Looting properties and killings of 17 innocent tribals labeled as dreaded naxalites in a fake encounter
Petition in the matter of looting of properties of poor tribals and killings of 17 innocent tribals labeled as dreaded naxalites in an fake encounter
I attach here with the complain petition addressed to the National Commission for Schedule tribe in the matter of
Looting of properties and physical assault of innocent poor tribals and
Extra Judicial killings of seventeen poor tribals by Special Police Officers, Salwa Judum militia and state police force at village SINGARAM, Gollapalli P.S., Dantewada District, Chhattisgarh.
The gruesome incidents took place in the afternoon hours of Thursday, the eighth of January, 2009. / State making all out efforts to cover up the heinous crime by labeling those innocent tribals as dreaded naxalites killed in an encounter.
With best wishes
BEFORE THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SCHEDULE TRIBES
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
COMPLAINT PETITION IN THE MATTER OF MERCILESS KILLINGS OF SEVENTEEN TRIBALS
AT SINGARAM VILLAGE AREA,
Petitioner:1.Tribal Welfare Society, a registered civil
society organization working for the welfare of tribals having its registered office at New Delhi and Zonal Office (East Zone) at Bilaspur, represented by Shri Pravin Patel, Director for East Zone; having his office atA/ 3 Indrajeet complex, High court Road, Bilaspur 495001, Chhattisgarh
Opposite Parties1.The principal Secretary
Department of Home
Government of Chhattisgarh
Mantralaya, RAIPUR. Chhattisgarh
2.Director General of Police
Government of Chhattisgarh
3.Superintendent of Police
Dantewada District, Dantewada
In the matter of
Looting of properties and physical assault of innocent poor tribals and extra
Judicial killings of seventeen poor tribals by Special Police Officers, Salwa
Judum militia and state police force at village SINGARAM, Gollapalli P.S.,
Dantewada District, Chhattisgarh. The gruesome incidents took place in the
afternoon hours of Thursday, the eighth of January, 2009.
State making all out efforts to cover up the heinous crime by labeling those innocent tribals as dreaded naxalites killed in an encounter.
Respected Madam Urmila Singh
The Hon'ble Chairperson
National Commission for Schedule Tribe
6th Floor"; B" Wing, Lok Nayak Bhawan
Khan Market, New Delhi 110 003
Most humbly we would like to bring to your kind knowledge a very serious matter
as briefly stated here in above, a heinous crime has been committed by a group of
about 200 -250 persons armed with deadly weapons, whom the villagers say are
Salwa Judum militia, Special Police Officers (for short SPOs) and the district police
force (for short police) at Singaram village; Golapalli Police Station; Datewada
District; Chhattisgarh.These people not only looted the properties of the poor tribals
but also forcibly took few of them and ruthlessly killed seventeen tribals while two
tribals were lucky enough to run away from the certain jaws of death. The gruesome
incidents took place in the afternoon hours of Thursday, the Eighth of January, 2009.
The details are as per here below:
1. That police forces claimed that they have killed fifteen dreaded naxalites in
an encounter at Singaram under Golappalli Police Station area and recovered arms
and other naxal related material. Police have also photographed the dead
bodies and the seized material. The Superintendent of Police, Dantewada
District (for short S.P.) has congratulated his boys for their heroic work and
stated that this is biggest success in last five years. However, exactly opposite to
the statement of the S.P. villagers have an altogether different version as they
deny that there was no encounter but Salwa Judum and Police have killed innocent villagers.
2.That police has failed to bring even a single dead body with them for post mortem on the same day and not made any sincere efforts to bring those dead bodies even next day morning. The version of the police comes under serious doubts as they had no time to bring dead bodies but enough time to arrange the seized material and take photographs of the dead bodies and the so called seized materials.
3. That though the police failed to reach the place where they had killed the tribals the previous evening, a group of media persons from the neighboring Andhra Pradesh reached there early morning on 9th January, 2009. They found seventeen dead bodies out of which four bodies were of women, two completely naked. Later a group of media persons under the leadership Mr. Pillay, President of Association of District Journalists also reached the village. The news has been published in local as bordering Andhra Pradesh media who all have raised serious doubts over the version of the police and have raised serious doubts that the incidents are fake encounter in which innocent tribals have lost their lives, for their refusal to join the Salwa Judum militia.
4. That accompanied by people from media, villagers went to the forests near the village where near a nala, found the dead bodies. Media have reported that empty shells of the bullets lying at a distance of only about five feet from the blood spots on the ground confirms that the tribals have been killed by bullets fired from as close as five feet distance. Even media and villagers also noticed besides the empty bullet shells, pieces of broken bangles, two uniform that is worn by the naxals and blood spots on the ground which all confirms that the tribals had entered in to scuffle to save them from the hands of their killer but were not lucky enough and got killed. This fact in itself is sufficient to prove that there was no encounter and that the version of the police is totally wrong and an imaginary story of fake encounter has been created to hide the heinous crime that has been committed.
5.That villagers in anger burst before the media and strongly rebuked the Salwa
Judum SPOs and district force to have killed innocent tribals. They stated that a
group about 200-250 Salwa Judum armed with various deadly weapons reached
their village in the afternoon hours. Few of them were busy with harvesting work on their farm where as others were at their homes in the village. They had few tribals held with them as captives who were from other nearby villages.
