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Archive for May 26th, 2007

The truth of encounter : An interview with SPO sarpanch of Santoshpur

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 26, 2007

Early we have posted a report on Fake encounters killing in Santoshpur.But Police were tried to project it as a real encounter.The following video is an Interview with the SPO Sarpanch who was involved in the capture of the innocent people were killed by SPOs and police later

English Translation:
Q Please tell on that day what time did you start your journey from here ( towards the village)
A : From here, we started at 0430. 0430 we went from here.

Q: So what happened after that?
A : When we went their, there were Sangham people. We caught them. When we surrounded them, one slipped away.

Q After that ?
A : One slipped away, we got hold of one and were returning with him. We saw a party was coming from the other side. The party took us back. They called us back.

Q : Second party, was it a police party
A : Yes

Q : What happened after that?
A : After that the second party came, the police party from Cherpal side. We waited for that party. They brought Sangham people with them from wherever they got and then after bringing them in the village killed them

Q: How were they killed?
A : by axe

Q: How many people were killed?
A : 6 people

Q : 6 people were killed, so who were the killers, police?
A : SP0 people

Q : SPOs killed them. So you didn’t stop them that they should not be killed?

A : We asked them not to kill Sir. We said they are our village people, we need to save them. But they said who are you to save them?

Q : So the killing was done only by SPOs ?
A : DF ( District Force) people were also there.

Q :Why were they brought to Santoshpur to kill ?

A : That I don’t know sir. This is known to the second party Sir.

Q : Villagers say some of them were collecting Mahua?
A : Yes Sir, some of them had baskets with them. They also had mahua in those baskests.

Q : These are the people who were killed
A : Yes

Q :So they were Sangham members or Mahua collectors ?
A : One or two were Mahua collectors. Rest were Sangham members

Q : Rest were Sangham members ?
A : …( silence)

Q : What is your full name
A : Gangaram Emla

Q : You are from Santoshpur, what is your post there?
A : I am the sarpanch of Santoshpur

Q : Are you sarpanch or a panch
A : Sarpanch

Posted in Salwa Judum, Videos | Leave a Comment »

The war on Maoists in Chhattisgarh is beginning to turn on civil society

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 26, 2007

Shivam Vij

The large number of protests by the civil society, both in Delhi and Raipur, over the arrest of a Human Rights activist in Raipur is the most significant sign yet of the Chhattisgarh government’s troubles over its policy against Naxalism. While the Intelligence Bureau has asked the Chhattisgarh government to explain why Binayak Sen was arrested, the Union Home ministry is considering cutting down funding for the controversial Salwa Judum project. The Supreme Court, acting in response to a pil, has also issued a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over human rights atrocities committed in the name of Salwa Judum or “peace movement”, which is supported by the government.

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has been bringing to light cases where the police has claimed that it killed Naxalites, when in fact those killed were ordinary tribals whose only fault was that they did not join the Salwa Judum. Such cases are difficult to bring to light because they often take place in the remote interiors and the tribals often do not speak Hindi. The PUCL has been at the forefront of exposing these killings and other activities, wherein entire villages have allegedly been ravaged for not joining the Salwa Judum. Unfortunately for the Chhattisgarh government, the PUCL has been able to rally civil rights groups and the media across the country against the Salwa Judum. The arrest of Binayak Sen on May 14 is a result of this effort to put the truth out, says PUCL Chhattisgarh president Rajendra Sail.

The police also searched Sen’s organic farm without a search warrant in what, Sen and his family feared, was an attempt to plant evidence of Sen’s involvement in Naxalite activities by linking him to a jailed senior CPI (Maoist) leader, Narayan Sanyal. Sen often met Sanyal in jail and exchanged postcards with him, but this was all with the knowledge of jail authorities who were privy to these conversations. The PUCL says that Sen met Sanyal to enquire about his health and help him get medical attention. The immediate cause of Sen’s arrest was a letter found with Piyush Guha, a businessman, which was to be handed over to Sanyal. Guha has also been arrested and the police refuses to divulge the contents of the letter.

On May 21, the police searched Sen’s house and is now trying to use whatever they could lay their hands on as evidence. This includes CDs pertaining to five fake encounters, a computer cpu, books and pamphlets by or about Naxalites or Salwa Judum members.

Sen has not been arrested under the ipc or provisions of the crpc, but under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 (CSPSA) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The CSPSA, which was passed after pota lapsed, is said to be even more draconian. The Act has a provision that makes punishable verbal or written communication and representation or publication or broadcast of anything relating to Maoist activities. A number of local journalists have been threatened and silenced using these provisions.

