Posts Tagged ‘Protest’

Human rights bodies flay administration over Kaziranga eviction

October 30, 2016

502761-502700-kaziranga-protest-ani

Photo courtesy: Daily News and Analysis

KAZIRANGA, Oct 29 – A team of six members from different fields visited Bandardubi, Deosur and Palkhuwa areas near the Kaziranga National Park recently to understand the pathetic condition of the people who had been evicted by the Nagaon district administration on September 19.

 

The team was headed by Bondita Acharya from ‘Women in Governance and Human Rights Alert’. While speaking to this correspondent, Bondita Acharya said that the eviction was not done as per the law of the land. “It seemed to be selectively targeted at a particular community”, she said adding that agricultural products had been destroyed by the security forces during the eviction drive. She condemned the barbaric act of the police who did not even spare women and children. Acharya added that a school building had been occupied by the forces and the children of Bandardubi had been deprived of their basic education at primary level. She said that it was a gross violation of human rights, violation of the right to livelihood and violation of the Right to Education. A proper compensation and rehabilitation in terms of their education and livelihood were needed to be arranged by the Government before carrying out the eviction drive in the said areas.

“So the need of the hour is to initiate a thorough enquiry in this regard” she said. Prof Prasenjit Biswas from the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee, Silchar who was also a part of team which visited those evicted areas near Kaziranga National Park said that eviction was brutal and cruel and alternative arrangements should have been made by the Government authority before eviction, adding that they have put the cart before the horse. The other members were Hemen Bora, Padmalochan Nath and Ditumoni Gogoi.

Published in The Assam Tribune on 30 October, 2016 and is available online at http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=oct3016/state052

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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

People fast for repeal of AFSPA at Silchar, Assam

November 6, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Statement, November 02, 2011

People fast for repeal of AFSPA at Silchar, Assam

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

Silchar, 6 November 2011: Hundreds of people gathered in front of the district headquarters at Silchar, Assam on 5 November, 2011 and demonstrated peacefully while observing symbolic fast for the day from 9am to 5pm in solidarity with the nationwide Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA campaign and to mark 11th year of epic fast by Irom Sharmila Chanu in demand of repeal of the draconian law called the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958. The event was organized by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), Human Rights Organisation, Cachar, (HRO). Apart from the members of some other social organizations such as Kishan Bikash Samiti, Banskandi, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Assam Majuri Shramik Union, COPE and others many lawyers, journalists, teachers, artists and cultural activists also participated.

Many community leaders, social workers, journalists, teachers and lawyers addressed the gathering and explained what is AFPSA, how it is affected our lives and why it needs to be immediately repealed. Every one who talked expressed his/her profound respect to Sharmila, her determination and sacrifice and urged the people to rally behind her until the bad law goes. Some of the speakers narrated some cases of indiscriminate killing, barbaric torture, inhuman treatment of the civilians by the members of the armed forces ofIndiain Barak valley, other parts of North East India andJammu and Kashmir.

Sadique Mohammed Laskar, joint secretary, BHRPC, opened the talk by welcoming the hunger strikers. He informed the gathering that this movemenr has become a worldwide phenomenon now and we are a part tat larger agitation against state repression and corporate loots. Womens rights activists and poet Snigdha Nath recited a Bengali version of the poem titled Imprisoned in Democracy by Musab Iqbal. Reputed lawyer and activist Mr. Imad Uddin Bulbul talked at length about the violence in North East, its reasons and particularly it impact on the day to day lives of common people. He also condemned violence by non-state actors. BHRPC secretary general Neharul Ahmed Mazumder discussed how the AFSPA takes away fundamental rights to life, liberty and human dignity enshrined in the constitution. Waliullah Ahmed Laskar, a prominent human rights defender in North East India, talked about politics of the AFSPA and other draconian laws and said such laws and policies are based on racism and fascism. He also brought our the lack of legality in the law by showing procedural and substantial deficiencies in the AFSPA. M Shantikumar Shingh said that it is hopeful that the people of Barak valley joined the movement, it does not matter that they did it after 11 years. Thirthankar Chanda laws are actually used to repress the voices of activists who protest against corruption, exploitation and corporate loot of natural resources jeopardizing environment and livelihood of the masses. President of Cachar Human Rights Organisation Mr. Irabat Shingh showed how AFSPA is misused and abused by narrating many cases of human rights violations.

Others who addressed the gathering include reporter Dilip Shingh, convener of All Barak Students Association Baharul Islam Barbhuiya, publicity secretary of Assa Meira Paibi Organisation Meiragnloi Devi, secretary of the Silchar Press Club Mr. Shankar Dey, Monir Uddin Laskar, Herajit Shingh, Reba Nath, Bikash Das Purakayastha, Arup Baishya, Dipankar Chanda, Pijush Das, Dayanand Shingh, Lili Devi and others. Everybody urged they central government to repeal the AFSPA and other draconian laws and seek the political solutions for the political problems. They also unanimously wanted to make the movement stronger and more widespread. After the fast was broken BHRPC submitted a memorandum addressed to the prime minister of Indiaurging him repeal the AFSPA.

