Andhra Pradesh – Statement condemning the abduction of APCLC activists at Hyderabad

July 16, 2012

Statement from Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee

In the early morning between 4.30 and 5.00 AM on 16th july Mr. Narayanrao, Hyderabad APCLC Unit Secretary and another activist MR.Hanumantarao along with 15 persons, who are the relatives of the deceased in the recent Chintlanar massacre were abducted by the Police near Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station in Hyderabad. Mr. Naryaanarao went to the Bus Station to receive the tribes and help them to reach Raipur to attend a meeting against the Bijapur killings to be held on 17th July. Worried about their missing and doubting the hand of the police the APCLC members went to the Afjulgung Police Station and enquired about the incident. But the police replied that they did not arrest any one from Bus Station. Apprehending danger to the lives of APCLC activists and others a delegation met the Home Minister, Sabita Indirareddy and brought to her notice about the abduction. After three hours the Home Minister confirmed the arrest but did not disclose the place of detention. However, the police belatedly confirmed arrests and said, they need some time to interrogate the arrested persons but refused to inform the place of detention. We suspect that the police may torture and use third degree methods.

We believe, firstly, that the arrests are made in the back drop of the recent visit of CDRO fact finding team to three villages in Bijapur district for an inquiry in the massacre of tribes and releasing a report to the press which made it public the barbarity of the CRPF and other Paramilitary forces and the cold blooded murder of Adivasi people. Secondly, it is to prevent people from attending Raipur Meeting on 17th July. Thirdly, the principal intention behind the abductions is to terrorize APCLC and Adivasis and to and to keep silent on the recent massacre. It is also a police strategy to prevent rights associations from knowing truth through fact finding enquires. The Apex Court has in quite a number of its decisions reiterated the right to know is a fundamental right and form part of freedom of speech and expression. Hence, the arrest of rights activists and Adivasis is to throttle the voice against the state lawlessness and particularly the recent genocide of tribes in Chattishgarh

We therefore strongly condemn the abductions of rights activists and request all the rights organizations to express solidarity and support to our struggle for their release.

Prof. S. Seshaiah
APCLC