Saturday, November 26, 2016

NHRC summons the Chief Secretary of Government of Chhattisgarh and IGP, Bastar to explain the allegations of hostility and abuse of power against Human Rights Defenders (17.11.2016)


New Delhi, 17th November, 2016

The National Human Rights Commission has noted and taken suo motu cognizance of "the nationwide outcry and protest on IG of Bastar Range Shri S.R.P. Kalluri for registering FIR No.27/2016 P.S. Tongpal dated 5.11.2016 against Delhi University Professor Archana Prasad, JNU Prof. Nandini Sundar, Vineet Tiwari, Sanjay Parate of CPI(M) and Manju Kawasi for offences of murder, criminal trespass, conspiracy and for offences under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. It has been alleged that she and Prof. Nandini Sundar and other associate professors are being threatened by Bastar Police for arresting these activists in the said FIR.

The reports in press and media over last week have alleged that Chhattisgarh Police has named Prof. Nandini Sundar and ten others as accused in the murder of a tribal Mr. Samnath Baghel in Sukma District on 4.11.2016. It is reported that he was killed by Maoists as he had been leading a campaign against Maoists activities since April, 2016. It has been alleged that these professors had visited Bastar in May, 2016, while this murder has taken place in November, 2016. There is no apparent connection between murder and visit of these human rights activists and, therefore, it has been alleged that they have been framed in mala fide manner by police to settle scores. It has been stated that FIR has been registered in the name of the wife of killed Baghel.

The Commission also takes Judicial Notice of Petition filed by Prof. Nandini Sundar recently in Hon'ble Supreme Court against atrocities by Bastar Police against tribal people by burning of their homes. The Hon'ble Supreme Court ordered investigation by CBI. The CBI found S.R.P. Kalluri, IG of Police, Bastar Range responsible for the burning of homes. She has also earlier filed a petition in Supreme Court in Salwa Judum case in 2007 against atrocities by police in the tribal areas. She with other lawyers and journalists has in the past brought to the notice of the Commission mass rape of women, murders and other crimes by security officers under the umbrella of police. The Commission is separately examining those complaints and has sought comments from the State of Chhattisgarh on the findings submitted to the Commission by its team after visiting Chhattisgarh.

The Commission also took suo motu cognizance this month against the unprecedented acts of hostility and indiscipline by Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Police in burning the effigies of Prof. Nandini Sundar and other lawyers and journalists as they were instrumental in exposing the deeds of police. 

The Commission on consideration of the whole situation obtaining in Chhattisgarh over more than a year views the action of registration of FIR against Prof. Nandini Sundar and others as an act in line with earlier acts of hostility displayed by police.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bastar villagers reject police claim

Court Order: CG Government loses face in fake FIR case

On November 15, 2016, the Supreme Court recorded the State's admission that they have no case against us:

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following ORDE R

Learned Additional Solicitor General says that the following persons will neither be arrested nor investigations conducted against them pursuant to the FIR registered at Tongpal Police Station on 4th November, 2016:
  1. (i)  Nandini Sundar
  2. (ii)  Archana Prasad
  3. (iii)  Vineet Tiwari
  4. (iv)  Sanjay Parate
  5. (v)  Manju (Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat, Gufdi)
  6. (vi)  Mangalram Karma
In case, there is an intention to carry out investigation in respect of these six persons in future, at least four weeks notice will be given to them.
Liberty is granted to the above-mentioned persons to approach this Court. 

So much for Mr. Kalluri's grand dreams of locking us all up, claiming he had strong evidence and what not. 
Thanks to my wonderful lawyers, Nitya Ramakrishnan, Rahul Kripalani and Ashok Desai - I lost no sleep at all.
All this was an effort by the Chhattisgarh police and government to deflect attention from the Tadmetla case where the CBI has charged the police with arson.. rapes and murder investigation still ongoing.
But thanks to friends and others who I don't know but who have been wonderfully supportive, this has backfired on Kalluri and the government. Many people have signed petitions, expressed solidarity etc. I am sure together we will ultimately win and ensure justice for everyone in Bastar.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


A first information report has been registered against six of us (and assorted others) for the murder of a villager called Shamnath Baghel on November 4th, ostensibly on the complaint of his wife. The charges are serious and include murder, rioting, possession of arms, and unlawful activities (UAPA).

This FIR comes in close succession to a series of incidents implicating the police.

