Posts Tagged ‘Akhil Gogoi’

NHRC moved over harassment of activists in Assam

June 20, 2012

Guwahati, 20 June: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken up the case of intimidation of, and police high-handedness on, the members of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and other organisations for their protest against the on-going construction of the lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power (LSHP) project in Lakhimpur district of Assam. Acting on a complaint filed by the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) the NHRC has a registered a case on the matter assigning case number 198/3/12/2012.

The BHRPC said in the complaint that the KMSS is a peoples’ organisation working for the realisation of democratic and constitutional rights of the people and for protection of the interest of the peasants in the state and claimed that the organisation and its members come within the ambit of the term human rights defender as understood in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders as well as NHRC Declaration on HRDs.

It was alleged that on May 11 2012, a team of police personnel attacked KMSS activists who were demonstrating peacefully at Ghagar in Lakhimpur district, and unleashed “inhuman atrocities” on them while at the time of filing the complaint 27 activists were also kept in detention and their makeshift camp at Ghagar in Lakhimpur district was dismantled by police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

It was also alleged that Lakhimpur district administration deployed around 300 special police officers to prevent activists from staging any protest which is, according to the BHRPC, a serious matter and in clear violations of the Supreme Court ruling in the Nandini Sundar and Others Vs. Union of India and Others.

The BHRPC urged the commission to take appropriate actions including 1. ensuring unconditional and immediate release of the members of the KMSS and other organisation who have been detained in connection with the protest against construction of the LSHP; 2. ensuring that the authorities and police allow the activists to stage peaceful protest against the construction including their stay in makeshift camps as the right to protest is a part of the right to freedom of expression; 3. ensuring initiation of legal actions against those members of both the state police force and the central reserve police force who will be found guilty by a prompt and objective investigation into the allegations of high-handedness against the activists; 4. recommending adequate reparation to the human rights defenders for physical and mental agony as well as financial loss caused due to police high-handedness; 5. ensuring security and safety of the human rights defenders and their families inAssamso as they can work in defence of human rights without fear of any reprisal; and 6. any other actions that is deemed appropriate to the Commission in the matter.

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NAPM demands release of anti-dam protesters and scrapping of all big dams

December 27, 2011

‘NAPM condemns arrest and harassment of anti-dam protesters in Assam’

DECEMBER 27, 2011

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) forwards this statement issued on 26 December by the NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS on ‘arrest and harassment of anti-dam protesters in Assam’.

New Delhi, December 26: Tonight at 2:15 am Assam Police in collusion with other security forces swooped down on the protesters at Ranganadi who have been blockading the Highway since December 16 and thwarting state’s attempt to carry turbines and dam materials to project site of Lower Subansiri Dam. Nearly 200 people have been arrested and earlier also security forces have been harassing the ptotestors. In past too, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti fighting against the big dams on Brhamaputra have faced government’s ire and often been attacked and jailed. NAPM stands in solidarity with KMSS and other students groups of the region who have been consistently opposed to the Big dams in highly sensitive seismic zone. We condemn the sustained action and harassment of KMSS and their activists and targeting of Akhil Gogoi for constantly opposing the destructive development policies and corruption of the government machinery.

For past few weeks there been a serious agitation going on against theAssamgovernment and NHPC. Thousands and thousands of people daily wage earners, farmers, school teachers, students, and others from middle class have been gathering at the protest site at Lakhimpur town.

The dam on river Subansiri at Gerukamukh is for the 2010MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Electric Project (LSHEP) under the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC). The project is scheduled to be completed by 2015, but a series of questions need to be answered about the big dams, like impact on agriculture, fishes, ecology, earthquakes etc.

The Assamese farmers have joined this movement spontaneously because they have learned from their experiences. Small hydro-projects have already taught them a lesson. For past several years, they have no cultivation as sand siltation had damaged their fields, sudden floods caused by the water released by the hydro-projects have led them to nowhere.

Even though a report by an expert committee comprising scientists from IIT Guwahati and universities in Assam have advised the government against mega dams in a tectonically unstable region, NHPC and Assam Government is hell bent on implementing the project. Arunachal Pradesh has at least 140 hydroelectric projects, big and small, in various stages of construction, together they will endanger the life of residents of people not only in downstream but in upstream as well.

NAPM urges the State and Union government to seriously look at the dam building in country in light of the ongoing controversy over the Mullaperiyar Dam, ongoing agitations against the big dams inAssam, Vishungadh-Pipalkoti HEP in Uttarakhand, Polavaram in Andhra Pradesh, and various dams inNarmadaValley. Dams as a technological tool for development, irrigation, flood control have been exposed. It is high time serious thought was given towards decommissioning of the dams rather than building more big dams.

We demand fromAssamgovernment that the protesters be released immediately and big dams inBrhmaputraRiverValley, Subasniri rivers be all together scrapped. Ministry of Water Resources in this regard should take the lead and stop planning dams in different states of North East in a highly active seismic zone.

Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey, Prafulla Samantara, Ramakrishna Raju, Vimal Bhai, Rajendra Ravi, Anand Mazgaonkar, Madhuresh Kumar

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

For and on behalf of BHRPC

Rights groups demand release of Akhil Gogoi

July 2, 2011
Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (5)

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (5)

About two hundred social activists and human rights defenders, representing 15 mass organizations working in Barak valley of Assam, gathered in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office of Cachar district at Silchar in a demonstration on 1 July 2011 to demand immediate release of Mr. Akhil Gogoi, general secretary of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Assam (KMSS). Mr. Gogoi was arrested by Assam police on 24 June, 2011 for his alleged role in the rioting of the landless protestors who were demonstrating against eviction drive of the government of Assam on 22 June, 2011 in Guwahati. The peaceful rally of the landless people who settled in the forest areas of the periphery of Guwahat turned violent allegedly at the provocation of the law enforcement officials. The police opened fire and killed 3 persons including a passer-by child. Many people sustained serious injuries.

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (1)

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (1)

The demonstration at Silchar called by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) along with other 15 mass organisations, who came together to fight against corruption and injustices in Barak valley including Asom Mozuri Sramik Union, Kishan Bikash Samiti, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Center for Integrated Rural Development, Chorus, Shwaviman, Srikona Club, Kalpataru Club etc., submitted a representation to the DC addressed to the Prime Minister of India demanding immediate release of Mr. Gogoi, prompt and impartial enquiry into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), payment of an adequate amount of money as ex-gratia to the family members of the deceased and adequate medical care and compensation to the injured.

The memorandum says that it is an act of violation of human rights to keep a person in custody or in detention without any conviction or any reasonable cause. The activists say, circumstances surrounding the incident and subsequent actions of the government indicate that the reasons for arrest of Mr. Gogoi is his work as the general secretary of KMSS. According to them, Mr. Gogoi is a prominent human rights defender, right to information activist and a crusader against corruption in the state. His human rights and RTI work and protest against anti-people and repressive government policies tend to expose the government before national and international communities and cause embarrassment. The government, therefore, wanted to muffle his protesting voice.

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (2)

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (2)

They claim that the government of Assam can not be trusted to conduct an impartial investigation into the matters. Because, according to them, Mr. Gogoi is being victimised by the same government. The incident of 22 June, 2011 must be thoroughly investigated by the CBI promptly and impartially. The memorandum further says that the investigation must encompass the roles of police officers and other law enforcement officials. Mr. Akhil Gogoi and any other persons must not be remain and taken in custody until and unless they are found guilty of offences in a trial consistent  with the International Human Rights Standards by an independent and impartial judiciary and based on the evidence gathered in an impartial and trust-worthy investigation.

Another separate memorandum has also been filed to the DC regarding anomaly and corruption in the survey and preparation of the list of people living Below Poverty Line, Public Distribution System and National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Neharul Ahmed Mazumder

Srecretary General

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (3)

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (3)

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (7) Handing over the memorandum to Mr. SK Das, ADC

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (7) Handing over the memorandum to Mr. SK Das, ADC

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (4)

Demonstration demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in Silchar on 1 July, 2011 (4)

BHRPC to hold demonstration on Akhil Gogoi

July 1, 2011

The Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) along with other fifteen mass organisations, which came together to fight against corruption and injustices in Barak Valley (Assam), including Asom Mozuri Sramik Union, Kishan Bikash Samiti, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Center for Integrated Rural Development, Choras, Shwaviman, Srikona Club, Kalpataru Club etc. will hold demonstration in front of the Office of the District Magistrate of Cachar at Silchar on 1 July 2011 to register their protest against unjustified arrest of Mr. Akhil Gogoi, General Secretary of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti by the Assam Police on 24 June, 2011 in connection with his alleged role in the incident of 22 June, 2011. The landless settlers in various forest areas on the periphery of the city of Guwahati held demonstration on 22 June, 2011 in protest against the government’s decision to evict them from their homes. The demonstration apparently turned violent on the provocation of law enforcement officials and resulted in death of three persons including an innocent child. Many other persons sustained serious injurious. The organisations will also file a joint memorandum to the District Magistrate addressed to the Prime Minister of India with copies to other authorities including the Chief Minister of Assam demanding immediate release of Mr. Gogoi, prompt and impartial enquiry into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and immediate payment of an adequate amount of money as ex-gratia to the family members of the deceased and adequate compensation to the injured.

BHRPC thinks it is an act of violation of human rights to keep a person in custody or in detention without any conviction or any reasonable cause. BHRPC believes, as the circumstances indicate, the reasons for arrest of Mr. Gogoi is his work as the general secretary of KMSS. Mr. Gogoi is a prominent human rights defender, right to information activist and a crusader against corruption  in the state. His human rights and RTI work and protest against anti-people and repressive government policies tend to expose the government before national and international communities and cause embarrassment. The government of Assam can not be trusted by the people to conduct an impartial investigation into the matters. Because, it is believed, Mr. Gogoi is being victimised by the same Govt.

The incident of 22 June, 2011 must be thoroughly investigated by the CBI promptly and impartially, because people still have some faith in this organisation. The investigation must encompass the roles of police officers and other law enforcement officials. Mr. Akhil Gogoi and any other persons must not be remain and taken in custody until and unless they are found guilty of offences in a trial consistent  with the International Human Rights Standards by an independent and impartial judiciary and based on the evidence gathered in an impartial and trust-worthy investigation.

Another Separate Memorandum will also be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar regarding corruption in Public Distribution System (PDS) of Food and Civil Supply Department.

28 June, 2011, Silchar, Assam

N A Mazumder,