6. That they forced the villagers to desert their homes and join in the Salwa Judum
by taking shelter in the state run relief camps but their refusal to do so resulted in
scuffles. The Salwa Judum people started looting their belongings that is goats,
poultry, rice, money even utensils and assaulted them when they tried to stop them. Those who had some money to pay could buy peace.
7. That they picked few tribals with them and in all took of nineteen tribals outside
the village at a distance near a nala and killed seventeen of them as two were
lucky enough to escape and ran away to save their lives.
8. That the villagers have also stated to the media that this is not the first time that
they have come under Salwa Judum attack. They have stated that before about a year and half or so, Salwa Judum had come to their village but they all had run away to the forests as they were not interested to take part in any Salwa Judum. The recent incidents are the fall out of their refusal.
9. That villagers have stated to the media that none of them are naxalites nor all
those who have been killed were also simple peace loving villagers having nothing
to do with naxalites. But the police claim that they have killed 15 dreaded
naxalites in an encounter. The state has enough powers vested in their hand but
though they have a primary duty to protect the lives and properties of the people,
they have not only failed to do so in the instant case but have perpetrated the
heinous crime.This makes the matter even more serious when the law protector
behaves as law breakers. No civilized society can approve such cold blooded
10. That the media and civil society organizations have also raised serious doubts on the version of the police and label the incidents as fake encounter. Haribhumi, Navbharat, Surraj, few blogs, all are of the opinion that innocent tribals are killed in what the police claims as a real encounter. BBC Hindi.com has also published the news and has also reported doubts on the version of the police.(Copy of the news as published in BBC HINDI.COM and few other newspaper cuttings is collectively enclosed herewith as Annexure -1 series)
11. That the Director General of Police, Government of Chhattisgarh in an interview has stated that dreaded naxalite have been killed and that the media reports are wrong and a pro naxal war has started by raising doubts on the encounter.When there are serious doubts on the state police itself to have killed innocent tribals such statement from the top boss of the state police raises serious doubts that truth will ever come out in the given circumstances.
12. That there are also reports that hundreds of policemen were seen busy in collecting the evidences from the spot where the heinous crime is committed. It is believed that in the name of collecting evidences, valuable evidences may be destroyed by them to hide the truth.
13. That there are also reports that tribals from the village are running away for safety to the adjoining Andhra Pradesh area since they have no more trust on the police. They are reported to have said earlier police used to question us but now they fire bullets on them. There is urgent need to restore the faith and confidence of the villagers towards the constitution of India, as such measures are required where the villagers are taken in to confidence that they will not be penalized or targeted to speak out the truth.
14.As per the statement issued by the S.P. District Collector has ordered an inquiry in to the incidents. The inquiry is to be conducted by one of the junior officer of the District Collector. Under the given circumstances, it is very much doubtful that the said inquiry will be free and fair and will allow the truth to come out.
15. That those tribals who have been killed have been identified by the villagers as
1) Mardi Deva 2) Hemla Sukka 3) Madkam Hema 4) Beki Bundi 5) Muchaki Ganga 6) Beko Joga 7) Podiyam Dullama 8) Beko Poji all from Danteshpuram village 9) Mardi Hidma 10) Madvi Bhima 11) Madvi Kona all three from Korraspad village 12) Taram Mutaiya 13) Taram Lakkama 14) Karam Sitamma 15) Kadti Badraiya all four from Sigaram village 16) Madkam Devi and 17) Beko Hadamma from Pushpalli village. Police claims to have killed fifteen where as the dead bodies found at the site and identified by villagers as above are seventeen. Villagers have also claimed that they know the killer SPOs and can easily identify them.
16. That the former Chief Minister of Chhattigarh, President of Pradesh Congress
Committee, Chhattisgarh, former MLA of the area Mr. Manish Kunjam and Mr. Kawasi Lakma, MLA form near by Sukma have allcharged the police to have committed the heinous crime and demanded a high power enquiry by the CBI.
17. National Commission for Schedule Tribe is constituted body to look in to the
matters of atrocities and excesses committed on tribals to ensure justice. It is
time to exercise the powers that are vested in your hand to come to the rescue
of those poor tribals who are vandalized by the state forces. The magisterial
inquiry ordered by the District Collector, Dantewada may not be free and fair,
as the same authorities are suspected to be busy in cover up exercise. More
over the state also facesbatches ofWrit Petition at the Hon'ble Supreme Court
of India on the excesses committed by Salwa Judum and as such, there are very
serious doubts that state will try its best to hide the facts. Poverty and illiteracy
of the victims should not come in the way to justice. Faith of those very poor
tribals on our constitution must be restored and hence this petition is submitted
before the Hon'ble commission with a great hope that it shall find best of your
attention immediately and do the needful as prayed for.
P R A Y E R
1. Please be kind enough to order an transparent independent inquiry preferably by a
retired High Court Judge to allow the truth to come out.
2. Please do the best needful in the matter of compensating the losses caused to
those tribals by the state forces in shape of Salwa Judum.
3. Please be kind enough to please pay a visit to the area to ascertain by you,the
tragedies and havoc wrecked on innocent tribals in the name of cleansing
4. Any other suitable remedy that you feel proper in the quest for justice.
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