human rights

HONOUR OF INDIAN PARLIAMENT FOR SALE ?

 

 e – Voice Of Human Rights Watch – e-news weekly
 Spreading the light of humanity & freedom

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Editor : Nagaraj.M.R………vol.3…issue.09…………….12/05/2007
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editorial : Honor  of Parliament for sale by few members

it is a shame that recently four members of parliament were caught red handed on charges of human trafficking that too misusing their official passports. We have seen in the past various crimes by M.Ps –   questions for money , kickbacks , etc.  this present sorry state of affairs is due to the caste consciousness of the electorate. The public instead of seeing the honesty , integrity of electoral candidates looks just at his caste , in this trend they elect persons who belongs to their caste even though he is dishonest , untrustworthy & a criminal . Now , the number of criminals , density of criminals  ( who are masterminds in evading conviction ) is more in elected houses of people’s representatives – parliament , state assemblies , panchayaths , corporations , etc than in the  jails , outside public society . HRW is ready to prove this subject to conditions , in larger public interest. Our people’s representatives must learn classroom discipline , punctuality of attendance , home work , from little kids of primary school.

We have won the independence by the hard way , by the innumerable sacrifices made by great martyrs like mahatma Gandhi , Nehru , bhagath singh , etc. The criminals who have occupied constitutional positions don’t have any right to squander that hard won independence of Indians. The disgrace , contempt to august house of people’s representatives is brought upon itself by the corrupt people’s representatives themselves.

We at HRW , have highest regards for the institution of parliament , this is an appeal to the honest few in the parliament to bring to book their corrupt colleagues & to uphold the dignity of the house .  JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM.

Your’s sincerely,

NAGARAJ.M.R.

WAKE-UP ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

              Former chief election commissioner , mr.T.N.sheshan brought respect to ECI by doing his duties sincerely against all pressures . he didn’t have any special powers , whatever  laws were there since 1950 ie our constitution of India came into being , he used it in letter & spirit efficiently and upholded the sanctity of elections. You can just imagine what his predecessors & successors were & are  doing ?

             Recently , in the media we have seen reports that a 3 time member of parliament & main fund contributor of a national political party  – Mr. M.S.SUBBA is a foreigner ,  a nepali citizen . how can a foreigner become a law maker of India ? we have seen media reports  of MPs & MLAs  , cabinet ministers who are wanted by police in serious crimes but absconders , not available to arrest as per police records . but they are very much present in the government & running the show ? what a mockery of law ? recently , we have seen reports where certain MPs extracted money to raise questions in parliament , to sanction money under MPLAD scheme , we have seen media reports about union communications minister mr.pramod mahajan receiving reliance company shares to the tune of crores in return for favourable ruling to that company . In various ways people’s representatives misuse their office for personal gains.

             While joining government service in India , from peon’s job to gazetted officer’s rank  police inquiry / confidential reporting about the candidate’s  antecedents is mandatory. In case of sensitive departments like space , atomic energy , defence , etc, apart from police enquiry  concurrent investigation is conducted by Intelligence Bureau , before appointing a candidate  to  any rank in government service whether as peon or as officer.  Whereas , in the case of the people’s representatives who get elected as MPs , MLAs , MLCs , etc, no investigation is conducted about their antecedents , the affidavits they file before ECI at the time of nomination ( eventhough full of lies ) is taken at it’s face value. The ECI doesn’t bother to sincerely cross-check those affidavits . in  2004 general elections , our publication requested for deatails about antecedents of 4 VVIP candidates , the ECI replied that they don’t have information  about them. In this way , ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA is favouring the criminals to get elected as MPs , MLAs and eventually to become cabinet ministers. When a criminal becomes a law maker , the first thing he does is to cover-up his own crimes & that of his cronies. In the second step he permits officials to indulge in criminal deeds for a cut in the deal. He formulates laws which are favourable to his rich cronies , based on those inherently flawed criminal intentioned biased laws the courts of justice judges over cases before it. Can a common man hope for justice , what a shame ?