In 2011, the police had gone on combing operations in which they burnt 300 homes in the villages of Tadmetla, Timapuram and Morpalli. 3 women were raped and 3 men were killed. The Salwa Judum leaders, a vigilante group supported by the police also attacked Swami Agnivesh, a well known human rights activist and religious leader. In July 2011, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI enquiry as part of the petition filed by Nandini Sundar, Manish Kunjam and ors.

On 17 October 2016, the CBI chargesheeted 7 SPOs for arson and 26 Salwa Judum leaders for the attack on Swami Agnivesh.

On 23 October 2016, IG Bastar Kalluri took responsibility for directing the operations, claimed the CBI was lying and accused Nandini Sundar of bribing villagers to depose.

On 24 October 2016, the former Special Police Officers turned armed auxiliary forces/constables burnt effigies of activists

On 26 October 2016, AGNI, a state sponsored vigilante group and RSS activists attacked a press conference by Manish Kunjam, President of the Adivasi Mahasabha, and one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court case which resulted in the CBI chargesheet against SPOs. The CPI office in Jagdalpur was vandalized.

On November 7 2016, the Bastar police led by Mr. Kalluri framed a false FIR against Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad and others for the murder of Shamnath Baghel by Maoists on November 4th.  

The background to this: A group of us had gone on a visit to Bastar in May 2016. In a group of villages we visited (Nama, Soutnar, Kumakoleng)  the villagers had formed an anti-Maoist patrol gang, which they called the ‘tangiya gang’ with support from the police. 

The police got a fake complaint filed against us (ostensibly in the name of villagers) saying we incited the villagers against police and in favour of the Maoists. Indian Express had also done a story quotingthe villagers saying they had not filed any complaint. 

Our press release, as well as articles in EPW and Times of India show that we had done no such thing as inciting villagers or threatening to burn their houses. Instead we faithfully reported the villagers dilemma caught between the police and Maoists, and stressed the need for peace talks. 

On Nov 4, the Maoists killed the leader of this anti-Maoist gang. We are being charged with his murder, ostensibly on the complaint of his wife, Vimla. On November 11, the wife says on camera that she never named anyone, exposing the police lies. She has since been given a job in the police. 

The police are also claiming that Nandini Sundar had malafide intent because I used a false name, Richa Keshav, on that visit. However, this was only used once, and for the safety of the team. I have had a long history of persecution by the Chhattisgarh police.

The people being charged:  

Nandini Sundar, Professor of Sociology, Delhi University (author of The Burning Forest: India’s War in Bastar, Juggernaut Press 2016, also lead petitioner in the case in which the Supreme Court banned Salwa Judum in 2011, Nandini Sundar & Ors. vs. State of Chhattisgarh)

Archana Prasad, Professor, Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, JNU (author of Environmentalism and the Left, Leftword 2004), also member of AIDWA, CPM’s women wing)

Vineet Tiwari, former journalist and currently at the Joshi-Adhikari Institute of Social Studies, also member of the CPI

Sanjay Parate, State Secretary of the CPM, Chhattisgarh

Manju Kawasi, Sarpanch of Guphidi village, CPI activist, Sukma District, Chhattisgarh

Mangalram Karma, former resident of Nama, now working as a carpenter elsewhere.

plus assorted Maoists.

Monday, October 24, 2016





1.    Madvi Sula, Morpalli village – killed on 11 March 2011 (shot in tree)
2.    Badse Bhima, Pulanpad village – picked up from Pulanpad on 13th and killed in Timapuram village on 14th March 2011
3.    Manu Yadav, Pulanpad village – picked up from Pulanpad on 13th and killed in Chintalnar on 15th March 2011. 

1.    Sodi Nanda, Tadmetla – burnt alive in fuelwood stack by SPOs, Judum and security forces in December 2007
2.    Aimla Suka, Ramanguda para, Pulanpad – tied up and burnt alive inside his house by Judum/security forces, 2007
3.    Aimla Guddi, Pulanpad – had gone to his in-laws in Lakhapal, was picked up by the security forces/Judum and finally killed in Chimlipenta, 2007


1.    Nupe Rajulu, Morpalli – old man, died on 12th March after his house and others in village were burnt on 11th March
2.    Madkam Mangdi – old woman, died on 13th March after her house and others in village were burnt on 11th March
3.    Madvi Joga – old man, died on 13th March after his house and others in village were burnt on 11th March.


