In Kanhar valley people fighting against the illegal land acquisition and anti big dam protest were suppressed brutally by police firing on 14th an 18th April in district Sonbhadra UP. Various leading activists are languishing in Mirzapur jail including Gambhira Prasad, Rajkumari, Pankaj Bharati, Lakshman Bhuiya, Asharfi yadav.
They are being treated badly in jail even worst than a criminal. The district administration is taking full revenge from dalit and adivasi leadership and has openly said they will rot in jail for rest of their lives for leading the struggle against kanhar dam and not allowing the administration to take the possession of the land. Their bail is being denied from the local session court and neither they are allowed to meet anyone other their family members.
- Gambhira prasad was picked up illegally from Allahabad and he is in jail since 21st April 2015 – the entire case posted by AHRC is given below.
- Asharfi yadav and lakshman bhuiya were picked from Varanasi on 14th april when they had gone to admit injured Aklu Chero who was hit by bullet on his upper chest. These two were literally kidnapped from Sir sundarlal hospital where Aklu Chero was admitted in the evening of 14th april. Even Aklu was not informed of their where abouts. When the villagers and their family members started searching them after two days than DM sonbhadra informed Arundhati Dhuru, convenor NAPM that both of them are in jail. Police is filling case after case on these activists proving them dreaded criminals.
- Our leading activist Rajkumari has also been illegally arrested on 20th April 2015. She has been instrumental in fighting against the tyranny of Forest Department(FD) and has played an important role in implementation of Forest Rights Act in the region. The old cases that were filed by FD were invoked and she is also being denied bail. Whereas according to FRA the cases filed by FD was to produced as proof of their residence in filing their claims and these cases should have been dropped to undo the “historical injustice”. But Police administration is violating all laws and insulting our august Parliament by invoking all old cases and intimidating tribals and making their criminal history. Rajkumari health is in very bad condition, she is being harrassed in jail, not given proper food and jail authorities forcing her to work hard in that ill health.
- Pankaj Bharati a very young aspiring committed dalit activist in his early twenties and a panchayat mitra who has al through led the anti big dam peacefully was suspended by DM due to participation in movement activities and has been illegally framed with false cases. He is also languishing in jail and not allowed to meet anyone.
Mr. Prasad was abducted at 7 p.m.
on April 20, 2015, from Baba Chauraha in Allahabad District of Uttar
Pradesh immediately after he met with advocate Mr. Ravikiran Jain to
discuss a case that his organisation Kanhar Bachao Andolan has been
fighting. The case centers on imminent land acquisition and
displacement in relation to the Kanhar Irrigation Project in Sonbhadra
District. Local residents failed to foil the abduction of Mr. Prasad.
However, they succeeded in nabbing three of the abductors and took
them to the Cantt. Police Station. Cantt. Police informed them that
the abductors were none other than policemen from Sonbhadra. The
Cantt. Police proceeded to release the alleged Sonbhadra policemen
without demanding any identity papers from them.
CASE NARRATIVE:Less than a week after the police repeatedly fired at members of the
Kanhar Bachao Andolan (Save Kanhar Movement) in Sonbhadra, unknown
persons abducted one of the protest leaders, Gambhira Prasad, from
Baba Chauraha in Ashok Nagar locality of Allahabad at 7 p.m. on April
20, 2015. Mr. Prasad had gone to Allahabad to meet the lawyer fighting
cases on behalf of Save Kanhar Movement. Mr. Prasad was attempting to
get legal documents photocopied when the abductors struck. The
abductors, all dressed in civilian clothes, arrived in a Scorpio (a
sports utility vehicle) and tried to drag Mr. Prasad into the vehicle.
Locals present saw this and tried to foil the attempt. While they
failed to stop the abduction, they succeeded in nabbing three of the
seven abductors, and took these three to the Cantt. Police Station.
PUCL leaders also rushed to the Police Station to inquire about the
incident and the safety of Mr. Prasad. The Cantt. Police told them
that those nabbed by the people are policemen from Sonbhadra District.