 

             The same criminals who are in constitutional offices become privy to very sensitive informations with respect  to national security , economy , etc , it is the same criminals who decide over the national policy matters relating to defence , economy , national security , etc , don’t that criminals sell our national security to our enemies for a price ? are we truly safe under such leaders ?

 Hereby , we urge the election commission of India to give information as per RTI ACT  with respect to following :

 1.        how many convicted persons , absconders as per police records are there in present loksabha , rajya sabha & all state legislatures as members of the house ?

       2.. how many convicted persons , absconders as per police records were  there in   previous loksabhas , rajya sabhas & all state legislatures as members of the house  since independence ?

 3.        how many foreigners , persons of foreign origin & persons having foreigners as their spouses are there in present loksabha , rajyasabha & all state legislatures , as members of the house ?

 4.        how many foreigners , persons of foreign origin & persons having foreigners as their spouses were  there in previous loksabhas , rajyasabhas & all state legislatures , as members of the house since independence ?

 5.        give the  details like  the number of charges , cases against  sitting  MPs , MLAs throught India & against ex-MPs & ex-MLAs.

 6.        are you cross-checking , verifying the affidavits filed by candidates at the time of nomination for elections ? how ? is it fool-proof , then how come some criminals have entered parliament & state legislatures as members  ?

 7.        in some instances , when MPs or MLAs are found of some wrong doings , they are just removed from  the membership of the house , but no criminal prosecution against  such is proceeded , why ?

 bottom line : still there are are honest persons in politics , in parliament & in state legislatures  striving for public welfare & upholding the law. Our publication pays our whole hearted respects to those honest few . However , criminalization of politics is an acknowledged fact by vohra committee report , acknowledged by  cabinet ministers themselves  & this is an appeal to the honest few MPs , MLAs  to book their corrupt colleagues.

MEGA FRAUD BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA – Rs 85 000 crore tax arrears waiver + non performing assets of banks to the tune of Rs. 200 000 crore

– An appeal to Honourable Supreme Court of India

India has become an IT power , taken giant strides in the field of science & technology. More & more MNCs are investing in India. However due to our skewed , corrupt economic system , lack of accountability on the part of corporates & public servants – a wide chasm has been created between the ultra rich & the poor , the fruits of development has all been usurped by the rich & mighty. This is the basic reason for growth of black economy , growth of naxalism , terrorism & underworld in India. As per a recent study by UN organization , majority of Indians ie more than 50 crore Indians are barely sustaining on Rs.13 per day earnings , a whole family depends upon Rs.13 , they are struggling to get just single meal per day. People are starving to death , farmers are committing suicides , people are selling their own children for a bag of grains. Whereas , corporate biggies , public servants are leading luxurious lifestyles , having big parties full of drinks , non-veg foods not at their papaa’s expense but at the expense of public exchequer , out of the tax dues , loan repayments cheated to the public exchequer.

The banks insist on matching collateral security even for self employment / educational loans by poor for an amount of Rs.5000. if the loans are not paid in time , rowdies / recovery agents are sent by banks to collect the amount by muscle power. As a final step , banks auction-off properties of collateral security to recover it’s dues. Even, the tax authorities mercilessly extract tax dues to the last penny from the middle class.

The same banks, overestimate the project cost of corporates , overestimate the project feasibility & it’s worth and coolly extend hundreds of crores of rupees loans without matching collateral security. The banks extend overdraft facilities without matching collateral securities , to these corporates. When loans are not repaid, no rowdies are sent by banks. The promoters , directors of such tainted corporates drain – off the companies resources cunningly through insider trading , finally making the company sick. Such companies don’t pay taxes , electricity bills , water bills , etc properly to respective authorities. The authorities are deaf , dumb & blind to all these actions of such corporates. At the end , banks write-off such loans as non performing assets (NPA) & file case before courts for recovery of dues. Even if the properties of collateral security are auctioned-off dues cann’t be fully realized. Finally public money is swindled . ALL THIS IS POSSIBLE DUE TO THE CONNIVANCE OF KEY BANK OFFICIALS , TAX OFFICIALS WITH CRIMINAL CORPORATES SINCE THE INCEPTION OF SUCH COMPANIES . THIS ALSO POSES UNFAIR COMPETITION TO HONEST CORPORATES. How to stop this ? by making corporate accountability ,accountability of bank , tax officials more stringent with penal provisions . afterall , they are playing with public money not their papa’s property.

