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Dying the hope of encounter victims

By Gladson Dungdung

Mynews.in 15 November, 2007

Ten months old baby Himanshu was sleeping at home with his parents in the afternoon. When he woke up, he did not find his father forever. It would be an upheaval for him when he would come to know that his father was dragged out of his bed, shot dead by the cops and depicted it as ‘encounter death’. But what would be his reactions? Will he follow his father’s footsteps? No one can imagine exactly! Himanshu’s father and uncles had taken the path of revenge when their father was killed for delivering justice, and three of them were shot dead by the cops in a fake encounter. This is the painful story of Nawadaben Police encounter, where three brothers – Ramji Singh (33), Lakshman Singh (30) and Bharat Singh (28) were shot dead by the police on 25th of August 2006. But even after running from pillar to post the family members of three slain brothers are still waiting for justice to be delivered to them. Continue reading “Dying the hope of encounter victims”

General

Combating impunity in ‘the place of impossible’

By Gladson Dungdung

Mynews.in 14 November, 2007

Bihar is the most defamed state in India for killings, counter killings and the impunity practiced by the police. Nathnager, Bhagalpur incident of Police torture hit the Media headlines once again when the human rights committee of the Bihar Legislative council gave a clean chit to the cops involved in dragging of a petty thief behind their motorcycle; the entire country was shocked to witness it. Instead of uncovering the facts based on the human rights standards, the committee defined it for shielding the police.

The most startling fact is that the committee released its report within two months and the cops were made innocent despite of evidence. That’s why G.P. Dohre, the Ex-Director General of Police, Bihar calls the ‘Bihar as a ‘place of impossible’. Obviously it’s a great challenge to combat impunity in Bihar, where the society as a large supports police torture and also denies human rights without a second thought. Continue reading “Combating impunity in ‘the place of impossible’”

General

The Pain Of Instant Justice

By Gladson Dungdung

22 October, 2007 Countercurrents.org

Though Kerala state in India is known for total literacy, it was a horrible experience of the ‘instant justice’ for 40-year-old pregnant woman Jyoti and her two kids, who were stripped and beaten up by a mob accusing them of stealing a golden anklet of a child in the vicinity। The ghastly incident took place in a busy market of Edappal in Malappuram district of Kerala on 7th of October 2007, when a customer raised an alarm, saying her child’s golden anklets had been stolen. Soon after the incident, Tamil-speaking vagabonds were noticed outside the shop.

Suddenly a mob gathered, Jyoti and her kids were made to undergo a forced body search but the missing ornaments were not found on them। The angry mob began to attacking them, Jyoti even displayed her bulging tummy to her attackers pleading for mercy but they kicked and beat her mercilessly for 45 minutes. The kids were also treated alike. They were left on the road unattended for nearly an hour and a half. All three were seriously injured. As usual the police witnessed the incident as mute spectators and finally they took them to the police station instead of hospital to complete their quorum. The action was not taken against the culprits. Continue reading “The Pain Of Instant Justice”

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TORTURED STATE

 

A scene of the instant justice in Bihar
A scene of the instant justice in Bihar

By Gladson Dungdung

 

 “A study on custodial torture is revealing of what is wrong with Bihar’s governance”

At a time when the government of Bihar is trumpeting its achievements as good governance, the images of a mob led by policemen assaulting a petty thief in Nath Nagar in Bhagalpur, Bihar, shocked the entire country after it was shown on TV. To prove its commitment to good governance, the government took immediate action and punished the two policemen involved in the incident. But the Police Men Association and many senior police officers deny that the incident was a case of police torture and want the two dismissed policemen to be reinstated. They argue that the policemen tried their best to protect the thief but the crowd did not allow them to do so. Continue reading “TORTURED STATE”

General

Hunting Witches or Hunting Women?

By Gladson Dungdung

Combat Law

September – October 2004

It was a horrible night for Somri Hansda a sixty-year-old widow and Vahamay Kiskoo (40) of Mahuwasol village of Godda district in Jharkhand. They were killed by their own people… even Vahamay Kiskoo’s husband Parchana Tuddu had done nothing except filing a FIR. That night the villagers were happy because they had punished the ‘Dayans’ (witches). Instead of hue or cry the villagers applauded and danced till the two women (witches) breathed their last and their bodies were consigned to flames. It is the end of imagination. It is unbelievable and horrible. It is not a film script or fiction, not even a story from textbooks. It is a real life story of two Adivasi women. Adivasi women face such heinous forms of violence in each and every walk of their lives in their societies.

