Tag Archives: Chattisgarh

The Gravity of Newton : Rituparna Sengupta

This is a guest post by RITUPARNA SENGUPTA


Amit V Masurkar’s recently-released film Newton explores facets of Indian democracy at its most vulnerable. For these times of ‘nationalist’ bravado, this is a courageous topic.  The film is so named because it adopts for the most part, the point of view of its protagonist, Newton (Nutan) Kumar (Rajkummar Rao, thank you once again!) who resists corruption and hypocrisy at home and work. Continue reading The Gravity of Newton : Rituparna Sengupta

Sahmat statement on intimidation and threats to scholars and activists

Guest Post : Sahmat statement on intimidation and threats to scholars and activists who investigated human rights abuses in Chhattisgarh

Date 24.5.2016

We strongly condemn the Chhattisgarh government and its police force for using intimidation and threats of a criminal case against academics and political activists investigating human rights abuses in the southern parts of the state, especially Bastar and Dantewada. A fact finding team consisting of Prof. Archana Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prof. Nandini Sundar, Delhi University (DU) and Vineet Tiwari, researcher at CPI’s Joshi-Adhikari Institute recently visited the area for 5 days between 12-16 May 2016. They were accompanied by Sanjay Parate, Chhattisgarh State Secretary CPI-M.

After the visit the team was accused of spreading dissent against security agencies and supporting the ’Maoists’. The statement by the state home minister Ram Sewak Paikra in the Times of India reportedly calling the three reputed Delhi based academicians ‘anti-nationals’ and ‘Maoist’ is part of a recent and explicit trend to stifle the freedom of expression and movement through a state crackdown on political dissent. The threat of an FIR and further harassment looms large. The local contacts, escorts and villagers who hosted the team are being harassed and intimidated by the Police in order to fabricate evidence and ensure that they help no other study team in the future.

The Press Release by the team clearly indicts both the Chhattisgarh state and Maoist violence and reveals how ordinary Adivasis, struggling for a dignified existence and protesting against the violation of basic rights have little space to voice genuine grievances.

This is the latest in a long line of actions to criminalize dissent, free expression and movement, and stifle fair reportage of events which have become hallmarks of the Chhattisgarh government.

We appeal to all democrats to condemn this brazen attempt at intimidation by the State and its Security Agencies.

Bishnupriya Dutt, (JNU)
Ranjani Mazumdar, (JNU)
Surinder Jodhka, JNU)
Neeladri Bhattacharyya, (JNU)
Jaivir Singh, (JNU)
Vivek Kumar, (JNU)
Sachidanand Sinha, (JNU)

Continue reading Sahmat statement on intimidation and threats to scholars and activists

After Dr Binayak Sen, now Dr Saibal Jana – Sign Petition for His immediate Release

Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh  - Immediate Release Dr Sibal Jana

Dear all

Dr Saibal Jana, chief physician of Shaheed Hospital at Dalli Rajhara,
Chhattisgarh has been arrested. He was picked up late at night by
Chhattisgarh police. The hospital was founded Chhattisgarh Mukti
Morcha led by Late Shankar Guha Niyogi and run by money collected from
the workers of the area. Dr. Jena’s arrest comes close on the heels of
the acid attack on Soni Sori and harrassment of her relatives.

Dr.Saibal Jana was arrested in a case related to the police firing on
agitating workers of the Bhilai Industrial Area on 1 July, 1992. Dr
Jana was, on that day, among the team of doctors providing medical
assistance to trade union activists of the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha
who were injured. We believe that Dr Jana’s arrest in this case, after
a gap of 24 years, is motivated by sheer vendetta against him by BJP
led Raman Singh government, that has an ideological hatred of anyone
who stands up for the democratic rights of workers, farmers and
ordinary Indian citizens.


The Blackhole called Bastar: Aritra Bhattacharya

This is a guest post by Aritra Bhattacharya

Unidentified persons attacked tribal leader Soni Sori on February 21, hours after she bid farewell to Shalini Gera and Isha Khandelwal, lawyers at the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group and journalist Malini Subramaniam, when they hurriedly packed their belongings and left Jagdalpur. Over the last few months, they had withstood all forms of harassment and hostility from police officials and pro-police ‘civil society’ organisations in war-torn Bastar. They had been heckled, threatened with dire consequences and targeted via a sustained vilification campaign calling for their ouster from the region on grounds that they were stalling Bastar’s ‘development’.

