Statement from All India Women’s team to Dantewada

I am posting this from Chattisgarh Net Website.
This report is 2-3 weeks old.

View the report inPDF Format

Statement from All India Women’s team to Dantewada

Preliminary statement and Press Release of the All India Women’s Team :

At the initiation of the Committee against Violence on women (CAVOW), an All India team of women activists visited district Dantewada, Chhattisgarh between 30th September to 2nd October, 2006 to investigate the conditions of safety, security, life and livelihood of Adivasi women in the background of intense militarization and widespread reports of atrocities on women. Some members of the team also participated in a survey of the functioning of health programmes in the villages and relief camps. The following is a short summary of the findings of the team, a detailed report of which shall be released shortly.

1.The team is strongly of the opinion that methods like the Salwa Judum and the wanton militarization of society in Dantewada is not the way to solve the problems of underdevelopment and political dissent in the area. Dantewada today is heavily militarized, leading to brutal repression of an impoverished people seeking social justice.

2.Discussion with Adivasi women in the relief camps revealed that the thousands of villagers who are in these camps have largely abandoned their homes, hearths and fields. They have lost their entire livestock (cattle, pigs, hens etc.) stocks of grain and forest produce. No employment is being provided to them by the government and they are dependent on occasional employment in the surrounding villages at the rate of Rs. 20/- per day. From these uncertain earnings they can purchase a mere 2 paili (less than 5 kg) of rice per week per family from the PDS shops.’.

It was amply clear that these persons were undernourished and often malnourished. Almost all children we saw at the Baangapal and Dornapal camps showed signs of malnutrition and had typically distended bellies. Parents at Baangapal had sent their school going children to live in an ashram school several villages away, where they were provided with a mid day meal, often their only meal in the day.It was obvious that their economic and nutritional status had deteriorated substantially. In the large Dornapal camp the UNICEF has already identified hundreds of children as suffering from Grade 4 malnutrition.

3.There has been massive dislocation of population as well as livelihood in the course of the Salwa Juroom. The total absence of food and livelihood securiy in the camps was striking .Many women stated that they wanted to return to their villages. They were distressed by and felt insecure in being separated from their communities as well as at the disruption of their social life.

Some villagers of Belnar and Munder have run away from the Baangapal camp and ever since, the SPOs (Special Police Officers, an ad hoc recruitement of local youth) are guarding the camp. In the Baangapal camp, the women who have come from Patelpara of Belnar stated that since their ‘mukhiya’ had brought them, they had no option but to continue to stay on. Several camps on the Nelasnaar-Bedre road are now empty. For instance villagers of Karkeli admitted that SPOs of their village went several times to forcibly bring other villagers to the Karkeli camp but they have run away each time and now the camp is empty. On the other hand, we also saw a number of abandoned villages where villagers have been taken to far away camps.

4.However the team was disturbed to note that far from making efforts to return the adivasis to their villages as they wish, the administration, police and SPOs are working to make the relief camps permanent. In a situation where land records are few and far between this displacement might lead to irreversible losses of rights over lands.

The continuing protests at Dhurli, which were going on when the team visited, that the so called permission of the Gram Sabha for acquisition of land for Essar Steel Plant was obtained fraudulently and coercively, shows not only that such fears are well founded but also reveals the vested interest of the government in relocating the tribal population for land acquisition.

A sarpanch at Dornapal camp revealed that a meeting of all sarpanches of the block had been held by the administration in which they had been instructed to convene meetings in the villages to bring all he villagers to the camp by propagating that they would be attacked by Naxalites. An anganwadi worker from one of the camps visited, told a team member that she and all other Angawanwadi teachers were brought to the camp directly from a block level meeting and were not given an opportunity to go home to collect their belongings. In this camp 13 schools are being run in three tin sheds.

5.A large number of young girls, many of whom do not even appear to be 18, have been recruited as Special Police Oficers ( SPOs). At Baangapal, several of the women SPOs were wearing skirts and blouses off duty, which is significant in view of the societal norms in which post pubertal young women wear saris.

