Bastar – Fake encounter of a young tribal boy Arjun Kashyap: Writ petition by JagLAG

January 30, 2018

Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JagLAG):

An unarmed adivasi young man Arjun was forcibly picked up by the police from his house on the night of the 15th August 2015 and killed in cold blood by the security forces.

Arjun was a 19 year old young man, who was already battling false charges of being a naxalite in a case in which he was arrested in May 2015. We were representing him in that case. He was granted bail by the Juvenile Justice Board in December 2015. Since then he had been present continuously in the Juvenile Justice Board for his case hearing. He even was present in his case hearing which just 20 days before his encounter. And yet Police after killing him claimed that he was an absconding naxalite who had a bounty of 3 lakh rupees on his head. Arjun was a school-going boy when he had been arrested in 2015, who had passed his 9th standard in 2013 after which he filled the form to give exam for his 10th boards but was unable to owing to health issues. He was intending to finish his 10th class but couldn’t as a result of his false arrest in 2015. After the encounter

(https://www.newslaundry.com/2016/08/17/is-chhattisgarh-polices-hardcore-naxalite-just-an-innocent-kid)

After the cold-blooded murder of Arjun, his father alongwith other family his family members were threatened and intimidated by the police to not file any complaint. The two sisters of the deceased were forcibly picked up by the police, shown as surrendered naxalites and forcibly detained at the Livelihood College. His father has also been picked up various times and beaten up, threatened, and even offered land and job in exchange of keeping silent. As a result of the continued harassment by the police, the family of the deceased had to relocate to another village.

Synopsis of Petition

This Petition pertains to the brutal and extra-judicial cold blooded killing of Petitioner No.1’s Son, Arjun Kashyap/ Madkami s/o Sulo Kashyap, r/o Chandameta, Darbha, District- Bastar aged approximately 18 years, by police and security forces, on the pretext of an anti-Naxal operation.

On August 16,2016 Bastar police claimed that a Maoists’ Jan-Militia commander, Arjun, was gunned down by Composite forces of security forces, which included DRG (District Reserve Group), STF (Special Task Force) and district force, in the forests of Chandameta under Darbha police station limits of the district on 16th August 2016, morning after an hour-long gunbattle with the Maoists. They claimed that the deceased Arjun had been involved in three major incidents – triggering an explosion on a government ambulance in 2014 in Kamanar that left seven dead, including five jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force, the murder of a former village sarpanch of Koleng in May 2015, and the killing of a villager from Kandanar village in August this year.

The Petitioner is the father of the deceased and vociferously disputes this police version and contends that an unarmed adivasi young man Arjun was forcibly picked up by the police from his house on the night of the 15th August 2015 and killed in cold blood by the security forces. The petitioner claims that Arjun was a 19 year old young man, who was already battling false charges of being a naxalite in a case in which he was arrested in May 2015, after which he was first illegally detained at Jagdalpur Central Jail and then kept in the Juvenile Home, Jagdalpur. He was granted bail by the Juvenile Justice Board in December 2015. Since then he had been present continuously in the Juvenile Justice Board for his case hearing. Arjun was a school-going boy when he had been arrested in 2015, who had passed his 9th standard in 2013 after which he filled the form to give exam for his 10th boards but was unable to owing to health issues. He was intending to finish his 10th class but couldn’t as a result of his false arrest in 2015.

The petitioners further submit that after the cold-blooded murder of his son he alongwith his family members were threatened and intimidated by the police to not file any complaint. The two sisters of the deceased were forcibly picked up by the police, shown as surrendered naxalites and forcibly detained at the Livelihood College. The Petitioner has also been picked up various times and beaten up, threatened, and even offered land and job in exchange of keeping silent. As a result of the continued harassment by the police, the family of the deceased had to relocate to another village.

This case highlights not only a brutal murder of a young adivasi boy but also the complete breakdown of the law and order situation in Bastar. Hence, the Petitioners pray for an independent judicial inquiry into this cold blooded murder, additionally disciplinary proceedings be taken against the errant officers and their superiors and monetary compensation to the family of the deceased. Further, the petitioners seek directions by the court to the Police and security forces to ensure his the safety and protection, amongst other things.

Full Report with Timeline:

Available here [PDF]

Full Petition:

Available here [PDF]