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nandini-sundar
Dr Nandini Sundar

We the Undersigned, strongly condemn the absurd charges of‘criminal conspiracy and murder’ against highly respected academics and social activists by the Chhattisgarh police in the case of murder of Shamnath Baghel by unknown persons on 4th November.

None of the following named in the FIR – Dr Nandini Sundar, Head of the Department of Sociology, Delhi University; Dr Archana Prasad, Professor, JNU; Vineet Tiwari of the Joshi Adhikar Sansthan;Sanjay Parate, Secretary, CPM, Chhattisgarh and Manju Kawasi of the CPI – were anywhere near the spot of the killing of Shamnath Baghel. Implicating them for this heinous crime only smacks of sheer vendetta by the police against them for daring to enquire into human rights violations in the state as part of an independent fact finding team.

The Chhattisgarh police’s action is further indication of the undeclared Emergency that has gripped the nation and the harassment of bonafide human rights activists and citizen’s groups trying to protect the fundamental Constitutional rights of ordinary citizens. In particular the Chhattisgarh Inspector General of Police SRP Kalluri seems to have embarked on a mission to prevent the rest of the country from scrutinising the many illegal actions of his forces against innocent tribal populations in the state as part of his war against Maoist extremism.

We have always believed that the use of violence by both the state authorities and those opposed to them are both wrong and any lasting settlement to the conflict in Chhattisgarh can only be brought about through political negotiations between all parties involved. Fact finding teams, like the one the academics and activists were part of, are critical to enabling such dialogue for a peaceful resolution and any assault on them is a threat to both peace and democracy.

We demand that the Chhattisgarh government immediately intervene to drop the arbitrary inclusion of names of completely unrelated persons from the current FIR filed in the Baghel murder case and instead launch a proper criminal investigation to apprehend those really responsible.

Tanika Sarkar
Sumit Sarkar
Zoya Hasan
Achin Vanaik
Pamela Philipose
Rahul Govind
Aruna Roy
Nikhil Dey
Shabnam Hashmi
Apoorvanand
Satya Sagar
Snehsata
Shankar Singh
Dilip Simeon
Kumar Rana
Arshad Ajmal
Manindra Thakur
Radhika Singha
Ravi S. Vasudevan
Chitra Joshi
Sangeetha Dasgupta
P.K.Dutta
Manisha Sethi
Dipak Dholakia

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The state repressive machinery has become notorious for torture of adivasis and the human rights activists supporting adivasis struggling for upholding the constitutional rights to life and liberty. The activists and Maoists are being made to suffer for opposing corporate plunder. They are being slapped with addition charges. This is regrettable. Supreme Court should issue orders to stop them from harassing activists who are working for the welfare of the people, specially adivasis and rural dalits.