब भी १०० से ज्यादा लोग मारे गए थे और हजारों घायल हुए थे. इसके पहले से वहां सेना इतने आदमियों को उठा चुकी है जो दशकों से गयब हैं कि वहां औरतों को संबोधित करने का एक नया नाम पैदा हो गया है आधी विधवा वे औरतें जो नहीं जानती कि उनके पति कहाँ हैं, जिन्दा कैद में हैं या मार दिए गए हैं. हज़ारों लोगों पर सेना का आक्रमण आतंकियों पर नहीं कश्मीरियों पर हमला है.

बलात्कार के मामले को रफादफा करने वाले श्री वर्गीस ने भी यह बात मानी कि कश्मीर में भारतीय सेना का व्यवहार एक कब्जेधारी सेना जैसा है जो कश्मीरियों को अपना दुश्मन मानती है और उन्हें घेरेबंदी में रखती है. कब्जाधारी सेना ने हर युद्ध में हारे हुए देश की औरतों का बलात्कार भी व्यापक पैमाने पर किया है और यही हकीकत कश्मीर की भी है. और आज भारत के सेना प्रमुख भी आम लोगों को देश विरोधी करार देकर उन्हें खुले आम धमकी दे रहे हैं.

सेना की मौजूदगी ने क्या हासिल किया वह कह पाना तो मुश्किल है पर वहां की आम जनता को इतना भड़का दिया कि वह अब खुले आम रावलजी की धमकी को धता बता रही है और दो दिन के भीतर ही उसने सुरक्षा बलों को बगैर कार्यवाही के लौटने पर मजबूर कर दिया.

शायद यह आतंरिक विरोध को दबाने का नया सैन्य तरीका हो पर यह स्पष्ट रूप से कश्मीर और कश्मीरियों को अलगअलग मानता है और कश्मीरियों की कीमत पर भौगोलिक प्रभुत्व चाहता है. पर सच्चाई तो यह है की कश्मीरियों के बिना कश्मीर की कोई अहमियत नहीं ऐसे तो बर्बरता से दुनिया का कोई भी हिस्सा जीता जा सकता है. पर अगर कश्मीर और कश्मीरी दोनों चाहिए तो जवाब सैन्यीकरण में नहीं मिलेगा.

एक ही मार्ग खुला है जो वहां के लोगों के हक्कों की लड़ाई में साथ देने का है. तो धमकियों से परे हट कर कश्मीरी औरतों के प्रतिरोध में शामिल होकर उनके लिए भी देश को निर्भया जैसी एकजुटता दिखानी होगी.

AUD & WSS event to Commemorate Kashmiri Women’s Day of Resistance

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

‘Bearing Witness’ – A WSS Book on Sexual Violence in South Chhattisgarh

wss-book-release_16thfebThis 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 booksbywss@gmail.com

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.