Chhattisgarh: report of police brutality on villagers in Kukanar

November 30, 2014

received from Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group

Police and security forces had entered the villages of Chhote Tongpal and Jangampal on 26.11.2014, beat up several villagers including elderly women, and dragged away 26 men to the police station in Kukanar, without giving any reasons for their detention. The next day, 11 men were released but the remaining 15, including several who are possibly underage, were charged with participation in Naxalite crimes. Three of these men also reported to the magistrate that they had been beaten with lathis by police in custody.

The police at Kukanar thana have not yet registered an FIR regarding the beating up villagers and dragging people to the thana without providing any reason. On 27.11.14, for a long time none of the villagers or their lawyer were allowed to enter the Kukanar thana which was locked from inside and on being asked about it we were informed that they had orders from above to lock the thana. Finally, Soni Sori, Parijata and few villagers were allowed to enter the thana and after long delays the thana incharge accepted the written application of the villagers narrating the beating of the villagers of Chote Tongam, Jangampal, Suleras, Tomaras and Pedaras by the security forces on the morning of 26.11.14 and the picking up of 26 men from the villages. Throughout, the time the police kept employing dilatory tactics and finally said they will enquire into the matter and took the application but have not registered an FIR. The police then proceeded to record the statement of two women Jimme w/o Sukka and Hidme w/o Ayata from village Jangampal. Both the women categorically stated that they were beaten by the police when they tried to ask them why they were taking the men from their family. The women stated that at the time of the arrest both of them kept telling the police to provide them a reason behind arresting their sons and husband and kept telling the police that the men were simple farmers. Both the women reported of being beaten by bamboo sticks on their thigh and in Hidme’s case even the knee and stated there is bruising and swelling. Hidme also mentioned of a difficulty to walk. The women stated they followed the police and saw them taking the men into the thana. Jimme’s husband and son were picked up but the son was released later and the husband arrested, while in Hidme’s case two of her sons were picked of whom one has been released and the other arrested.

The police have not yet done the MLC of any villager despite being provided a list of 25 people who have been injured. The delay on part of the police implied that it was evening by the time the statements of the two women were registered and the police suddenly remembered that Sukma government hospital has no woman doctor and stated that the women would have to be taken to Dantewada. Though, within few minutes they stated that they would take the women to Konta which is several hours away from Kukanar on a very bad road. We have stated that the women are willing to be examined by a male doctor at Sukma and need not be taken to Konta but have not received any reply from thana incharge who stated that he needed to run it past his superiors. The police despite having all information regarding the injured villagers and also being informed about the brutal beating of three women who are now unable to eat are delaying the medical examinations. Delay in this case might lead to the wounds being healed.

Kuknar Update as of 19:07 on 28.11.14

The MLC of 10 women and 2 men have been conducted. Many of the injured are elderly women ranging from the age of 45 to 55 years. Some of the women are unable to even walk. Among the injured, one woman named Bhime has been badly beaten in her hands and the after the X-ray the doctor on a preliminary look has noted that the wrists seem to have been dislocated, this needs to be confirmed by an orthopedic doctor. Another villager was also referred for an X-ray but his report is not yet back. The doctor has noted in all cases the injury appears to have been caused by a hard blunt object and also recorded the presence of contusions, abrasions and tenderness in several cases. He has noted that the injury was caused 36-48 hours ago. Though, at time he seemed unwilling to examine the women properly despite their written consent to being examined by a male doctor. Thus, while the women were willing to have injuries in the upper thighs examined the doctor seemed to only do a superficial examination for it.

Tomorrow, the villagers who had their MLC done will be going to the thana to get their statements recorded.