Our fear is that the government is making widespread use of child soldiers, and robbing them of childhood. Our suspicion is also that the meager Rs 1500/ paid to the SPOs is the only economic security that many families in the camps have. In Karkeli village an adivasi woman confirmed that these women SPOs are not allowed to leave the thana premises except for meals, they stay even during the nights.

An anganwadi worker at Dornapal on condition of anonymity admitted that there were cases of prostitution in the camp, and it appears at least 50 cases of termination of pregnancy of women SPOs had been reported at Beejapur. All thanas we had the opportunity to observe – including at Nelasnaar, Bhairamgarh, Kutru, Karkeli had inside their heavily barbed wire boundaries the brick barracks of the SPOs (of men and women) surrounding the main police/ CRPF/SAF thana. Clearly the SPOs, who after several months have been paid their wages of Rs. 1500 per month, are being used as shields for the police.

Usually the SPOs lead the “gasht” (patrols) while the police follow. From Karkeli – a village of 60 households, 66 SPOs including 11 women have been recruited. Thus, this village has been militarized for counter insurgency taking advantage of the dire situation of the adivasis. It is worth noting that in the same village there is not even one health worker.

6.By administrative definition, Dantewada today is clearly divided into friendly and hostile territory. Every man or woman arrested in the course of any incident involving a village which has not come to the camps is labeled a ‘Naxalite’. There are 300 such Naxal prisoners including about 30 women in the Jagdalpur jail. These adivasis, often of the poorest of the poor, are unable to appoint any lawyer, and though they might be finally acquitted for lack of evidence, have to suffer long periods of incarceration as pauper accused.

We were also told that when women come from such villages to buy rations at the weekly haats they are chased away by the SPOs and para military on the pretext that they are supplying rice to Naxalites. Thus these villages are being starved. We personally witnessed the bullying and intimidating behaviour of the SPOs and para military in the Bodli Haat and the Bhairamgarh bazaar. Since traditionally most buying and selling is done by women, they are very vulnerable.

7. During our investigation we came across a number of incidents of unreported deaths. An elderly widow at the Baangapal camp described how her eldest son had been abducted by the police from the Geedam Bazar and murdered in the Bodli Thana, she was not even shown the body. An adivasi youth working with a voluntary organization has seen two women who were shot dead by the Naga battalion. Several persons confirmed that three adivasi villagers harvesting grain had been shot dead and their bodies had been buried by the police near the Geedam Thana.

All these persons had requested anonymity. Clearly, unlike in the case of alleged killings by the Maoists, killings by the police, paramilitary or the SPOs go absolutely unreported and an atmosphere of fascist terror prevails. Young SPOs bragged to us about their capacities to kill and murder and to capture women naxalites alive, and were hoping to be rewarded with a promotion to the regular police force.

8. The court and jail records of several so-called “Naxalite” women prisoners are indicative of brutalities of sexual violence as reported to other fact finding teams. We also heard many reports of rape and sexual violation of women by men in uniform in the course of the Salwa Judum’s forced evacuation of the villages.

One of the most shocking such accounts was that of Sonia, an Anganwadi worker brutally beaten and tortured on suspicion of providing food and support to naxalites.What was equally shocking was the unresponsiveness of the media to these cases of violence against women. The team feels most concerned by the gagging of the press due to which the above brutalities of the State forces do not even impact on the consciousness of the citizens of Chhattisgarh or the country.

9.Finally the team felt that the division, being deliberately created by the government, between the camps and villages, and the recruitment of SPOs is tearing asunder the social fabric of adivasi life. Tens of thousands of adivasis are being subjected to starvation and devastation of their livelihoods.