Already , by the connivance of public servants , bank , tax officials we have witnessed many scams like harshad Mehta , ketan parekh , hawala , etc and more than Rs. 2000000 crore NPAs are on the books of the banks. Now, the government of India is planning to waive-off tax arrears of corporates to the tune of Rs.85000 crore , why ? read vijaya Karnataka kannada daily dated 04th January 2007. just look at this in the backdrop of “QUESTIONS FOR MONEY BY SOME MPs” and “MP LOCAL AREA DEVELOPMENT FUND ALLOCATION FOR A PRICE SCANDAL”. The government is always unresponsive , careless towards the sufferings of poor , however it is always on toes to help out corporates that too criminal ones but not honest corporates. Why ?

HRW has extended it’s services to GOI months back itself , to apprehend tax thieves , till date there is no reply from GOI , why ?

Hereby , HRW requests the Honourable Supreme Court of India to order GOI ,

1.         to make necessary amendments to companies act , to make the promoters , directors of the corporates personally accountable for all their actions.

2.         to constitute committees consisting of public persons with powers to scrutinize & verify all the actions of corporates for insider trading like – selling products , materials , shares to their sister concerns at discounted prices or buying products , materials , shares from their sister concerns at inflated prices or lending loans at discount rates to their sister concerns or taking loans from their sister concerns at high rate of interest or loaning materials , machines to their sister concerns , etc.

3.         to constitute committees consisting of public persons , to scrutinize & verify the annual personal tax returns filed by key bank officials & tax officials , who have amassed riches & leading luxurious life styles much beyond the scope of their legal known sources of income.

4.         to recover all tax dues , loan dues , etc from the corporates from the personal properties , wealth of promoters , directors of such companies.

5.         to put behind bar the key bank officials who have helped the corporates in swindling public money by overestimating project viability , worth and by overlooking the insider trading of promoters and still extending loans to them.

6.         to put behind bars tax officials who have helped such corporates in swindling public money.

7.         to take all the necessary help from public like as services extended by HRW in apprehending tax thieves.

8.         to recover & protect public money at any cost.

9.         to confiscate all money , properties possessed by directors of such criminal corporates & properties of corrupt bank , tax officials , public servants.

QUESTIONS FOR MONEY – PARLIAMENTARY ACTS / LEGISLATIONS FOR ???? – improper functioning of democracy in india

the vohra committee report has proved the criminalisation of politics

in india. There are many number of criminals in the parliament & state

legislatures. Some of those criminals are cabinet ministers as well as

members of vital parliamentary committees. Thereby, they are in a

position to manipulate , enact laws favouring , benefitting the

criminals their cronies.

Just see how the GOI gave export incentive of Rs.1800 crore to

reliance petroleum although it didn’t even export a barrel. Reliance

infocom & tata teleservices were CDMA mobile service providers & have

paid license fee of few crores only equal to landline fees without any

competitive bidding . They were supposed to provide mobile service to

operate like fixed phones within a radius of 40k.m. however they were

providing service like mobile service from one state to another like

GSM mobile service providers. By this act of RIC & TTSL , the GSM

providers who have paid thousands of license fee in competitive

bidding were economically hurt , the dispute went to court. The court

was on the verge of pronouncing it’s verdict awarding damages worth

Rs.18000 crore to GSM players & Rs. 3000 crore of license fees with

penalty to GOI. The government announced a unified telecom license

regime with retrospective effect. Thereby, the GOI lost thousands of

crores of rupees & the share holders of GSM players lost thousands of

crores. Onceagain the RIC was charged by PSU bsnl THAT RELIANCE IS

RE-ROUTING INTERNATIONAL CALLS AS LOCAL CALLS & SWINDLING THE GOI.