Beginning 8 February, the pressure intensified. Police first landed at Malini’s house and then JagLag’s residence; they intimidated their landlord and domestic help, kept them in jail for hours together over several days and threatened to implicate them in false cases. Within ten days, Malini and JagLag lawyers had to leave Jagdalpur due to relentless pressure and harassment from the police.

Continue reading The Blackhole called Bastar: Aritra Bhattacharya

One Billion Rising for Soni Sori: 8th March 2013 and till she is free.

We Rise Because We Refuse To Support State Violence On Women. 

We Rise Because Rape And Violence Against Women Under Any Circumstances is Unacceptable.

We Rise On This International Women’s Day To Demand Freedom for Soni Sori & Punishment For Her Perpetrators.

  Continue reading One Billion Rising for Soni Sori: 8th March 2013 and till she is free.

No One Killed Meena Khalkho?: Akhil Katyal

Guest post by AKHIL KATYAL

Now that the Anna Hazare Show is over, will the Indian media go back to looking at India as also existing outside Delhi? On 6 July 2011, Meena Khalkho, a sixteen year old tribal girl from Karcha village in the state of Chhattisgarh was raped and murdered by the local police and it barely made a dent on our news universe. A search for her name on most television news websites returns nothing. The police in Chattisgarh immediately hit upon a strategy that has now long been in circulation. They subsume Meena’s horrible rape and murder within what goes these days as a laudable mission, one that manages to neutralize all rage against police atrocities, by claiming Meena to be a Naxal and by claiming her to be fatally wounded in an encounter that night against a larger party of Naxallite cadres.

Continue reading No One Killed Meena Khalkho?: Akhil Katyal

Dear Chattisgarh Police, Are You Mad?

Javed Iqbal of The New Indian Express on being targeted by the Chattisgarh Police as being on the side of the Maoists:

A High Court lawyer from Mumbai was in Dantewada a few days ago and had gone to the police station to speak to the police and understand the ground realities of Dantewada. SSP Kalluri accused him of being a Naxalite informer, and had him locked up in the police station. He was eventually let off the same evening, visibly shaken, after some frantic phone calls.

The very fact that the Chhattisgarh police would rather target civil society activists, opposition party workers and journalists than investigate the Maoists, is explicit proof of their incompetence. A kind of fascinating wife-beating syndrome, where they can’t get the Maoists, so the insecure, frustrated police will go after soft targets like journalists, activists and opposition party members.

They arrested CPI party workers for the attack on Audesh Singh Gautams home, and adivasi CPI leader Manish Kunjam confirmed the same. He, himself, has no police security. It was withdrawn by the police months ago even though there have been numerous threats to his life. He has been openly critical of the Salwa Judum that roams around Bastar, armed to its teeth, and has spoken up against corporate land grab, supporting and helping to organize the anti-displacement movements across Bastar.

Now, according to the police press release that implicated Lingaram Kodopi, Nandini Sundar, Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy, I’ve been mentioned as someone who had gone with the Maoists, ‘videographing’ their failed assassination attempt on Audesh Singh Gautam.

Forget that they police don’t know the difference between a ‘photographer’ and a ‘videographer’. Forget that the police don’t know that at 1:00am there’s no light, and videography and photography is useless. And I believe the Maoists have infra-red cameras? Why? Because they’re ‘infra-red’? [Read the full post]

On Maoist Regret

There is no room for doubt anymore that the landmine attack on a bus plying on the Dantewada-Sukhma road was planned and executed by the CPIM (Maoist). About 36 people have died, a majority of them civilians. This was not a mistake.The Maoists have said this was a calculated attack to target the Koya Commando wing of the SPOs. This means that the Maoists knew there were civilians on board. The Maoists have taken responsibility for the attack and in a statement to the press, Ramanna has said they “deeply regret the loss of civilian lives”. Continue reading On Maoist Regret

Police States, Anthropology and Human Rights: Nandini Sundar

Guestpost by Nandini Sundar

3rd January 2010

Ujjwal Kumar Singh, Professor of Political Science, Delhi University and I have just returned  (January 1st) from a visit to the police state of Chhattisgarh. Ujjwal had gone for research and I had gone for a combination of research and verification purposes to assess the livelihood situation of villagers for our case before the SC, both entirely legitimate activities. In Dantewada, we had checked into Hotel Madhuban on the 29th of December around 2 pm without any problems, only to be told later that night that the management required the entire hotel to be instantly emptied out because they were doing some puja to mark the death anniversary of the hotel owner. We refused to leave at night, and were told we would have to leave at 6 am instead because the rooms had to be cleaned. As expected, other guests checked in the next morning, puja notwithstanding.
Continue reading Police States, Anthropology and Human Rights: Nandini Sundar