The militarization and atmosphere of fascist terror prevalent has rendered adivasi women vulnerable to sexual brutality as a means of enforcing submission. The interference of police and paramilitary in everyday life, akin almost to an army of occupation, is also imposing a patriarchal violence alien to adivasi culture. This situation demands urgent intervention by the democratic forces and women’s organization all over the country.

10.The team managed to put together from secondary sources and reports a partial list of women who had been victims of violence since the Salwa Juroom began in Dantewada. It was not possible to speak to or verify the entire list, although we received corraboration of the genuineness of the reported incidents in many cases.This list is appended to this preliminary statement.

Recommendations:

1. The State Government must ensure that all adivasi villagers presently housed in so-called relief camps be settled back in their villages and that they are able to rebuild their economic life if necessary through employment provided directly by the government.

2. Forcible acquisition of lands or displacement from land amounts to the destruction of livelihoods of the adivasi people of Bastar and must be stopped forthwith.

3. All cases of atrocities on women, whether by police and para military forces or by private gangs, reported from various sources should be impartially investigated by an independent agency and the culprits should be punished.

4. The practice of ad hoc recruitments of SPOs and their use to shield regular police forces or as cannon fodder in counter insurgency operations should be ceased. All recruitments should be made in the regular police forces ensuring their accountability to civil administration as well as their rights as personnel, particularly since women as SPOs are vulnerable to sexual abuse.

5. Women imprisoned during the last year of civil war like conditions must be provided effective legal aid.

6. The government should stop recruiting children as SPOS, and all such recruitment made so far should be disbanded. The children and indeed the entire people of Dantewada should be provided with nutrition, health, education and human security.

7. A process of enquiry by an independent agency should be initiated into the cases of deaths, and missing persons that are reprted.

8. In the circumstances of militarization and violence (including sexual violence) the freedom of the press to report events including administrative and police action should be ensured.

List of incidents of violence on women reported so far.

1. List of women killed

No

Village

Name

Date

Age

Description

Srce

1

Mukavelli (Bgh)

Vedinje Nangi

5/10/05

35

Shot by CRPF. Foetus came out.

ICI

2

-do-

Vedinje Malli

-do-

20

Daughter of above. Shot by CRPF.

-do-

3

Dorum

Bogam Somri

36

She and her husband axed to death by SJ.

BG

4

-do-

Korsa Santa

SJ goons axed her breasts, stabbed swords in her vagina and then through her dead body

-do-

5

Pedda Korma

Modiyam Sukki

7/10/05

25

On sentry duty,

Police and SJ gang-raped, axed their chests and threw their bodies away.

BG

6

-do-

Korsam Lakki

-do-

23

-do-

-do-

7

-do-

Modiam Budhri

16/12/

05

Killed by police & SJ.

7

Etpadu

Madkam Channi

-do-

35

Pregnant, shot dead by NagaB

ICI

8

Wife and daughter of Samula Kotal

Shot dead.

BG

9

Hailing originally from Charvayi Gadchiroli

Sunita Madavi

17/7/05

10

Gangraped, tortured and killed when she went to meet Tripraharh gs.

BG

10

-do-

Geeta Tulavi

-do-

12

-do-

-do-

11

Range

gudem

Munni

Guerilla

Lehar

12

Inki

29/1/06

20

Guerilla killed in Gangalur attack

-do-

13

Pulghatta

Korsa Santo

2/9/06

20

Gangraped, breasts cut, and genitals stabbed and body thrown.

-do-

14

Karre

marka

Emla Somwari

-/11/05

19

Killed by police and SJ

-do-

15

-do-

Emla Dokri

-/11/05

50

-do-

-do-

16

Kudmer

Vanjam Idme

-/05/06

25

Beaten to death by SJ while going to local haat.

-do-

17

-do-

Madavi Soni

-/05/06

20

-do-

-do-

18

Kotlu

Bogam Somwari

Killed by police and SJ

ICI

19

Parkeli

Phagni

25/3/06

Wounded militia member brutally tortured.