The miserable deaths of Somri Hansda and Vahamay Kiskoo began with villager Anant Tuddu’s suffering, from fever, headache and dysentery. Anant’s nine-year-old daughter, Sukhni dreamt that Vahamay and Somri were eating her father’s ‘Kaleja’ (heart). Sukhni narrated the dream to the villagers. The villagers called a meeting of the Panchayat on the night of 1st July 2003, which was attended by 250 people. Vahamay and Somri were dragged out of their homes and produced before the Panchayat. Murli Soren and Mahadev Tuddu acting as the ‘Panchs’ pronounced them witches. Consequently, the women were beaten to death by a group of 60 villagers and burnt down to ashes. Continue reading “Hunting Witches or Hunting Women?”

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Tribal Love :Rhetoric and Reality

By Gladson Dungdung

Indian Currents 9 May, 2004

Wooing voters by various means for electoral gains is not uncommon. This general election has witnessed some extraordinary features in campaigning. The leader of the NDA government, BJP, is the winner in the advertisement game. The party is in no mood to leave any loopholes for the opposition to manipulate. Its campaign began with India Shining-Bharat Uday and went on to Advani’s rath yatra, sari distribution and ended up focusing on its icon A B Vajpayee, the ‘driver of the development’. The party is putting all efforts to convince voters about its paradigm shift from caste politics and hardcore hindutava to development and betterment of all humans. Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis are being paid extraordinary respect by the BJP. Tribals, who had voted the party to power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh are getting very special attention. The party expresses its love by organizing special conferences, distributing cows and promising to ensure their rights over lands and forests. Continue reading “Tribal Love :Rhetoric and Reality”

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Forest Rights of the Adivasis

By Gladson Dungdung

Indian Currents 11 April, 2004

“Our people have lived here since the dawn of creation. We have never been the lords of the earth. The earth is our mother. We are all her children. We are the trustees of this land. It is our responsibility to see that the land continues to sustain future generations that we have not even imagined. This is our heritage. Then how can you, British, an alien race, declare yourselves the lords and masters of the forests that sustain us and give us life? How can you deny us entrance to the only home we have ever known? We will die before we accept this rule.” These are the brave words of noted tribal leader Tilka Manjhi during the colonial days. Today, these words are not only relevant but overwhelming in daily lives of tribals. They are resisting opperession, injustice and discrimination in every corner of the country. Continue reading “Forest Rights of the Adivasis”

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Human Rights: Wrong with Musahars

By Gladson Dungdung

Indian Currents 7 September, 2003

Forty-five year old Parvatia Devi, a resident of Danapur, sat smoking in front of her broken hut and desperately waiting not for social justice and dignity, but for the rains to stop so that she could go out for rag picking. This is the kind of life the Musahar community leads in ‘Garib Ka Raj’ (State governed by poor) Bihar, for whom liberty, equality, dignity and social justice is a distant dream, even after the fifty-five years of independence. ‘Mooshik’ is a Sanskrit word which stands for rat; Musahar literally means, “Rat eater”. The Musahar community was named after their vocation of hunting rats. The community is at the lowest rung in the social hierarchical order even among Dalit communities. Musahars are the worst victims of human rights violations in Bihar. Continue reading “Human Rights: Wrong with Musahars”

General

Sowing seeds of hatred in Adivasi’s land

By Gladson Dungdung

Indian Currents 17 August, 2003

“Adivasis have their own culture, customs, rituals, practices and religious beliefsThey do not come under the purview of Caste system and Chatur Varna system of Hinduism. Most of the Tribals are beef-eaters because beef is the cheapest means of nutrition available to them. Tribals do not engage Hindu Pandits or Brahmins to perform their rituals”.

The Hindutava strategy of trying to depict Adivasis as Hindus in Adivasi dominated areas of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and other states. Recently, Sangh Pracharak & former Chief Minister of Jharkhand Babulal Marandi claimed that Adivasis are Hindus and they worship Hindu Gods and Goddesses. He justified that ‘every one who had links with the Sindhu Ghati (Sindhu Valley) was a Hindu because the word “Hindu” derives it’s meaning from Sindhu’ (Prasad, 2003: 5). Backing support to the Babulal Marandi’s statements, the new guard of Jharkhand Arjun Munda stated that there are lots of similarities between Adivasi religion and Hinduism. Hindu Gods are worshipped in many Adivasi festivals. Back seat driver of Hindutava wheels Shankaracharya of Kanchi Swami Jayendra Saraswati also tried to establish that Adivasis were Hindu by his lecture on ‘tribal identity’, at Shri Ranisati Mandir Committee in Ranchi on 3rd June 2003 in the presence of Chief Minister Arjun Munda. Next day he even installed an idol of Lord Hanuman at Gumla. Continue reading “Sowing seeds of hatred in Adivasi’s land”