1.    AM, Jonapara, Morpalli village – 11th March, in the village, in front of small daughter
2.    ML, Jonapara, Morpalli village – 11th/12th March – custodial rape, Chintalnar thana
3.    MJ, Chindpara, Tadmetla, 16th March, in the village, badly cut near her eye

All three had money/jewelry stolen from them


1.    33 houses burnt in Morpalli village – 11 March
2.    59 houses burnt in Timapuram village – 14/15 March
3.    160 households (207 structures) burnt in Tadmetla village – 16 March

1.    6 houses burnt by Judum in Ramanguda para, Pulanpad
2.    57 houses burnt by Judum in Morpalli village


1.    Madkam Deva, Gollaboonda para, Pulanpad – Rs. 4.5 lakh stolen from his house by Koya commandos. He was saving this to buy a tractor.
2.    Chickens, goats, pigs, jewelry, cash and other goods from all villages


1.    Madvi Bhime, 65-70 year old woman, Morpalli village – badly beaten, 11 March
2.    Muchaki Hadma, 25 year old, grenade injury from grenade thrown by Koya commandos/security forces, while collecting mahua
3.    Madkam Hidme, 50-60 year old, grenade injury from grenade thrown by Koya commandos/security forces, while collecting mahua
4.    Women of Tadinpara para, Tadmetla – who were rounded up and beaten in beech para/Gondin para – while the Koya Commandos/security forces set fire to their houses

Testimonies submitted to CBI and Court

Morpalli village
1.    Collective testimony of Morpalli villagers
2.    MB, mother of Madvi Sula, murder victim
3.    ML, rape victim
4.    AM, rape victim
5.    MB, old woman who was beaten
6.    List of estimated losses in 2011 and 2007 (XL sheet)

Timapuram village
1.    Collective testimony by villagers
2.    List of villagers whose houses were burnt and looted, para wise
3.    Estimated losses of most houses (incomplete list as some villagers were not present) – XL sheet

Pulanpad village
1.    MY, widow of Manu Yadav
2.    BL, widow of Badse Bhima
3.    Madkam Hidme and Muchaki Hadma, grenade injury victims
4.    Madkam Deva, 4.5 lakh loot victim

Tadmetla village
1.    Collective testimony of women of Tadinpara
2.    MJ, rape victim
3.    Sodi Ganga, brother of Sodi Nanda who was burnt alive in 2007

Timeline of Salwa Judum/SPO related events in
March-JUly 2011

CRPF and district police plan a two day joint operation starting Friday March 11 – at about 2 AM in the morning from Chintalnar Base Camp. About 200 SPOs and Koya Commandos and about 150 CRPF, comprising primarily of the CoBRA battalion. Information received that there was an arms factory in Morpalli (which they did not find) (source: Aman Sethi, Hindu 23rd March).

Actual Incidents as verified by Nandini Sundar, 20-23 December 2011 (also fits in with story by Aman Sethi, Hindu, 23 March)

March 11: Koya Commmandos (SPOs)/Security forces attack Morpalli; a young man Madvi Sula shot at in tree and killed. Madvi Bime, old woman, was badly beaten up.  Rs. 10,000 was stolen from AM and she was raped in front of her daughter.  Forces arrest MG, his son B and daughter L; and rape L in thana all night. 33 houses burnt.
March 12-13: 3 old people in Morpalli village, Nupe Rajulu, Madkam Mangdi and Madvi Joga, die of starvation and thirst after houses were burnt and they were left in the village, when everyone else had fled.
March 13:  Forces attack Pulanpad (Pulam). Two people (Muchaki Hadma and Madkam Hidme) got grenade injuries; Madkam Deva’s house was looted and 4.5 lakh stolen.  Forces took away Badse Bheema and Manu Yadav. Police spend 13th night in Timapuram and loot chickens etc.
March 14:  Forces head towards Bodkel. Just outside Timapuram village, Maoists ambush the forces in which one Maoist and three Koya commandos are killed. Forces return to Timapuram and burn 17 houses in Morotpara. They kill Badse Bhima and leave the body in the village.
March 15:   Koya Commandos burned 42 houses and granaries in Gupididpara, Patelpara and Golapara of Timapuram village (59 houses burnt in all).  They take away Manu Yadav who they had picked up in Pulpanpad village and kill him in Chintalnar.  
March 16: Forces come from Chinatalnar and attack Tadmetla. 207 structures (houses, granaries etc.) belonging to 160 families burnt in Tadmetla village. MJ assaulted violently, cut on the face with a knife, and raped. Women beaten up.  Madvi Handa and Madvi Aita from Tadinpara taken away by forces, first to Chintalnar and then Sukma.