For more information contact:

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC)

Mobile: 09401942234

Email: wali.laskar@gmail.com

Rongpur Part IV, Silchar-9

Assam, India.

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

Fasting Against AFSPA at Silchar on 5 Nov. 2011

BHRPC to observe fasting and demonstration for repeal of AFSPA

November 2, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Statement, October 02, 2011

 

BHRPC to observe fasting and demonstration for repeal of AFSPA

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), a voluntary organization for human rights working in Assam, in co-operation with Cachar Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) is organizing a one day symbolic fast and demonstration from 9am to 5pm on 5 November, 2011 in front of the district head quarters at Silchar (Assam, India) in demand of repeal of the draconian law called the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in solidarity with the nationwide campaign of Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA to mark the 11th year of epic fast of iconic human rights defender and poet-journalist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur.

The AFSPA is a piece of colonial legislation which gives the armed forces of India unfettered power: (i) to use lethal force even to the causing of death on civilians on mere suspicion that they may cause breach of any law or order, (ii) to search any dwelling places by breaking them on mere suspicion without warrant and (ii) to arrest people without warrant and to keep them in custody for unspecified time and the Act also bars the judiciary to question any acts of the armed forces operating under the Act in areas declared disturbed under the Act. The Act is in force in parts of North East includingAssam for more than five decades and a version of the Act inJammu and Kashmir for more than two decades. The Act violates the spirit and values of the Constitution of India, universally accepted human rights standards and democratic norms. Government appointed committees including the one chaired by Justice Jeevan Reddy also found the Act undesirable and unambiguously recommended for its repeal.

Actions taken under the Act caused hundreds of extra-judicial killings, rapes, torture, enforced disappearances putting the people living in the AFSPA affected area under terror, affecting normal governance and defeating democracy. Civil society groups across North East and from the other parts of the country advocating and agitating for repeal of the Act. The most emblematic protest has been carrying out by Irom Sharmila who has been on hunger strike since 5 November, 2000 in demand of the repeal of the Act. She is continuously arrested and re-arrested on charges attempt to commit suicide and forcibly fed through a nasal tube by the prison wardens.

BHRPC urges the people of the region to participate in the symbolic fast and demonstration of 5 November, 2011 in solidarity with Irom Sharmila and Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA campaign in demand of repeal of the Act and investigation of human rights violation allegations.

For more information contact:

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

M: 09401942234,

Email: wali.laskar@gmail.com

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC)

Rongpur Part IV, Silchar-9,

Assam, India

BHRPC condemns attack on anti-AFSPA campaigners

October 20, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BHRPC Statement, October 20, 2011

 

BHRPC condemns attack on anti-AFSPA campaigners

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) is shocked at the reports of attack on the campaigners against the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) and strongly condemns the incident and the anti-democratic fascist mindset displayed by the attackers on the peaceful protestors.

It is reported that when a large number of students mainly from the North East Indian states joined the Save Sharmila Solidarity Group at the north campus of Delhi University as a part of the Srinagar-to-Imphal Yatra demanding repeal of the AFSPA miscreants created nuisance at the rally pelting stones and tomatoes. Several students sustained injuries due to stone pelting.

It is also alleged that in spite of information provided, theDelhipolice arrived late in the scene and did not make any arrest of the alleged attackers but instead denied permission to hold the peaceful rally any further.

It is to be mentioned that the 4,500 km longSrinagar-to-ImphalYatra is being carried out to make common people aware of the draconian, anti-democratic and anti-human rights provisions of AFSPA applicable in the North Eastern states andJammu and Kashmir. The rally is being joined by several social activists of national fame such as Medha Patkar, Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey, National Alliance of People’s Movement leader Faisal Khan, Irom Sharmila’s brother Irom Singhajit and Parveena Ahangar of the Association of Disappeared Persons.

BHRPC believes that the attack is a blatant violation of, and an assault on, the basic fundamental rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly committed with tacit support of the police. The incident displays the discriminatory attitude, anti-democratic and fascist mindset of the authorities and a section of the people towards the North Eastern people. The AFSPA is the legislative embodiment of that attitude and mindset. Both the attitude and mindset, and the statute is dangerous for democracy, rule of law and human rights inIndia. They do not have a legitimate place in a democraticIndia.

BHRPC urges the authorities to take appropriate actions under the law against the alleged attackers and make arrangements for the protection of the human rights defenders campaigning against the AFSPA.