This time too, GOI bailed it out. during the dispute between ambani

brothers the younger ambani mr. Anil ambani director of reliance

himself has stated that for the favours received from the GOI , the

company gifted some shares to then IT &

COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER mr.Pramod mahajan. Various indian &

multinational companies are lootingindian exchequer to the tune of

thousands of crores of rupees , through lobbying / bribing.

 

In india, indirect democracy is the form of governance. In this form,

people’s representatives are bound to raise the questions , issues

concerning their constituents on their behalf , on the floor of the

house. However the sad part in india even after 58 years of democracy

, is the lobbying is at it’s peak. The lobbying is a gentleman’s white

collared crook’s way of forming favour seeker’s group , creating a

corpus to pay lumpsum bribe & influencing decision making. The

people’s representatives are bound to represent their people first ,

then their party & party think tanks. India has come to this sorry

state of affairs , widespread corruption , huge black economy &

rampant poverty, all due to inefficient legislations & enforcements.

These think tanks & IAS lobby, consider themselves as most super

brains on earth & gives out suggestions . the present state of affairs

is a barometer of their brilliance. These think tanks & IAS lobby are

the hand maidens of lobbyists / bribers.

 

Now consider the following example :

Mr.raj gandhi is a member of parliament from mandya constituency in

karnataka state. He is a MBA graduate & member of ruling indian

progressive party. The multinational giant M/S GREY HOUND CORPORATION

wants to enter into paper manufacturing business in india. It’s sight

falls on the public sector paper giant mandya national paper mills (

MNPM) in mandya district of karnataka. The MNC effectively lobbies

with the government. The ruling party think tank & the cabinet

advisory group recommends to the government to make strategic

disinvestment in the PSU M/S MNPM. They bring out graph with full

power point presentation stating that it is good for the company as

well as the government. The lobbyists follows it up with media reports

on the positive aspect of strategic disinvestment. A favourable

impression is created in the minds of literate public. The cabinet

committee okays it.

 

The ” strategic dis investment issue ” comes before the parliament for

legislation / approval. The ruling party issues a party whip to it’s

members to vote in favour of dis investment. However M.P mr.raj gandhi

who is an MBA in his own wisdom also favours the dis investment.

However ,most importantly the constituents – people in mandya

parliamentary constituency through protest marches , mass post card

campaigns lakhs in numbers expresses their disagreement with the dis

investment & urges their MP mr.gandhi to vote against the

disinvestment legislation.

 

On the D-day in parliament , mr. Raj gandhi as per his party whip &

his own wisdom votes in favour of strategic disinvestment legislation,

much against the wishes of his people , constituents & mis represents

them in parliament. the democracy has failed here. in This way

democracy is being derailed since 58 years in india. In democracy,

party whip , MP or MLA’s own wisdom / brilliance, think tank & IAS

lobby recommendations are all secondary , the constituent’s of his

constituency , people’s wishes aspirations are of primary importance &

supreme. What people need is a honest representative, whosimply

delivers the people’s aspirations on the floor of the house back &

forth , without superimposing it with his own ideas & party ideas. For

true democracy , the people’s representatives must be true postmans.

 

Towards this end , the people must be educated about their democratic

rights & responsibilities. This is an appeal to the honest few in the

parliament & state legislatures to weed out their corrupt colleagues ,

lobbyists, to uphold the dignity of the house & to install democracy

in it’s true form.

V.V.I.Ps in Government Of India backstabbing indian soldiers

– An appeal to supreme commander of indian armed forces H.E.PRESIDENT

OF INDIA & request for information as per RTI Act

 

Our indian armed forces is one of the best professional forces in the

world. They are guarding our borders on 365*24*7 basis , enabling we

the common indian people to live in peace. Where as , the soldiers

themselves are facing lot of hardships ,they are far removed from

their homely comforts and working in very adverse , hostile environs.

