Letter to President on Brutal Killing of 8 Tribals by the Security Forces

Sri Pranab Mukherjee
President of India,
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi – 110004

Sub: requesting for a high level judicial inquiry, legal action and fixing accountability on the case of brutal killing of 8 Adivasis/Tribals by the Security forces in an alleged encounter took at Aarespeta village of Bijapur district in Chhatisgarh.

Dear Sir,

1. I would like to bring your kind attention on the above said subject that eight Adivasis/Tribal people namely (1) Pandu, (2) Bahadur, (3)Joga, (4) Komu, (5) Punam, (6) Somu, (7) Lakhmu and (8) Karam Masa, all are resident of Aaresmpeta village comes under Ganglur police station of Bijapur district in the state of Chhatisgarh were brutally killed by the Security Forces at 9:30 P.M. on 17 May, 2012 at Aarespeta village in an alleged encounter took place between the Security Forces and the Maoists.

2. The incident took place when the Tribal people were celebrating the Seed Festival at night. All the villagers including women and children were also present in the festival. The Security forces reached to the spot and fired on them assuming that they were Naxals. According to Village heads – Sri Taram Lakhmu and Taram Budhru, there was no Naxal amongst those who have been killed by the security forces. They also stated that the villagers were celebrating seed festival when all of sudden without any signal, the security forces fired on them. Consequently, 8 Adivasis/Tribals including three children got killed in the massacre and 22 of them are missing whose whereabouts are not known till now. In the incident, one Jawan died and two were injured, which is result of the cross firing among the Security forces.

3. The village heads – Taram Lakhmu and Taram Budhru have also stated that in the police firing four persons including two minors namely Renu aged 10 years and Punam Samlu aged about 15 years and Taram Aaytu and Soni Taram have been injured who are in serious condition. It is also a matter of great concern to know that it took almost two days for the state government to admit the four seriously injured villagers for medical help at Jagdalpur hospital where as a number of Ambulances are available. These Adivasis/Tribals were innocent people and not the Naxal but the Security Forces killed them in cold blooded murder and these kinds of massacres are being repeatedly taking place in the state of Chhatisgarh, which is known as so-called emerging state in terms of economic growth at the cost of Tribals. On 28 June, 2012, in a similar incident 17 Adivasis/Tribals of Kottaguda, Sarkeguda and Rajpenta village of Bijapur district had been killed by the Security Forces.

It is a clear case where the State has not only failed to protect and ensure the Constitutional, Legal and Traditional rights of the Adivasis/Tribal people but it has sponsored the crime against the Adivasis/Tribal people of Chhatisgarh instead. Obviously, it has been repeatedly done with the clear intention to promote and protect the interest of the Corporate Houses, who have singed hundred of MoUs with the Chhatisgarh Government for mining projects, power plants, steel projects, etc, therefore, the Government has been attempting to clear the land by killing, exploiting and eliminating the Adivasis/Tribals.

Since, you are the custodian of the Adivasis/Tribal people constitutionally, therefore, I humbly request you for the following legal actions:

1. A high level judicial inquiry should be done on the case of brutal killing of 8 Adivasis/Tribals and exploitation of other Tribals by the Security Forces.

2. A case of murder should be registered against all the officers and the security personals who were involved in killing and exploitation of the Adivasis/Tribal people. They should be dismissed from the jobs and arrested immediately.

3. The family members of all 8 deceased persons should be compensated with Rs. 25 lakh per family along with a government job.

4. The wounded victims should also be compensated with Rs. 5 lakh each with free medical support.

5. The Adivasis/Tribals of Chhatisgarh should be provided full security by the Indian Government.

6. Dr. Raman Singh the Chief Minister of Chhatisgarh should be dismissed from the post of Chief Minister because he has failed to enforce and protect the Constitution of India and the Laws of the Land in the state of Chhatisgarh.

7. The anti-Naxal operations should not be carried out in the Adivasi/Tribal villages without prior information and permission of the Gram Sabhas.

8. The forceful land acquisition must be enforced and the MoUs signed without consent of the Gram Sabhas must be cancelled.

9. The Constitutional provisions of 5th Scheduled Areas, PESA Act 1996, FRA 2006 and local land laws must be enforced in the State.

10. A common law should be introduced by the Indian Parliament for the safeguarding of the Adivasis/Tribal People of the 5th Scheduled Areas across the 9 states of India.

I hope you’ll understand the pains, sufferings and agony of the Adivasis/Tribals of India. I shall be highly obliged to you for the same.

Thanking you.

Yours sincerely,
Gladson Dungdung
General Secretary,
JHRM, Ranchi.

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