Invoking UAPA against rights activist in AP condemned

Can demand of justice for rape survivors be called ‘anti-national’? Can providing food and shelter to Adivasi women who have come from remote areas to depose in a criminal trial mandated by the law be a crime? The present allegation of ‘anti-national’ against VS Krishna of HRF (AP and Telengana) and other human rights and dalit rights activist by the Andhra Pradesh police has included a new chapter in the row of targeting activists. This is in continuation of central government’s attack on human rights activists, writers, filmmakers etc. throughout India with the same excuse. This is highly condemnable.

On August 20, 2007, in the undivided Andhra Pradesh, 11 Adivasi women, (two died subsequently) belonging to Kondh tribe of Vakapalli hamlet in the Nurmati panchayat of the Agency area, Visakhapatnam, were allegedly gang-raped by the Special Forces personnel at gunpoint.

The false allegation made by AP police against VS Krishna and others has come at a time when trial of Vakapalli incident is going on in the SC/ST Special Court (started in 2017 after 10 years of struggle of the victims) after direction of Supreme Court.

It has also come to the light that the AP police ‘was unable to trace the Duty Roster and the Armoury General Diary in the 2007 Vakapalli gang rape case’. Were those registers genuinely untraceable or were deliberately not being produced? Of 21 personnel gone in the search operation on that day, 13 personnel have been implicated.

In one of the FIR filed by the AP police has mentioned that Krishna of HRF was following the instructions of Maoists ‘how to depose of their (victims’) evidence in the court against the Police and also file false petition against the Police in the court.’

The GASS unhesitatingly say that the two FIRs filed by the AP police against Krishna and others alleging that they were ‘influencing the Vakapalli rape survivors to depose falsely against the policemen’ are patently false. Instead of investigating the allegation of rape and bringing culprits before the court, if the AP police invokes UAPA against the rights activists for their support to the survivors, then can it be called democracy?

It has been the role of human rights organisations to strengthen the voice of voiceless people and to work for getting justice for them. Had it been the incident in Odisha, the GASS would have been doing the same work what the HRF is doing in AP.

If seeking justice and helping rape survivors could be anti-national’, then can we say that poor women of our society would get justice? The Ganatantrik Adhikar Surakhya Sangathan, Odisha strongly demands that all these fabricated cases slapped against VS Krishna and others be withdrawn immediately.

Golak Bihari Nath, President
Deba Ranjan, General Secretary



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