The indian soldiers are sacrificing their comforts , lives for

guarding the lives of us –crores of indians. However , now it seems

the threat to the lives of brave indian soldiers are not from the

pakistani or chinese bullets , it is from their own indian brother’s.

 

In the recent past , a joint director of RAW – an intelligence agency

defected to USA , there were repeated thefts at defense HQ , war room

leak at naval HQ, the senior most naval officers were kicked out of

office for speaking out about illegal defense deals by higher-ups.

Recently, former union minister mr.jaswant singh has stated that , a

very highly placed person in the PMO was passing nuclear secrets to

USA. Just a few years back , former union minister mr. Subramaniam

swamy has stated that former prime minister rajiv gandhi’s family has

received money from foreign intelligence agencies. A former KGB

officer mitrokhin , in his autobiography has stated that smt.indira

gandhi , former prime minister of india herself was a KGB agent.

 

VVIPs occupying constitutional positions are privy to defense ,

national & economic secrets. They are in a sound position to decide

over it , to manipulate it. Some VVIPs , film stars were hobnobbing

openly with terrorist leaders , underworld dons & attending dawood

ibrahim’s parties , etc in gulf countries. Some VVIPs have even aided

terrorist outfits in other sovereign countries like LTTE in srilanka.

 

VVIPs strikes deals with arms dealers & awards them defense contracts.

As a result indian forces are flush with technologically obsolete

aeroplanes , war ships , artillery , etc bought by paying crores of

dollars.

 

If any defense personnel questions these actions , he is

court-martialled & put behind bars. If any ordinary citizens questions

them , he is silenced through the brute force of police. Even election

commission of india , didn’t give information about criminal

antecedents of certain VVIP candidates tom an indian citizen on

request. The courts have suo motto powers to take action on news

reports , but they have not taken any even on appeal. The police don’t

take action against such VVIPs & are not even registering complaints

against them. Most public servants are only bothered about their

position , favours , post-retirement postings , etc. In their scope of

things , national security is nowhere on their mind or actions.

 

On the public side , the same VVIPs condemn terrorism & other foreign

countries. They deploy indian soldiers on the borders , terrorist

infected areas , to contain the mafia . they send our soldiers with

3rd class arms & ammunition , riding 3rd class aeroplanes , ships &

artillery to contain violence , as a result our soldiers get killed

like flees , like sitting ducks to be shot at, by enemies who are

armed with latest weapons. As a result more number of soldiers are

dying in plane crashes , terrorist bullets than to pakistani or

chinese bullets.

 

Hereby , HRW appeals to your excellency to protect our brave soldiers

, by making public the following information & providing that

information to HRW as per RTI Act on the following questions :

 

1. how GOI is monitoring VVIPs of foreign origin , those with spouses

of foreign origin & those with ties , links to foreign nationals ?

2. how GOI is monitoring the activities of VVIPs , while on foreign tour ?

3. how GOI is monitoring activities of ex-VVIPs ?

4. how transparent are defense contract / tender procedures ?

5. how you protect whistle blowers / defense personnel who expose

illegal defense deals ?

6. why don’t the Election Commission of India fully make public the

criminal antecedents of VVIP candidates ?

7. is former union minister mr.jaswanth singh’s words true ? what

action ?

8. is former union minister mr.subramaniam swamy’s words true ? what

action ?

9. did GOI aid & sponsor LTTE terrorists in srilanka ?

10. did GOI pay any compensation to victim’s of LTTE’s terrorism ?

11. are the charges made by former admiral mr.bhagawath & rear-admiral

mr. Arun true ? what action ?

12. how many MPs , MLAs , VVIPs have links with underworld , mafia &

terrorist outfits ?

13. how many film stars , sportsmen , politicians have attended the

parties hosted by dawood ibrahim & others in gulf & else where ? what

action ?

14. are the statements made by former KGB officer mr.mitrokhin true ?

what action ?

15. how you are ensuring the safety of whistleblowers ?

 

god save my country , our brave soldiers from traitors in the garb of

VVIPs.