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC)

Guwahati,Assam

20 October 2011

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,

People fast for Jan Lokpal at Silchar, Assam

June 8, 2011

People fast for Jan Lokpal at Silchar, Assam

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011

Silchar, 8 June: Sixty five persons did not take food for the whole day from 8am to 4pm on 8 June, 2011 and they along with others sat on protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office at Silchar, Assam to express solidarity with India Against Corruption movement and to denounce the unnecessary and excessive use of police force that led to injuries to about 70 protestors against corruption at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi in the early hours of 5 June, 2011.

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011 (2)

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011 (2)

These people represented Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) and other 20 mass organizations working in Assam, particularly the southern part of the state known as Barak valley, including 1. Asom Majuri Shramik Union, Silchar, Cachar; 2. Krishan Bikash Samiti, Banskandi, Cachar; 3. Sanmilito Sanskritik Mancha, Silchar; 4.  Centre for Integrated Rural Development (CIRD), Srikona, Cachar; 5. Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Silchar, Cachar; 6. Ever Green Society, Silchar, 6. Nari Mukti Sangstha, Silchar; 7. SrikonaClub, Silchar; 8. Chorus, Drama Organisation, Silchar; 9. SC, ST Student Development Forum, Assam University, Silchar; 10. Tarapur G.P. Bachao Committee, Tarapur, Silchar;12. Manipuri Diaspora, Silchar; 13. Mukta Sena (Club), Silchar; 14. COPE (NGO) Silchar; 15. Gono Bikash Sangstha, Assam, Silchar; Kalpotoru Club, Rongpur, Cachar.

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011 (3)

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011 (3)

Mr. Neharul Ahmed Mazumder, secretary general of BHRPC, spoke at length about corruption in India and ways of fighting it. He said, ‘the Jan Lokpal Bill is a small but very significant and necessary step in the struggle against corruption. Corrupt elements in the government and corporate world are desperately trying to kill the bill, according him. Mr. Biswajit Das, secretary, CHORUS, and Mr. Nirmal Kumar Das from Asom Majuri Shramik Union condemned the police action at Ramlila terming it as violations of basic human rights of the people and urged the people to come out against such repressive actions of the government wherever and in whatever form may they happen.

In a statement issued by BHRPC on 7 June the organization said, “The struggle against corruption can not be separated from the struggle for a democratic India that respects human rights and the rule of law. It is simultaneously a struggle against privatisation, against neo-liberal policies, against draconian laws like AFSPA and the sedition law, against state crackdowns on dissenting voices and against corporate dictation of government policies. It is simultaneously a struggle to defend the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the country.”

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011 (4)

People of Barak valley fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Silchar on 8 June, 2011 (4)

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BHRPC denounces crackdown on anti corruption protest

June 7, 2011

Press Statement

For immediate release

07 June, 2011, Silchar

 

BHRPC to fast to denounce crackdown on anti corruption protest

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) strongly denounces the unnecessary use of brutal police force that led to injuries to about 70 protestors against corruption at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi in the early hours of 5 June, 2011, and demands a prompt and impartial investigation into the incident. However, BHRPC does not share, like many other human rights organizations, the political, social and economic vision of Swami Ramdev and considers many of his demands and rhetoric as highly objectionable and ill-advised, but feels that everybody should stand for all others’ right to peaceful protest, freedom from torture and ill-treatment and right to life.

 BHRPC also condemns the prohibitory orders by the Delhi police under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) under the jurisdiction of New Delhi district with a view to disrupt the announced peaceful protest and fast by Anna Hazare and activists of the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement on 8 June, 2011 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

 In solidarity with IAC, members of BHRPC along with other 20 organisations will fast on 8 June, 2011 in Silchar (Assam) in solidarity with the nationwide movement against corruption led by Anna Hazare and other movements against violations of human rights, repression and injustices. BHRPC urges the people of Assam, particularly the residents of Barak valley, to join the country in protest against repression of people’s voices by force and in demand of an effective anti-corruption institution under the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill.

 BHRPC considers that the use of force must be in accordance with the strict necessity to uphold peace and human rights. The right to life and freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and right to freedom of the thought and expression which includes right to dissent and right to protest are enshrined in the constitution of India as well as provided in international human rights law and standards, including in treaties binding on India, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by the country in 1979. These cannot be violated by the government as has been done in this case.

 BHRPC has been witnessing with concern the increasing tendency of excessive use of force and highhandedness of the governments in dealing with peaceful protest against injustices and anti-people government policies throughout the country including opening fire on the protest against nuclear power project at Jaitapur, Maharastra killing one; deployment of heavy police force against the villagers opposing forcible land acquisition for the POSCO project in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa; illegal arrest of Akhil Gogoi, secretary general of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti in Guwahati, Assam on 10 April, 2011 while addressing a press conference.

