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Cops harassing Adivasis for info on Maoists: HRF

Cops harassing Adivasis for info on Maoists: HRF
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Visakhapatnam : The Khammam police are brazenly flouting the law and are hounding Adivasis by way of 'bind-over' proceedings while in search of...

Visakhapatnam : The Khammam police are brazenly flouting the law and are hounding Adivasis by way of 'bind-over' proceedings while in search of Maoists and their supporters, alleged Human Rights Forum (HRF).

In a release here on Tuesday, HRF General Secretary V S Krishna said a four-member HRF team visited several villages in Cherla and Dummugudem mandals in Khammam district on Sunday. All these are totally Adivasi villages located on the border with Chattisgarh. Some are tribal villages and others are hamlets of immigrants from the troubled areas of Chhattisgarh.

The common complaint in all these villages is that the police are asking Adivasis to come to the local police station to attend what are described as 'bind-over' proceedings. These are proceedings under Sec. 107 CrPC. These proceedings are to be conducted by the Tahsildar or RDO and not the police, Krishna said.

Setting aside the procedure, he said the police are collecting signatures or thumb impressions of the Adivasis on blank papers on which something is later written or typed. They are told that they have been 'bound over' and have to come whenever directed by the police. They may be asked to report on a particular day every week or once in 10 days. They are made to sit in the police station for a whole day, sometimes well into the night. They are also made to clean utensils, clean up the premises and do various other chores for the police.

The number of persons who have been subjected to such 'binding over' proceedings is a minimum of 10 in almost every village, including even minors and the aged. In Puligundala village of Devarapalli panchayat in Cherla mandal consisting of 67 households, 56 persons have been bound over. In Kondevai village, also in Cherla mandal, 25 persons have been bound over. This village has just 27 households.

In Mulakanapally village of Dummugudem mandal, a total of 28 Adivasis have to report every Friday at the police station. They have been doing so for the past four years. Failure to appear even once invites serious consequences like beating by the police. This is nothing but mass harassment, Krishna said.

The HRF demanded that a high-level investigation be ordered into these illegalities being committed by the police. Those responsible for torturing Adivasis must be charged and criminally prosecuted, it said.

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