People’s Union for Democratic Rights, PUDR, welcomes the Union Government’s decision (March 31, 2022), to significantly reduce the ambit of disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). According to news reports, this decision will be effective in 15 police stations in seven districts of Nagaland; in 15 police stations in six districts of Manipur; and wholly in 23 districts and partially in one district in Assam.
People’s Union of Democratic Rights (PUDR) strongly condemns the Maoist attack in Dantewada in which BJP legislator Bhima Mandavi, three security personnel travelling with him and the driver of the vehicle have been killed. Carried out yesterday, two days before polls begin on 11.04.19 in Chhattisgarh, the incident is a serious attack on democratic institutions and processes. Election boycott is part of Maoist ideology and they uniformly boycott elections and campaign for others to do so.
People’s Union for Democratic Rights expresses outrage over the terrorist attack in Pulwama which killed over 40 CRPF personnel on February 14, 2019 and expresses condolences to the families of the deceased. However, the aftermath of Pulwama has shown rising attacks on Kashmiris in different states, a situation which is extremely worrisome and dangerous, despite a notification advisory by the Home Ministry to all states to ensure the safety of Kashmiris.
Between the 5th and 7th of May 2018, a combined fact-finding team of 40 members from the Coordination for Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO), Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) visited the district of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra.
On May 30, 2018, the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed a status report before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar regarding the case of sexual favours that Major Gogoi of 53 Rashtriya Rifles sought from a local Kashmiri woman, on May 23, 2018. The police claimed that it was a case of ‘consenting adults’ as the woman was 19 years old and that neither she nor the Hotel staff, which had prevented their stay, had filed a complaint.
The joint rally by the Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM) and BJP in Kathua on 14th February 2018 demanding the release of SPO Deepak Khajuria, arrested in connection of the abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in January 2018, has brought to the fore the blatant communal politics of the BJP-HEM combine. And, since the Congress is not ready to be left behind, Kathua is fast becoming a communal tinderbox.
PUDR welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court to examine a plea filed by the family of five civilians killed in a fake encounter in Pathribal, Kashmir in 2000. The notice issued by SC follows the closure of the Pathribal case by the Army and the refusal of the J&K High Court last year in admitting the petition of the victims’ families challenging the closure of the case. The apex court has also given liberty to the petitioners to mention the matter for early hearing.
PUDR strongly condemns the commendation conferred on Major Leetul Gogoi by none less than the Army Chief for taking Farooq Dar hostage, tying Dar to the front of his jeep allegedly to ward off attacking stone-pelters, and then driving around for several hours to warn people that a similar fate awaited them. The incident where Dar was used as a human shield occurred in Budgam district in Kashmir on 9th April 2017. The award has brought to pass what the Punjab CM, Capt. Amarinder Singh had vociferously advocated on 20th May.
Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) denounces Government of India and its Law officer for being parsimonious in their espousal of wisdom. Ignorance of law is not counted as an excuse or exonerates a citizen from being prosecuted for commission of a crime.
Peoples Union for Democratic Rights condemns the Army chief Bipin Rawat’s statement made on 15th February warning Kashmiris who “create hurdles during (Army) operations” that they will face “harsh action”, calling them “over-ground workers of terrorists“, and equating stone pelters and flags of Pakistan and ISIS as acts of “terrorism” carried out by “anti-nationals”. This announces a step up in repression, widening the crackdown beyond militants and as a result the blood count is bound to rise.