However the Cantt, Police proceeded to let these men go without
demanding any identity documents to confirm that they were indeed
policemen from Sonbhadra District. The Cantt. Police conceded that the
Sonbhadra Police had not informed them prior to this operation, as
mandated by law, and that they had no idea of their presence in the
area. They further conceded that the action against Mr. Prasad was not
a joint one.
The Cantt. Police version exposes how the Uttar Pradesh police are
violating guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for making
arrests. It also gives rise to strong suspicion about the real intent
of the Sonbhadra Police, which has chosen to try and abduct a citizen.
The abduction might have been attempted to eliminate Mr. Prasad in an
extrajudicial killing. Such killings, following abduction, are a
routine practice law enforcers indulge in across India.
Because of public pressure generated in this case, the Sonbhadra
Police, who had abducted Mr. Prasad, had to bring him back to the
Cantt. Police Station at midnight. According to the most recent
information, the Police has taken him to Sonbhadra though it is
unclear if they obtained mandatory transit remand from a magistrate
for doing the same.
The Sonbhadra administration has been upset with Mr. Prasad for
leading protests against the Kanhar Sinchai Pariyojana (Kanhar
Irrigation Project) that commenced construction in 1980-81 but gained
momentum only in the latter half of 2014, when the state started
small-scale constructions on the riverbed.
The construction is in clear violation of the guidelines laid by the
National Green Tribunal, as the project lacks mandatory clearances
from the Ministry of Environment. It also lacks mandatory clearances
from the Central Pollution Control Board despite the project
authorities’ claim to have obtained an environmental clearance in
1980. This claim holds no water as the project requires a fresh
“Environment Clearance” under the EIA Notification, 2006, and also
a Forest Clearance under the provisions of Forests Rights Act, 2006.
The proposed project also violates provisions of the Land Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The project would require
acquisition of lands of at least 87 villages. And, several mandatory
procedures related to this acquisition have not been complied with:
project affected families have not been identified and the government
has not even initiated the process of consulting with the Gram Sabhas,
the consent of these village bodies being central for any such
acquisition under the 2013 law.
The people affected by the project have organized themselves as the
Kanhar Bachao Andolan and have lodged complaints with the National
Green Tribunal (NGT) over environmental and pollution clearances not
have been obtained. They have also filed a case with the High Court of
Allahabad against the proposed acquisitions.
After listening to the arguments, on December 24, 2014, Justice
Swatanter Kumar of the NGT issued an interim order staying all
construction activities until the project gets environment and forest
clearance as prescribed under law.
The administration has instead chosen to violate the order and has
gone ahead with construction, incensing the people who began a sit-in
in protest. The protesters assembled at the proposed dam site on April
14, 2015, where the police, allegedly, opened fire without any
provocation. The firing injured several protesters. Aklu Khairwar, one
of them, has suffered bullet injuries to his head and is struggling
for life in Banaras Hindu University Hospital in Varanasi District.
The police targeted the protesters again, this time in their villages,
particularly in Sundari, on the morning of April 18, 2015. It was in
this context that Mr. Prasad was visiting the lawyer who is arguing
the Andolan’s case in the High Court.
Pl write for unconditional release of Gambhira Prasad, Rajkumari, Pankaj Bharati, Ashrafi Yadav, Lakshman Bhuiya to following :
1. Mr. Rajnath Singh
Union Home Minister
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block
Central Secretariat, New Delhi – 110001
Fax: +91 11 23092979
National Human Rights Commission of India
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
Fax: +91 11 2334 0016
3. Dr. P. L. Punia
National Commission for Scheduled Castes
Floor 5, Lok Nayak Bhavan
4. Shri L.C.Goyal
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block
New Delhi – 110001
Fax: Fax: +91 11 23093003
6.. Mr Justice U K Dhaon
U P State Human Right Commission
TC-34, V-1, Vibhuti Khand,
Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
7. Shri Akhilesh Yadav
Fax: 0522 2236838
8.. Shri Alok Ranjan
Fax: +91 522 2239283
9. Shri Arvind Kumar Jain
DGP Uttar Pradesh
1, Tilak Marg, Lucknow
10. Shri Sanjay Kumar,
11. Shri Shiv Shankar Yadav
Superintendent of Police
District Magistrate, Sonbhadra,