AN APPEAL TO HONOURABLE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA

Dear Sir,

INDIA: An ailing man died in the custody of Border Security Force( BSF) due to lack of medical help

Name of victim: Ranjit Kumar Biswas Nawapara village, Haskhali police station, Nadia district, West Bengal, India
Alleged perpetrators: The officers of Border Security Force attached with Farazipara Border Out Post (B.O.P.) of 90 Battalion, Jalangi police station, Murshidabad district, West Bengal, India
Date of incident: On 1st and 2nd May 2007

I am writing to express my serious concern regarding the custodial death of Mr. Ranjit Kumar Biswas, who was a 70 year-old ailing man. It is alleged that Mr Ranjit was arrested with his son and his wife while he was being taken to hospital, and that despite repeated requests by his son and wife, officers of the Border Security Forces (BSF) did nothing to provide medical assistant to Mr. Ranjit; as a result of this, Mr. Ranjit died in police custody.    

According to the information I have received, on May 1, Mr. Ranjit, who had been suffering from some serious ailments, was being taken to the hospital by his sons accompanied by his wife Mrs. Tripti Rani Biswas for medical treatment, when he was arrested by the B S F officers attached with the Farazipara Border Out Post (B.O.P.) of 90 Battalion, Jalangi, Murshidabad, India along with his relatives. They were taken to the Farazipara Border Out Post.   

I am informed that the family members of Mr. Ranjit told the BSF officials about his critical health condition and requested them to provide immediate medical assistance to Mr. Ranjit but BSF officers did nothing. All of them had been put in the said BOP under custody of BSF.

I am informed that Mr. Nakul Mahato, the Block Development Officer of Jalangi conducted the inquest at the Sadhi Khan Dear Block Primary Medical Center and sent the body to Baharampur General Hospital for post mortem which was carried out by Dr. Swapan Mondal.

I am also informed that that the Jalangi Police Station has registered a case against Mrs. Triptii Rani Biswas, Biswajit Biswas, Purnendu Biswas and the deceased Mr. Ranjit Biswash under section 14 of Foreigners Act.

I am informed that authorities have also violated the section 176 of Criminal Procedure Code which states that when any person dies in the custody, the concerned judicial magistrate is empowered to hold an enquiry into the cause of death. Until now, no such inquiry has been initiated in this respect.

In light of the above, I strongly urge that you immediately intervene in this matter of custodial death. I ask you to appoint an independent investigating authority to enquire into the whole incident which has caused the death of a man who was in custody.

I also demand that you inquire into the negligence committed by the BSF officers. If it is proven that the jail authorities have committed negligence and the Executive Magistrate has violated the procedure of law, legal action must be taken against the officers allegedly responsible. I also demand that you give adequate compensation to the victim’s family.

I look forward to hearing about your urgent intervention into this case.

Your’s sincerely,

NAGARAJ.M.R.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – Public Statement

AI Index: ASA 20/010/2007 (Public) News Service No: 083  26 April 2007


India: Police shootings and forced evictions target adivasi indigenous communities in Madhya Pradesh

Amnesty International today expressed concern over a continuing threat of forced evictions involving the excessive use of force by police in an intensifying pattern of land disputes involving adivasis indigenous communities.

Tension remains high in Ghateha village in Rewa District, Madhya Pradesh (central India) after violence erupted on 19 April 2007 as members of the adivasi community sought to protest against their forcible eviction by police and local officials. The confrontation and police firing occurred despite a reported pledge by the local authorities that the land dispute between local adivasi and the State Forest Department would be resolved soon.

According to local human rights organizations, on the morning of 19 April more than 50 police vehicles and bulldozers under the direction of state police and Forest Department officials arrived at Ghateha village to evict them in the absence of any order from a court. Local villagers gathered to resist the eviction and, during a subsequent five hour-long confrontation, police fired in the air to disperse the demonstrators who pelted stones at them. Later, the police fired teargas shells and live bullets injuring six persons, including a woman. Police also reportedly severely assaulted a number of adivasis including women, who were protesting the police action. Police said six police officials were injured in the pelting of stones.