Sen’s arrest came just when the Chhattisgarh administration was facing charges of having fake encounters conducted by the Salwa Judum. On March 31, seven tribals were killed in an “encounter” in Santoshpur village. Civil society activists say that the Chhattisgarh Police and Salwa Judum officers took the seven from Ponjer village to Santoshpur to kill them. The police claims they were members of the Sangham, the Naxalite wing composed of local tribals. An autopsy confirmed foul play but the state government has only ordered a police inquiry. Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam has gone on record saying that no action would be taken against the police officials. The police officials investigating the case say that the killings were committed by Naxalites dressed as policemen. However, an anonymously shot video shows the spo sarpanch of Santoshpur spilling the beans (available at

It is feared that Sen’s arrest may be followed by arrests of other activists in Raipur. Activists in other parts of the country could also be targetted. In Mumbai, the police have arrested one Arun Ferreira, who wanted to be a priest, for his alleged involvement in Naxalite activities. In February this year, the Union Home ministry was on the verge of acting against overground Naxalite symapthisers including academics and former bureaucrats, for statements they had made in a seminar in Delhi.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has issued a notice to the Chhattisgarh government asking it to explain its support to the Salwa Judum. This was in response to a petition filed by Nandini Sundar, Ramachandra Guha and EAS Sarma demanding an end to government support for the Salwa Judum; an independent inquiry into all killings, rape and arson whether by the Salwa Judum, security forces or Naxalites; registration of FIRs and prosecution of those found guilty; compensation to those affected by the Salwa Judum on the same lines as victims of Naxalites; rehabilitation of those who wish to leave the Salwa Judum; and preventing the state government from appointing minors as Special Police Officers.

But the Salwa Judum may die with a whimper even before the apex court passes a judgement. The Planning Commission, the Tribal Affairs ministry and the Panchayati Raj ministry have requested the Union Home ministry to stop funding the Salwa Judum and divert those funds towards development activities.


Posted in Articles, Chhatisgadh | 1 Comment »

R K Sail arrested State’s deliberate attempt to disrupt peaceful demonstrations

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 26, 2007

Human rights activist Adv.R K Sail arrested State’s deliberate attempt to disrupt peaceful demonstrations against blck laws

25th May 2007, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) Adv. Rajendra Kumar Sail, Human Rights Activist and presently President of Chhattisgarh PUCL was arrested on 24th May 2007 by heavily armed Chhattisgarh Police in pursuance of the one week simple imprisonment sentence given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the Contempt of Court case involving contempt of the Jabalpur High Court on the Judgment delivered by the Jabalpur High Court in the Shaheed Niyogi Murder Trial. The timing and manner of his arrest proves that it was a deliberate attempt by the Chhattisgarh Government to deliberately remove Adv. R K Sail from the scene of the protest and disrupt against the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary of Chhattisgarh PUCL & Vice-President, National PUCL under the provisions of the highly controversial Black Laws: Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (amended in 2004).

It may be recalled that Adv. RK Sail is heading the campaign against the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen and the use of Black Laws like CSPSA on Human Rights and Social Activists working for the rights of the workers, farmers, adivasis, women and the youth. The Social Movements & Human Rights Organizations are protesting against this action of the CG Government and on 24th May 2007 one-day dharna was organized at the District Headquaters all over the State, and State level & Natioanl Level dharna will be organized on 28th May and 31st May 2007, respectively. A signature campaign was also launched on 24th Mat 2007 mobilizing public against Dr. Sen’s detention under the black laws.

Adv. RK Sail was sentenced to six month simple imprisonment by the Jabalpur High Court in 1998 for voicing his comments on the judgment delivered by the Jabalpur High Court in the Shaheed Niyogi Murder trial in which the High Court had completely changed the judgment of the Session Court, Durg and acquitted all the accused. Adv. RK Sail had gone in appeal in the Hon’ble Supreme Court and on 21st April 2005 the Hon’ble Supreme Court had reduced the sentence to one week with the comment that “…the sentence awarded to Rajendra Sail by the High Court having regard to nature of contempt cannot be said to be unjustified. But having regard to his background and the organization to which he belongs which, it is claimed, brought before various courts including this court many public interest litigation for general public good, we feel that ends of justice would be met if sentence of six month is reduced to sentence of one week simple imprisonment. We order accordingly.”

Yesterday, the Chhattisgarh Police arrested him after he was returning from participating in a daylong dharna at Raipur against the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen. Heavily armed Police personals surrounded his vehicle in front of the Mahila Thana and took him to Civil Lines Police Station where he was served the warrant issued by the Jabalpur High Court on 12th March 2007. The police then proceeded to take him to Jabalpur by road. He will be produced before the Magistrate(Judicial) of Jabalpur High Court today to undergo the imprisonment of one week.

The manner and the timing of his arrest proves that it was a deliberate move by the Chhattisgarh Government to remove Adv. RK Sail from the scene of the protest and to undermine and jeopardize the peaceful campaign. But, the social action groups & human rights organizations are more determined then before to protest against the draconian designs of the State to suppress the voice of democratic struggle.

This is an appeal to all to join in the protest demonstration and raise our united voice against in defence of democracy. We will make an attempt to keep you informed on the progress.

Akshay Sail

Posted in Chhatisgadh, PUCL | Leave a Comment »