-do-

20

Edveda

Bheeme Madvi

25/3/06

Killed by police and SJ

21

-do-

Phagni Vekko

-do-

-do-

-do-

2. List of women raped/ molested

No

Village

Name

Dt.

Age

Description

Srce

1

Karre

Marka (On NH 16)

Madvi Sarita

Gangraped by SJ and Naga police on 15th August. Dragged to Bhgh PS and raped for a week.

ICI

2

-do-

Telam Jamli

Gangraped by SJ and Naga police and thrown in the jungle.

ICI

3

Pallevaya

Oyyam Bali

Wife of DAKMS leader.

Blouse torn and beaten on chest.

BG

4

Sonia

Anganwadi worker told a News Channel that she was brutally beaten, tied to a police jeep and dragged along.

CAVOW

5

Padera

(Bjjpr)

SJ made them lie down and beat them on the soles of their feet.

ICI

6

Savnar

Rape of three girls reported.

ICI

7

Kondam

Badri

Somli

Munni

1/9/05

Gang-raped and were marched bleeding and naked to Mirtur PS

BG

8

Neelam

Bogam Gugge

SJ raped a pregnant woman drawing water.

-do-

9

Jangla

Korsa Munni

Kalmu Jayyu

Korsa Butki

SJ gangraped three activists, shifted them to relief camp and continued to rape them.

-do-

10

Kotrapal

Six women were gangraped and tortured after shifting to PS

-do-

11

Originally hailing from Charvayi, district Gadchiroli

Susheela Tulavi

Minor girl gang raped and jailed for meeting Tiprahaarh guerilla squad.

-do-

12

Potenar

Kunjam Lakka

Became pregnant in camp and is kept in SJ leader Vikram Madavi’s house.

-do-

13

Kesha

mundi

Kosavi Sumli

Looted by SJ goons in Matwada haat

Lehar

14

Kesur

Ursa Sanaki

-do-

-do-

15

Kotenar

Madavi Budhri

-do-

-do-

16

Kunjam

Kohadam Idme

Kowasi Idme

Mangli

Beaten up mercilessly in the Matwada Haat.

-do-

17

Kotrapal

Poniam Budri

Midiam Mangli

Podiam Sukki

Beaten up till they bled when they were bringing rice from Matwada.

-do-

18

Kesur (Bgh)

Ursa Mangli

Emla Budhri

Podiam Sanaki

Beaten up by SPOs and looted.

-do-

19

Pralnar

(Gangalur)

Sukki

Angi

Stripped naked in Gangalur bazaar.

-do-

20

Bhandar

pal

25/5/

05

Three women beaten up by Naga, CRPF and police.

-do-

21

Orepal

(Mirtul)

11/6/05

Naga police beat up 2 women

-do-

22

Woman in Jagdalpur jail

Her brother was shot. She was gang raped by CRPF and then taken to the local thana and repeatedly raped.

ICI

23

Vecham

Kandli Pande

11/9/05

Gang raped by SJ and police led by Mahendra Karma

SJ book

24

Karre Pondam

Madvi Parvati

Madvi Kope

Ruki

Raped by police and SJ goons.

ICI

25

Ariyal

Kadti Jaimali

-do-

-do-

26

Puttu gudem

Sukhmati

-do-

-do-

27

Kopal

2 women

-do-

-do-

28

Chinna

Palli (Ind.vati)

Mase Parso

Feb

05

35

Raped by 10 SJ goons and throat knifed. Saved by PLGA.

-do-

29

Idwada

Lakke

Caught by SPOs from Kotmeta and Jaggur. Raped by 15 goons. Kept & tortured in Bedre CRPF camp

-do-

30

Parkeli

Bheemi

Stripped naked by SJ goons.

-do-

31

Nungur

Jaini

Caught and raped by Rama and Jogal two SPOs from the village. Kept and tortured in Bedre CRPF camp

-do-

32

Kumme

meta

Budri

Gang raped by SPOs and police. Kept and tortured in Bedre CRPF camp.

