The custodial killing of an adivasi in newly formed Sukhma District of Chattisgarh is yet another reminder of the lawlessness which prevails in Chattisgarh’s Bastar region.
Reportedly, Pudiyami Mada a 26 year old adivasi died in Sukma Police Station on 13thJanuary. While the CRPF claims that arrested him on 13th January and handed him over to the police the very same day. The four arrested police personnel, who were suspended, allege that Mada was arrested on 9th January by the CRPF brutally tortured in the CRPF custody, by pouring petrol on his private parts and setting it on fire, before he was handed over to them.
The crime of Puydiyami Mada was that he was accused of being a Maoist commander by the police. Such accusation is all that is needed for authorities to sanction custodial torture including one which culminates in death. That this has happened in Chattisgarh, which is being monitored by the Supreme Court for a number of instances of human rights abuses by the security forces lends it a cruel twist. It goes on to suggest that where a hyped up ‘security-for –development’ becomes the reigning deity security forces acquire impunity and egregious violations, including of ‘right to life’, become imminent.
Peoples Union for Democratic Rights has for long campaigned against impunity provided to the armed forces personnel in areas where military suppression is going on. Therefore, we demand a time bound judicial probe in the incident to fix individual and institutional culpability.
Paramjeet Singh and Preeti Chauhan