Statement on False Charges by Chhattisgarh Police Against Human Rights Activists


We the Undersigned, strongly condemn the absurd charges of‘criminal conspiracy and murder’ against highly respected academics and social activists by the Chhattisgarh police in the case of murder of Shamnath Baghel by unknown persons on 4th November.

None of the following named in the FIR –  Dr Nandini Sundar, Head of the Department of Sociology, Delhi  University; Dr Archana Prasad, Professor, JNU; Vineet Tiwari of the Joshi Adhikar Sansthan;Sanjay Parate, Secretary, CPM, Chhattisgarh and Manju Kawasi of the CPI– were anywhere near the spot of the killing of Shamnath Baghel. Implicating them for this heinous crime only smacks of sheer vendetta by the police against them for daring to enquire into human rights violations in the state as part of an independent fact finding team.

The Chhattisgarh police’s action is further indication of the undeclared Emergency that has gripped the nation and the harassment of bonafide human rights activists and citizen’s groups trying to protect the fundamental Constitutional rights of ordinary citizens. In particular the Chhattisgarh Inspector General of Police SRP Kalluri seems to have embarked on a mission to prevent the rest of the country from scrutinising the many illegal actions of his forces against innocent tribal populations in the state as part of his war against Maoist extremism.

We have always believed that the use of violence by both the state authorities and those opposed to them are both wrong and any lasting settlement to the conflict in Chhattisgarh can only be brought about through political negotiations between all parties involved. Fact finding teams, like the one the academics and activists were part of, are critical to enabling such dialogue for a peaceful resolution and any assault on them is a threat to both peace and democracy.

We demand that the Chhattisgarh government immediately intervene to drop the arbitrary inclusion of names of completely unrelated persons from the current FIR filed in the Baghel murder case and instead launch a proper criminal investigation to apprehend those really responsible.

Tanika Sarkar

Sumit Sarkar

Zoya Hasan

Achin Vanaik

Pamela Philipose

Rahul Govind

Aruna Roy

Nikhil Dey

Shabnam Hashmi


Satya Sagar


Shankar Singh

Dilip Simeon

Kumar Rana

Arshad Ajmal

Manindra Thakur

Radhika Singha

Ravi S. Vasudevan

Chitra Joshi

Sangeetha Dasgupta


Manisha Sethi

Dipak Dholakia

Nivedita Menon

Aditya Nigam




34 thoughts on “Statement on False Charges by Chhattisgarh Police Against Human Rights Activists”

  1. I strongly endorse the Statement – Prabhu Mohapatra, Department of History, University of Delhi


  2. Please add both our names amongst the list of people endorsing the statement .

    1. Admiral L Ramdas, Alibag, Maharashtra

    2. Lalita Ramdas, ALIBAG, Maharashtra

    Lalita Ramdas



  3. Truth is being turned on its head: those who expose murders by Chhattisgarh police and paramilitary forces are now being booked for murder. We are being asked to believe the opposite of truth. CPI(ML) demands an end to the intimidation and harassment of human rights activists, journalists and scholars exposing the reality of Bastar.
    [Quoted from the release made yesterday by the Polit Bureau of CPI(ML)Liberation]


  4. I strongly endorse the statement condemning the criminal charges brought against activists…Rita Manchanda


  5. I fully endorse it. And, is it not the time to see through the small fires being lit all over under the garb of developmental exhortations? Let it not become a conflagration.


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