People’s Union for Democratic Rights strongly condemns the cold blooded murder of Lalmohan Tudu, leader of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities by the Central Reserve Paramilitary Forces on February 23, 2010 at Kantapahari near Lalgarh.
It has been reported that Lalmohan Tudu was killed in an ‘encounter’ along with his relatives Yuvraj and Suchitra. The IG CRPF, Nageshwar Rao condoned the killing claiming that they were Maoists killed in exchange of fire. But other accounts claim that as he was at his house to meet his younger daughter, CRPF personnel called him out along with his relatives and shot them dead in front of his wife, daughter and mother. His body was then dragged to the nearby fields.
It has been extensively reported that Lalmohan Tudu was amongst top leaders of PCAPA and at the forefront of the adivasi movement in Lalgarh. Killing of Tudu reflects a desperate attempt by the government to ‘sanitise’, suppress and eliminate all the dissenting voices. A patterned and esoteric account of ‘encounter’ narrated by the police and the security forces hardly gives any credence to such stories. We believe that killing of Tudu and his two relative are part of the policy to annihilate leading members of the PCPA as well as CPI (Maoists) and instantiates blatant violation of fundamental rights as enshrined in the Indian Constitution as well as the procedures established by law. PUDR unequivocally condemns such cowardly acts and demands that a case under section 307 of the IPC be registered against the erring officers pending an independent inquiry to ascertain the facts and circumstances leading to death of Lalmohan Tudu and his relatives. PUDR has repeatedly pointed to Government of India’s propensity to conduct wars against its own people. Therefore, PUDR wishes to point out that if the Government is unwilling to engage in civilized forms of engagement, namely dialogue, then at least it should abide by civilized norms of warfare as enshrined in Geneva Convention and Protocol.
Moshumi Basu and Asish Gupta