-do-

33

Lanka

Two women being kept as sexual slaves in Bedre CRPF camp.

-do-

34

Ingmetta

Three women being kept as sexual slaves in Bedre CRPF camp.

-do-

3. List of women missing


No

Village

Name

Date

Age

Description

Srce

1

Ehkal

Phoolmati

15/11/05

Wounded taken away by police.

Missing. Possibly at Bangapal.

ICI

2

-do-

Saibo

-do-

-do-

-do-

3

-do-

Shamo

-do-

-do-

-do-

4. List of Women illegally detained

No

Village

Name

Date

Age

Description

Srce

1

Mankeli

Arti w/o Sannu

Somli w/o Poosam Chinna

In jail for two months but record shows 3 weeks.

ICI

2

Pedda Korma

Aiti d/o Budhru

Somli d/o Manglur Muria

In jail for 7 months but record shows 5 months.

-do-

5. Sexual violence in relief camps/CRPF camps

No

Camp

Village

Name

Age

Description

Date

Source

1

Bedre CRPF camp.

Idwada

Lakke

Caught by SPOs from Kotmeta and Jaggur. Raped by 15 goons. Kept & tortured in Bedre CRPF camp

ICI

Parkeli

Bheemi

Stripped naked by SJ goons.

-do-

Nungur

Jaini

Caught and raped by Rama and Jogal two SPOs from the village. Kept and tortured in Bedre CRPF camp

-do-

Kumme

Meta

Budri

Gang raped by SPOs and police. Kept and tortured in Bedre CRPF camp.

-do-

Lanka

Two women being kept as sexual slaves in Bedre CRPF camp.

-do-

Ingmetta

Three women being kept as sexual slaves in Bedre CRPF camp.

-do-

2

Bangapal

Ehkal

Phool

mati

Wounded taken away by police.

Missing. Possibly at Bangapal.

15/11/

05

-do-

-do-

Saibo

-do-

-do-

-do-

-do-

Shamo

-do-

-do-

-do-

3

Bhairam

garh relief camp

Ten women became pregnant. Dens used by police and paramilitary

Lehar

4

Vanga

Pad camp

Pleasure den for the police

-do-

5

Karkeli

Camp.

National

Park area

Some women who had fled due to continuous sexual harass ment and unbearable conditions were arrested, tortured and put back.

-do-

6

Jangla

Jangla

Korsa Munni,

Kalmu Jayyu,

Korsa Butki

SJ gangraped three activists, shifted them to relief camp and continued to rape them.

-do-

7

All camps

Mass marriages. Forcing girls to marry SJ goons and SPOs.

-do-

6. Violence in Police Stations

No

P.Station

Village

Name

A

Description

Dt.

Src

1

Bhairam

garh

Karre

Marka (On NH 16)

Gangraped by SJ and Naga police on 15th August. Dragged to Bhgh PS and raped for a week.

ICI

2

Mirtur

Kondam

Badri

Somli

Munni

Gang-raped and were marched bleeding and naked to Mirtur PS

1/9

/05

BG

3

Kotrapal

Six women were gangraped and tortured after shifting to PS

4

Woman in Jagdalpur jail

Her brother was shot. She was gang raped by CRPF and then taken to the local thana and repeatedly raped.

ICI

Signatories(team members):

Dr. Ilina Sen ( Researcher ,activist, CAVOW member), Sudha Bharadwaj,Advocate (Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha), C Vanaja, Journalist and film maker,Dr Bela Bhatia (researcher, activist, CAVOW member),Shoma Sen (Convenor, CAVOW),Ratnamala (writer)Devi (State Secretary, Stree Vimukti). Rinchin (MP Mahila Manch),Soma Mukherji (Nari Chetna),Devendra (Secretary, AP Chaitanya Mahila Samakhya),Sreedevi (CAVOW), Sharmila Sarkar, (Advocate, Bastar).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: