Saturday, May 27, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

BURNING LIVES IN BARKAGOAN VILLAGE: A NON-VIOLENCE STRUGGLE TO PROTECT FERTILE LAND- A STRUGGE TO SAVE HUMAN DIGNITY



BURNING LIVES IN BARKAGOAN VILLAGE: A NON-VIOLENCE STUGGLE TO PROTECT FERTILE LAND- A STRUGGE TO SAVE HUMAN DIGNITY

India- A group of vulnerable villagers are being forcefully displaced in the district of Hazaribagh, located in the state of Jharkhand. These people primarily are minorities, backward caste, and their villages (thirty five villages in eight blocks in Hazaribagh) are deeply affected (traumatized) by police firing and state violence.

Issue- Forceful land acquisition (on negligible lower rates) from backwards, minorities and poor villagers by State, police and NTPC; Displaced person being victimized instead of providing livelihood.
                                                                                                    17th May 2016, Jharkhand 

Dear friends,

A NTPC power plant is being built in the area of Chatra, located in the district of Hazaribagh of Jharkhand state- obviously they require coal to function the plant. For this purpose a contract has been allocated to extract coal to Thriveni Earthmovers and Sainik Mining.  And coal will be extracted from Barkagaon village in Hazaribagh. Concerned land is very fertile and considered life line of villagers since villagers are able to grow many crops within a year.  Smell of gudhe (a sugar cane product) from this village is well known. Thus, villagers are reluctant to sell their land, and have been protesting and staging a non-violent movement against forceful land grabbing.

Villagers blame government who is forcefully grabbing their land without their consent through gram sabhas, as is mandatory under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Meanwhile process of coal extraction has been speed up. Since 2004 the local people are proactive and united to protect their lands from these companies. In order to protest, on 15th September, 2016, affected villagers under the leadership of M.L.A Nirmala Devi started KAFAN SATYAGRAH, non – violent Gandhian struggle in the Dadi Kala on Barkagaon village.  After few days of the protest on 1st October, 2016 the police did firing in which four villagers were killed and more than 20 injured.

1.      On 2nd October, 2016, a police case registered against the unknowns vide Barkagaon PS case no. 228/16 under section 147, 148, 149, 341, 342, 323, 324, 325, 326, 307, 332, 333, 353, 188, 427, 109, 224, 337, 338, 120 B. The complainant is ASP Kuldeep kumar.

2.      On 17th May, a police case registered against the unknowns vide Barkagaon PS case no. 135/16 under section 147, 148, 149, 341, 342, 323, 332, 333, 337, 353, 153 AA, 307, 120 (B), 407, 504. The complainant is Executive Magaistrate, Sadar, Hazaribaghh.

3.      On 30/07/16, a police case was registered against the party leaders and 450 unknowns for entering the mining area vide Barkagaon PS case no 178/16 u/s 143, 109, 186, 447, 34 u/s 57(3) of Coal Mines Regulation Act and u/s 46(8) of Mines Act. The complainant is the NTPC Manager.


On 28th January, 2017, a team from People Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) and Sangram Samiti went to assess the severity of situation in affected area (by police firing and violence) in Hazaribagh- an incidence in which many villagers have lost their lives. Combined team of NGO have provided psychological and social support to fifty one victims. Although this incidence of police violence has been widely reported in media, however, a visit to the affected area was considered necessary in order to have clearer picture of the situation. Some people, after receiving compensation- due to the fear of police- run away from the village and some-to save their lives-left without anything. However, what is more painful is that women-who are senior citizens-have to take shelter in agricultural fields. They are living in fields due to the fear from police but still have continued their struggle. People in large numbers, are participating in this struggle. Since government is forcefully grabbing their lands thus villagers are compelled to struggle for justice.

Irony is that, rather than helping villagers political parties are indulged in blame game among themselves. Affected villagers- families of Dalits, women, children, and minorities have been deprived from their minimum human rights. There is lack of security, protection and rehabilitation efforts.   I want to draw your attention towards India as a State of emerging corporate fascism https://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/india/session_27_-_may_2017/pvchr_upr27_ind_e_main.pdf

Silencing the voice by bullets-

Government authorities and NTPC administration has breached all moral limits on the 16th Day of Satyagrah andolan- in order to dismantle the villagers andolan, police indiscriminately opened fire killing and wounding helpless villagers including children and women. Some children suffered bullet shot while going to coaching institute, some men and women received bullet wounds while working in agricultural field. Many villagers suffered bullet injuries on head, chest and badly wounded. In this painful incident, many mother has lost their children, some have lost their loved one. Humanity has lost humane touch in this shameless event.

Narrative of victims-

Name- Majdan Khatun.  Age- 70,   Village- Chepakhurd, Post- Chipakala,  Police station- Badakagao,  District- Hazaribaghh (Kodrma, Jharkhand),  Name of my husband is Muhmmod Ali. I am Muslim. My economic situation is very poor. Somehow we are surviving. It was truly painful to lose my child during Kafan Satyagrah. I never knew I would lose piece of my heart in such a manner.      

I remember the unfortunate day, when my 27 years old son, Mehtab was shot dead by police while returning to home after natures call. I remember our peaceful Satyagrah andoln was going on; then- in order to stop andoln- police opened firing. We were at home at that time. Some people from my village informed me that my son has been shot. I was shell shocked. Our family went to search for my son. There was absolute chaos everywhere in the village. People were running to save their lives. There were voices of cries. My husband, who was crying, went to police to inquire about my son, but they did not respond. After sometime, my husband was able to find the dead body of my son; His body was in police van. When my husband demanded my son’s body, police men told him to get lost otherwise he will be shot too, police ignored my husband’s plea to return the body of our son and they took his body for post-mortem.

Next day, when my son’s body bought to home, we were all full of sorrow and sadness; there was feeling of gloom everywhere in our home. All villagers have assembled in front of our home. We have lost our senses on seeing the dead body of our young son. Our daughter-in-law was shell shocked. We did not know what to do. Villagers helped us to bury the body of our son.

I never imagine losing my young son in front of my eyes- in such an old age. If police have provided him timely medical treatment he would have been saved; his children would have never lost their father. I feel sorry and pity when I see my son’s children. How they are going to live; how I am going to spend life. I had sleepless night and constantly worry just thinking about the uncertainties about the future.  

Horn of police-vehicle: enough to scare women in village-

Women in village are so scared hearing any sound of vehicle they run away towards agricultural field; even if some journalist come to meet them, these women do come out of their home fearing the terror of police violence. Only when journalist assured women about their professional identity then they come out to meet them. Those who dared to talk to journalist, are terrorized and traumatized by the terror of police; they say their lives are in danger and most of them are injured; and some of them have lost their lives; even some of the bodies could not be traced [shot during the police firing].    

Narrative of the victim

Name- Mujija Khatu- wife of Rakeeb Ansari, Age- 50 years
Village- Dandi Kala, Post- Chipa Kala, Police station- Badkagaon, District- Hazaribagh

This extremely poor family has to go through the horrors and trauma of police violence- event after police firing. In order to break the unity of protestor and supporters of Satayagrah andoln, police attacked on their home in night and outraged the modest of their women.

I sat on the Satyagrah andoln on that day, in the night and day. Rest of my family members were at the home. During the night, around 10-15 policemen started beating their lathi against my door. When my son opens the door, they started abusing him; some of policemen begin to through our household stuff; when protested by my son police threatened him to shoot; afterwards my daughter and daughter-in-law came to help my son; police also hit them on their private parts with their stick; while they were crying and asking for help police said, “the more you will cry more we will beat”.

Upon hearing such news from villagers, I ran towards home; when I saw police men at home I ran towards the field thinking that if I’d seen by police, I will be shot, too. I went to home after police left; I get shocked when I saw horrible situation of my children; their clothes were torn, they were bleeding and there were bruises were all over their bodies; they kept crying and were traumatized; households stuff were scattered; food and ration were thrown by police; when I saw outside of my home some women [who also suffered police beatings] were crying and running due to police terror. Some of them have bruises on their head while some suffered injury in their internal organs; their clothes were torn.

We could not protect our land; we lost our homes, too. I feel extreme sorrow and sadness when I see the situation of my home. We live under constant fear thinking that police could raid our home anytime and would destroy our property and beat us.    

Fifty homes in Chepakhurd did not cook meals- days of gloom –

After the tragic death of Methab Ansari in police violence, in his village Dadi Kala in Chepakhurd, people are in state of state of gloom and sadness. In order to morn his death, in fifty home, people did not cook their meals. They are fearful of police atrocities. Savitri Davi who has lost her son during the police violence, said, “they took our land and life of my son too... now where shall I go?  ­

Same situation has prevailed in Sonbersha village, where Abhishek kumar roy (son of Pawan kumar roy) killed by police bullet. His family including villagers are still in state of shock. People are in a state of anger against government and police. Situation like these have dominated in the affected areas of land grabbing.

An utter disregard to Indian Constitution by the administration-
Who are held to be responsible for these atrocities? Does Constitution give the licence to administration to oppress people in their home for one month- by intruding into their homes; misbehaving and sexually oppressing women and girl? It is indeed very sad state of affair and shame that administrative machinery has hurt women in a manner that that they are unable to show their internal injuries to anyone. Not only pregnant women were hurt in police violence, but also, officials of NTPC has sexually exploited women and girl on the pretext of offering job. Due to the shame, victims were unable to share their ordeal with public.

Another police victim
Mohammad Mehtab, age- 30 years,   Father- Moh. Muzzam,  Village- Chepakurd,  Ranjan kumar Das, age- 17 years, Father- Pawan kumar, village- Sonbersa. Parent of Moh. Mehatab were shocked to see dead body of their son. His brother, Alim also expressed his anger on merciless killing of his brother. He said he brother used to work in Badakagaon Duraga mandir temple; he came home in night at 11 pm; he was shot by police when he was returning home in morning after natures call.