 BHRPC believes that the struggle against corruption can not be separated from the struggle for a democratic India that respects human rights and the rule of law. It is simultaneously a struggle against privatisation, against neo-liberal policies, against draconian laws like AFSPA and the sedition law, against state crackdowns on dissenting voices and against corporate dictation of government policies. It is simultaneously a struggle to defend the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the country.

Neharul Ahmed Mazumder

Secretary General

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People of Barak valley march against corruption

May 1, 2011

People of Barak valley march against corruption, demand Jan Lokpal Bill

A still from the street play of CHORUS presented before the peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-1)

A still from the street play of CHORUS presented before the peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-1)

 Hundreds of people came out in the streets of Silchar in Assam today in support of the campaign against corruption launched nation-wide by India Against Corruption and marched about 4 kilo meters along the heart of the city from below the statue of Shaheed Khudiram at Dakbangla to below the statue of Netajee Subhash Chandra Bose at Rangirkhari point. The march started at about 5pm after a street play by CHORUS, a local drama organization. People were holding placards written in both English and Bengali and shouting slogans.  Some of the placards read ‘we condemn smear campign against the Bhushans’, ‘down with vilification campaign against the civil society’, ‘repeal sedition laws and enact the Jan Lokpal’ repeal repressive laws/AFSPA and enact the Janlokpal’, ‘destroy the corruption cartel of big corporations-politicians and bureaucrats’, ‘stop corruption in broad gauge project’ etc.

les' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-1)

les' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-1)

 The march was organized by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) along with other 20 odd local organizations including 1. Asom Majuri Shramik Union, Silchar, Cachar; 2. Krishan Bikash Samiti, Banskandi, Cachar; 3. Centre for Integrated Rural Development (CIRD), Srikona, Cachar; 4. Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Silchar, Cachar;  5. Cachar Jamiot Ulema Hind; 6. Ever green Society, Silchar, 7. Nari Mukti Sangsta, Silchar; 8. Srikona Club, Silchar; 9. Chours, Drama Organisations, Silchar; 10. SC, ST Student Development Forum, Assam University, Silchar; 11. Tarapur G.P. Bachao Committee, Tarapur, Silchar; 12. Student Democratic Forum, Assam University, Silchar; 13. Manipuri Diaspora, Silchar; 14. Mukta Sena (Club), Silchar;15. Swabhiman, Silchar; 16. Minority Student Forum, Assam University, Silchar; 17. COPE (NGO) Silchar; 18. Gono Bikash Sangtha, Assam, Silchar.

 The event started at 4pm with a very compact and beautiful street play presented by CHORUS. The play showed how inequality of power and unaccountably of those who wield the rein breed corruption and injustices that do not spare any one and eventually eats up those who initially got benefit from the situation. It was a story of two beggars. One is blind and another is limp. But the limp one was more powerful and got corrupt.

A still from the street play of CHORUS presented before the peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-2)

A still from the street play of CHORUS presented before the peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-2)

 “People of Barak valley came out in streets in hundreds to demands an effective Jan Lokpal at the centre”, said Neharul Ahmed Mazumder, secretary general of BHRPC. He added that corrupt forces of the country were shaken to see the recent outpouring of public outrage against the corruption and they launched smear campaign against the Bhushans and other civil society members in the joint committee formed by the government to draft a Lokpal Bill. “We wanted to send a message that the civil society members do not eed to be distracted by the diversionary tactics as people from the remotest of the corners of the country are with them.”

 The joint statement of the organizers said, “In Assam there is already a Lukayukta (State Ombudsman) in existence since 1989 constituted under the Assam Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act, 1985. However, its existence is only in papers. Legally it is ineffective and practically dysfunctional. Corruption in Assam is, by no means, lesser in amount of money involved or its effect in defeating the rule of law and justice than what is happening in the rest of the country. Assam needs to amend its Lokayukta Act in line with the Jan Lokpal Bill, as it will be shaped in its final version, to make it effective.

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-2)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-2)

 “Moreover, corruption needs to be fought in other fronts also. A strong and effective Lokpal can only provide deterrence and disincentives for corruption by investigating and prosecuting the corrupt officials and politicians. Thus, it can only check the supply side of corruption. There is a huge demand of corruption from giant corporations that came into existence due to the privatization of essential services and natural resources under the name of liberalization. It is not possible to curb corruption without changing the government policies.”

The march ended at about 7pm at Rangirkhari point.

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-8)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-8)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-7)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-7)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-3)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-3)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-4)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-4)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-5)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-5)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-6)

Peoples' march against corruption in Silchar, Assam on 1 May 2001 (image-6)