April 21, 2007

life in general: another glimpse of how the state of india terrorises its people

Here is one more example of a state police force in our country allowing itself to be used as a terror force against common Indian citizens (the adivasis referred to below are indigenous tribal villagers):

From: seztrack@yahoogroups.co.in
To: seztrack@yahoogroups.co.in
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 1:05 PM
Subject: [seztrack] Digest Number 258

Urgent: Adivasis killed in Rewa, act now to stop brutal violence on Posted by: "Vijayan MJ" vijayanmj@gmail.com
Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:37 pm

Today, the 19th April 2007 in Ghateha village, Deodhar Tehsil (District Rewa, Madhya Pradesh);
- Adivasis brutally attacked by police and forest department
- 3 adivasis feared killed and about hundred people injured in police firing and many in critical condition
- Police mercilessly use tear-gas and bullets against a crowd of 2000 people
- Heavy militarization in the area; close to a thousand police and forest dept personnel involved in operation
- Birsa Munda Bhu Adhikar Manch (constituent of National Forum of Forest Peoples and Forest Workers) had taken possession of about 500 acres
of land, which the Forest Department had taken away from people - Struggle for land was being resolved through negotiations with the District Magistrate, but the forest department wanted to use force and sabotage the negotiations
- De-notified areas had to be given back to Adivasis as per the ST/Forest Act 2006
- People use raw force in defence, injuring two policemen – Violence aggravating

Act Now:
Call or Email the SP and Collector of the area (details given below)
1. Demand immediate stopping of violence and demilitarisation
2. Demand continuation of the dialogue process
3. Demand impartial enquiry and action against the forest department officials and police personnel who took part in the violence against people
District Collector cum DM (Mr. DP Ahuja): 09425824496, Email: dmrewa@mp.nic.in
District SP of Police (Mr. Ravi Gupta): 076621-258800/01, Email: sprewa@mppolice.gov.in
Send a copy of your letter/fax/email to: Union Cabinet Minister for Tribal Affairs, Mr. PR Kyndiah [Fax: 011-23381499/23070577]
Vijayan MJ, Delhi Forum, F-10/12, Ground Floor, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi - 110017 INDIA
Phones: 91-11-26671556 (Direct), 26680914/883 Fax:26687724, dforum@bol.net.in, delforum@vsnl.net

POLICE FIRING CONTINUING ON 4000 ADIVAIS IN GHATEHA VILLAGE, TEOTHAR TEHSIL, REWA DISTRICT, MADHYA PRADESH : three reportedly shot including a woman , many injured…women beaten up

Today, 19 April, 2007 police opened fire on 4000 Adivasis in Ghateha village in Teothar Tehsil in the Rewa District of the State of Madhya Pradesh in India under the supervision of Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), SDOP and Circle Officer.

More than 1500 families have claimed a piece of forest land and are in possession since more than three years in this village. After surrounding the area for more than 5 hours, police fired tear gas shells and started beating the women mercilessly. This was followed by police firing. Till now two people are reported with bullet injuries. All the thatched houses have been burnt and demolished by bulldozers.

Superintendent of police unaware of the DFO's actions. It is a complete mayhem out there and NFFPFW calls upon all of you to condemn the action by the police and the administration. Delayed action may cause much more casualties.

- Protest & demand immediate halt to police action to
- the Prime Minister (Fax: 91 11 23019545, 23016857)
- the Minister of Tribal Affairs (Tel No. 91 11 2348 8482, Fax: 23070577, 23381499)
- the Minister of Environment & Forests (Tel No. 91 11 24351727, Fax: 24362222)
- the State and district administration, Chief Minister (Fax No - 91-755-2540501; +91-755-2551781 )
- raise your voice against the brutalities meted out to people at various levels
Let us not let another Kalinganagar, Singur and Nandigram happen in Rewa…

Timeline of events to mayhem…
- 1500 Families comprising 4000 Adivasis with large number of children have been dependent on the forest land in Ghateha village in Teothar Tehsil in Rewa District of Madhya Pradesh. Their living was dependent on the rainfed agriculture from the 1500 bighas land.
- 15 March, 2007 – Around 1500 families dependent on the land in Ghateha village permanently shifted to live on the land which they have been living off since more than three years. The forest department started claiming the land and the harassment started. It is noteworthy here that the land in and around the area was denotified in July 1974.
- 5 April, 2007 – Seventeen people of Ghateha village of Teothar tehsil in Rewa district charge sheeted under Dhara 26,33 & 67 by the Forest Department on their way back from the forest. Nine of them are in jail. Eight of them are missing since then.
- 17 April, 2007 – SDM, SDOP and Forest department official went to Ghateha village and told people that they will be given the Gram Sabha land provided they vacate the land they are in now. Villagers were threatened of dire consequences if not obliged.
- 18 April, 2007 – The District Magistrate Mr. B.C. Ahuja gives assurance to the people to ascertain the status of the land and if it is forest land then people will be given appropriate land.
- 19 April, 2007 – Deployment of police force under the supervision of DFO, SDOP and Circle Officer. Police opens fire after initial tear gas shells. Houses are set on fire. The attack is still on…

Mata Dayal, Ramesh Munni Lal
Sanjay Basu Mullick
(on behalf of NFFPFW)
19 April, 2007

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