(based on news reports and court proceedings)

March 23: The Hindu and Rajasthan Patrika report on the incidents. (Marawi files FIR after this claiming naxals burnt houses)
March 24: District Collector sends relief trucks and orders local enquiry, offers compensation of Rs. 25,000 for houses. Collector and Commissioner not allowed to go by police.  SPOs call them Maoist supporters.
March 25: SPOs, led by Kartam Surya, assault truck driver carrying relief. Journalists stopped from going and beaten up. Kartam has a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him for rape, and is claimed by the police to be absconding, but lives in police barracks.
March 26: Swami Agnivesh, Art of Living Representatives, Addl SP Marawi and journalists brutally attacked by Salwa Judum and SPOs at Dornapal.
March 27: FIR filed by ASP Marawi names Salwa Judum leaders in the mob
March 28: NHRC seeks report on police excesses
March 28: Opposition boycotts Vidhan Sabha demanding a proper enquiry. Chhattisgarh Home Minister blames the arson on the Maoists.
March 28: Nandini Sundar and ors file affidavit detailing attacks on 3 villages and Swami Agnivesh
March 29: Supreme Court orders Commissioners in Right to Food case to visit affected villages to investigate reports of starvation deaths
March 30: Chhattisgarh government orders judicial probe
April 2:  CM, Governor and DGP visit Tadmetla village, offer BPL cards to 96 families and jobs as schoolteachers, anganwadi etc to locals.  Distribute a mere 17 quintals of rice, no relief for Morpalli or Timapuram. Forces steal chickens from village and prevent villagers from talking to CM freely.   
April 5: State Government announces a judicial probe by District Judge under Commission of Enquiry Act
April 6: Mr. Salve promises to Court he will persuade state government to appoint a high court judge, and also look into the case of Kartam Surya, SPO who is wanted for rape and declared absconding but lives in police barracks, as well as other SPOs
April 6: Harsh Mander, SC Commissioner in Right to Food case visits Morpalli – not allowed to visit other villages. Finds starvation-like conditions.
Police take away Nupo Mutta and Madvi Nanda who translated for Harsh Mander; they are tied up; Nanda is slapped by SSP Kalluri for telling the truth to Harsh Mander. They are released only the next day when women go to get them.
April 13: Chhattisgarh files its affidavit – silent on the promises made by Mr. Salve, no mention of Kartam Surya, no denial of anything contained in Nandini Sundar affidavit of March 28, 2011.
25 April: Supreme Court records statement of CG counsel, Salve that CM Raman Singh will write to High Court of CG or MP asking for the services of a sitting judge.
10 May: NGO relief mission delivers relief
12 May: Justice TP Sharma appointed to head commission of enquiry. (has not visited villages)
5 July: SC orders CBI to enquire into incidents
December 2011:  Villagers anxious for CBI visit; send letters to CBI and SC.
January 2012: CBI visits villages for first time, takes saree of MJ for forensic analysis of rape - one of the two sarees she has which has been washed many times
February 2012: CBI attacked by SPOs at Dornapal
CBI refuses to visit villages any more; calls villagers to Jagdalpur to depose
October 2016: CBI files chargesheets against 7 SPOs and 26 salwa judum leaders


1.    Morpalli village – Out of 33 houses which were burnt in 2011, 31 houses have got compensation of Rs. 25,000 each. They have also got variable compensation for property losses, which are, however, not commensurate with actual losses in many cases. 
2.    Timapuram: All 59 houses burnt in 2007 have got Rs. 25,000 each for house construction. 56 houses have got Rs. 20,000 each uniformly for property loss. This does not cover actual losses, and the variations in losses. 3 Households have not got even this money.

3.   Tadmetla village – Out of 160 houses, 22 are still to be compensated Rs. 25,000 for house burning. The village had made a list of possessions lost in each house, which tahsildar has taken. Variable compensation given for each house (don’t know on what basis this was calculated).