At least 3,000 inhabitants fled the village in fear as police used bulldozers to demolish thatched huts and temporary structures, burnt them down and reportedly looted property. Police are also reported to have filed charges of unlawful assembly against 29 persons.

Amnesty International believes that these actions amount to forced evictions, which have been recognized as a gross violation of human rights. Forced evictions are evictions without adequate notice, consultation with those affected, without legal safeguards, and without assurances of adequate alternative accommodation. As a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, India is under an obligation to desist from undertaking forced evictions and to protect the population from the threat of forced evictions.

With tensions continuing armed police officials are reported to be patrolling the district, preventing any movement to and from Ghateha village. The injured persons, numbering around 20, are still awaiting medical treatment and a large number of adivasis have not returned to the village fearing police assault and harassment.

The adivasis have been cultivating the land in question, amounting to 375 hectares and upon which their livelihood now depends, for at least four years. In December 2006, the Indian parliament passed landmark legislation recognizing the land rights of adivasi communities across India, following which, in March 2007, the adivasis lay claim to the land in Ghateha by erecting thatched huts.

While the adivasis claimed that, since 1974, the land had been categorized as non-forest land and they could therefore legally cultivate it, the State Forest Department claimed that the adivasis’ action amounted to encroachment on forest land. On 5 April 2007, the state forest department framed charges of encroaching on forest land against 17 adivasi activists, nine of whom were arrested and sent to jail in Rewa town.

The police action on 19 April took place despite an assurance, on the previous day, from the Rewa district collector to the adivasis that efforts would be taken to speedily resolve the land dispute, and that they would be provided with alternate land if the Forest Departments assertion was found to be valid.

Amnesty International urges the Government of Madhya Pradesh to:

  • immediately cease all forced evictions;
  • immediately ensure that all victims of forced eviction receive emergency relief including shelter, food, water and access to medical assistance;
  • order a prompt, impartial and independent inquiry into the police action in Ghateha village on 19 April and promptly make the findings public.
  • The inquiry should cover the role of police and other forces in assisting evictions and the manner in which authorization was given for police units to participate in evictions which did not conform to the law;
  • ensure that all state officials, including Forest Department and police personnel, who are suspected of perpetrating human rights violations are prosecuted;
  • ensure that, while law and order should be maintained, those who are engaged in peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of assembly and speech are able to do so without fear of violence, harassment or false accusation of involvement in criminal activities.
  • set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the way in which evictions in Ghatela were carried out and to make recommendations for effective remedies to victims of forced eviction. The terms of reference should require the commission to investigate
    • the way in which evictions were carried out and whether they followed the requirements of national law and international human rights law and standards;
    • the basis for the decisions to carry out evictions and whether alternatives to eviction were considered;
    • the way in which the affected communities were informed of the decision;
    • the consultation process prior to evictions;
    • the registration of land under eviction;
    • the composition of eviction teams and
    • provision of alternative adequate housing to the adivasi victims of forced eviction who remain without shelter.
  • take prompt action to provide adequate alternate housing to the victims;
  • place a moratorium on mass evictions of adivasis till such time as a comprehensive human rights-based policy and a legal framework providing effective remedies have been adopted;
  • instruct to all relevant authorities that any other evictions may only be carried out on the basis of a court order after adequate consultation with those who may be affected and after prior arrangements have been made regarding adequate resettlement and compensation;
  • widely publicize this moratorium and the instructions on radio and television and in print media and place posters in offices of local authorities.


Background
In December 2006, the Indian parliament passed the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, which recognizes and records the rights of traditional forest-dwelling communities including adivasis to security of tenure and access to minor forest produce, and renders them as key stakeholders in the preservation of natural spaces.

A large number of adivasis in Ghatela are supporters of the Birsa Munda Bhoo Adhikar Manch (Birsa Munda Land Rights Forum), which affiliated to the National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW) which led the campaign for the enactment of the above legislation.

 

 

 

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