In the Eye of the Storm: Women in Jharkhand Facing Operation Greenhunt

August 18, 2011

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This investigation by Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), a non-funded group, follows a similar publication by the same group on the assault on Adivasi women in Orissa, published previously on Sanhati – Ed.


Introduction to the current investigation

There have been several reports/ allegations of police and other security forces inflicting brutal violence on villagers during their anti-Maoist operations in areas under Operation Greenhunt, including rape and sexual violence against women, which rarely, if at all, get reported. To give just one instance: an earlier investigation by WSS revealed the case of a 17-year old from Gajapati, Orissa, who was picked up during a combing operation in February 2010 and subjected to gang-rape and is languishing till date in jail. In a pilot visit to Jharkhand we were told of news reports of rape by security forces in Jharkhand in some areas where there was large deployment of security forces, which had not been sufficiently investigated.

At the same time in March 2010 there were news reports from Jharkhand of a young Maoist woman being raped by Maoists and then shot at when she filed a complaint (Teen girl who alleges rape by Maoist shot at – The Times of India). In May 2010 there were news reports of rape by Maoists of a surrendered female Maoist cadre, who was in police custody .

Several WSS members strongly felt that there should be an objective investigation into these reports. While we are well aware that the state and the media tend to turn the story of many women who are arrested as a source of information of sexual violence against women within the cadre, we are keen to make sure that we do not dismiss it entirely but investigate and see for ourlelves the context in which this happens. We assume women are prone to violence in conflict situations by the state, police and army, but also in the various other situations that conflicts impose on their life, safety and mobility. And we assume that this can happen within organisations or mass movements. But given the atmosphere of conflict, intense repression, intimidation and misinformation, we felt that such news needed to be investigated.

It is against this background that a team of women visited Jharkhand from 12th to 16th November 2010. The objective was (i) to look into above mentioned specific news reports of rape; and (ii) to get an understanding of the overall situation of women in the Operation Green
Hunt areas of Jharkhand, with specific attention to sexual violence. On 11th November, in Ranchi, we heard of the arrest on 30th October of three minor school-girls from an encounter site in Khunti district, presented in media as women Maoists and hardcore Naxalites (news report in Annexure 2.) The team decided to first look into these arrests.

This report is in four sections. Section I reports arrest of the three minor school girls in Khunti district, the action initiated by WSS by lodging a complaint with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), and subsequent release of the girls in January 2011.

Section II describes the facts and issues around violence on women during search / combing operations by security forces.

Section III reports the investigation into the news reports of the two incidents of alleged rape by Maoists.

Section IV raises some concerns and issues relating to the situation of women in areas of conflict.

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is a non funded grassroots effort started in November 2009, to put an end to the violence being perpetrated upon our bodies and societies. We are a nationwide network of women from diverse political and social movements comprising of women’s organizations, mass organizations, civil liberty organizations, student and youth organizations, mass movements and individuals. We unequivocally condemn state repression and sexual violence on our women and girls by any perpetrator (s).

1 Comment »

One Response to “In the Eye of the Storm: Women in Jharkhand Facing Operation Greenhunt”

  1. utsav roy Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 00:22

    2 seperate nations are existing within 1 state….we dare t call us independant….

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