Womenâ€™s groups write to human rights panel on sexual assaults in Bastar
The All India Democratic Womenâ€™s Association (AIDWA) and the Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM) has asked the National Human Rights Commission to initiate a process of district level hearings in the Naxal-affected Baster region of Chattisgarh where ordinary villagers can come and register their complaints and provide evidence on several instances of state repression and atrocities.
“”The NHRC is requested to take suo motu notice of the `state repressionâ€™ in Chhattisgarh and direct the government to disband and stop providing protection to illegal and unauthorised lumpen elements through organisations like the Samajik Ekta Manch and AGNI which has threatened to physically stop human rights activists from entering Bastar,â€™â€™ the AIDWA has said in a memorandum to the human rights panel.
While welcoming the National Human Rights Commissionâ€™s January 7, 2017 order regarding the rape cases of 16 women in Bijapur and Sukma, the AIDWA has also drawn the attention of the Commission towards several instances of assault by security forces and the SPOs which have gone unnoticed.
Some of these instances were recorded in the accompanying fact finding reports, which the AIDWA said, indepth investigation by the NHRC. The first report is by a fact finding team comprising of Prof Nandini Sundar, Prof Archana Prasad, CPI (M) Chhattisgarh Secretary Sanjay Parate, and Joshi-Adhikari Instituteâ€™s Vineet Tiwari entitled â€˜Caught in an Irresponsible War: State and Maoists both Responsibleâ€™ which was released in May 2016. The second report is by All India Peoples Forum entitled â€˜Bastar: Where the Constitution Stands Suspendedâ€™ released in August 2016.
The AIDWA and AARM have appealed to the NHRC to enquire into these cases and intervene to stop the atrocities of the security forces in Bastar.
A list of these cases and the memorandum was also submitted to the National Commission on Scheduled Tribes. The human rights panel on January 7 had come down heavily on the State Government and the security forces for as many as 16 sexual assaults on women by security forces.”