People were beaten in closed room-
In Hazaribagh town hall, there was public grievances meeting related to Coal extraction was organized. Some people were beaten in closed room. These people were demanding the implementation of rehabilitation and compensation policy. Coal Company threatened those who were not ready to accept their offer. Police also threatened to beat dissenter in closed room.     

Depressive situation in Badkagaon-
After the police firing incidence in Badakagaon, for months people hardly dared to venture out on the main streets and road (due to fear of police); heavy police petrol in day and night been increased.  Whole village has been transformed into a police barrack.

People migration due to the fear of police-
After the police firing incidence, people in Dadi kala, Badakagaon is full of anger and sadness; affected people are started migrating to another place. People claimed that if they stay in village, police may implicate them in false cases. They said they are afraid that police might enter their home again to beat them. Due to fear of police some people hide into their-home most of the time. Among those who are migrating are mostly men from Dadi Kala (of Badkagaon) and Chirudeeh. 

Sadar Hospital was full of cries of people-
Jibriel Ansari, who was injured due to police violence claimed that police oppressed and beat innocent people. He said, “M.L.A. is on strike since last fifteen day; in order to vacate andoln sthal (place) police fired upon us; I couldn’t even barely wake up and I was shot in the back. Government has riddled our heart with bullets.

Police firing without warning-
Injured Amit Das informed us that when M.L.A was taken by police, also some villagers joined her, and then suddenly police fired upon on them.

Police kept firing –
Vikas , who was injured in police firing informed that, “we were sitting in protest near the mining area, suddenly police arrested M.LA. When people protested, police started firing.

Loosing livelihood has deeply affected people’s lives-
Due to the police violence and oppression, affected people and their families are on the verge of starvation.  State, administration and NTPC, by grabbing their land have forced them to starve. One villagers complained that his children has to starve for many days, had to eat stale food, “we don’t have money to feed our children; those are injured don’t have money to receive medical treatment and sent their children to school”.   

Required immediate attention-
There is urgent need to hold those responsible for police firing. Political parties need to stop blame game and shall not try to seek advantage out of this tragedy. There is immediate need to heal the wounds of victims and restore their dignity. For the sake of human dignity and honour-without any discrimination- affected people are required to provide long term rehabilitation and psychological support.

List of people killed and injured in police firing:

S. no
Name
Age
Address
detail
1
Pawan Kumar
17 years
Vill: Sindhuaari, Post – Chepkalan, Thana: Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Dead in police firing
2
Rajesh Kumar
17 years
Vill: Dandikalan, Post: Chepkala, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Fracture in leg
3
Alijan Miya
18 years
Vill: Chepakhurd, Post: Chepakaln, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Bullet firing in hand
4
Siti Devi
70 years
Vill: Dandikalan, Post: Chepkala, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Bullet firing in hand
5
Mehtab Alam
30 years
Vill: Chepakhurd, Post: Chepakaln, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Dead in police firing
6
Amir Khusro
34 years
Vill: Dandikalan, Post: Chepkala, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Bullet firing in hand
7
Ranjan Kumar
17 years
Vill: Sinduwari, post: Chepkalan, Thana: Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Dead in police firing
8
Mohammad Jibraiel
25 years
Vill: Kanki Dandi Kalan, post: Chepkalan, Thana: Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Broke the hand
9
Jahudi Ansari
43 years
Dandi Kala, post: Chepkalan, Thana: Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Beaten till half dead
10
Sukari Devi
37 years
Vill: Dandikalan, Post: Chepkala, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Beaten by lathi on head and fainted
11
Vikas Kumar
26 years
Vill: Dandikalan, Post: Chepkala, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Bullet fired in right leg
12
Rameshwar bhuiya
70 years
Vill: Dandikalan, Post: Chepkala, Thana- Barkagaon Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Broken hand with lathi beating


Please send your letter in the favour of victims for the demands given below:
1.      A justice inquiry commission shall be established to probe into police firing in the affected area of Hazaribaghh where people are being  displaced  for NTPC power project
2.      Displaced person must be adequately compensated and their consent must be taken before their land acquisition
3.      Legal cases must be filed against police responsible for firing and violence; victims of forced eviction, dead and injured must be adequately compensated.

Address:

Hon’ble President
President of India
Rastrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi, 110001, India

The prime minister,
Prime minister of India,
South Block, Raisina hill,
New Delhi-11011, India
Tel- +91-1123012312
Fax- +91-1123012312/23016857
Email: pmosb@nic.in

The Ministry of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block,
Central Secretriat,
New Delhi-110001

The Chairperson,
National Human Rights Commission,
Manav Adhikar Bhawan,
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA
New Delhi-110023

The Minister,
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment,
Sardar Patel Bhawan Sansad Marg
New Delhi- 110 001 India
Fax: +91- 11 23742133

Chief Minister,
Government of Jharkhand,
Chief Minister Office
Kanke road, Ranchi
Tel: 0651- 2281500

Director General of Police
Jharkhand