Human Rights Forum (HRF) was formed in October 1998 with a strong understanding that violation or denial of rights arises in all situations of structured oppression and inequality and the democratic aspirations arising from all such situations, and resistance to such oppression, whether organized or not, whether collective or isolated, are equally important for the Rights movement: theoretically, practically and organizationally.[ Read More → ]
Press Release 30-6-2015
The Human Rights Forum (HRF) views with extreme concern the precarious health situation in the Agency region of Visakhapatnam district. We call upon the government to rush medical and health personnel to the 11 mandals in Visakha Agency so as to prevent adivasis succumbing to cerebral malaria, gastro-enteritis, TB and typhoid. Health personnel have to be at least doubled in the Agency mandals and they must be recruited on a permanent basis. Importantly, it must be ensured that they remain in the Agency and carry out their duties. Unless a meaningful and concrete medical intervention takes place, HRF fears that there might be a general outbreak of falciparum malarial epidemic like the ones that claimed thousands of adivasi lives in the Visakha Agency in 1999, 2005 and 2010.[ Read More → ]
Press Release 1-6-2015
The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the CCL Products (India) Ltd, located in Duggirala mandal of Guntur district, be immediately closed till such time the industry fully complies with environmental standards. The CCLP (India) Ltd industry manufactures a diverse assortment of instant and soluble coffee.
A fact-finding team of the HRF visited several villages in Tenali and Duggirala mandal to look into widespread concerns of residents in the area about pollution from the CCLP (India) Ltd. We were shocked to see for ourselves the utter brazenness with which the industry is flouting environmental protection norms.
The death of 25 persons on April 7 in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana (TS) in alleged encounters has led to much disquiet across the nation. However, the police averment that the killings are the result of “firing in self-defence” is in serious doubt.
Seshachalam: In respect of the Seshachalam killings, the highest number killed in any single “encounter” in these two States, we were pleasantly surprised by the NHRC’s direction to the Andhra Pradesh government to constitute an inquiry by a judicial first class magistrate under Section 176 (1A) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The Commission has also asked the government to submit the names of all police and forest personnel of the Special Task Force who were involved in the alleged encounter. The AP police were also cautioned against tampering with any evidence or documents and were also asked to keep all weapons used by the STF and by those killed in safe custody.
The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the police personnel who participated in the alleged encounters on the Warangal-Nalgonda border in Telangana and the Seshachalam forest near Tirupati in Chittoor district of AP resulting in the death of 25 persons today be booked under IPC 302 (murder) and other appropriate sections and criminally prosecuted. The criminal investigation into both the cases must be handed over to the CBI.
HRF believes that five undertrial prisoners who were unarmed, in handcuffs and under heavy escort were shot dead by the police while enroute Hyderabad for a court hearing. Going by preliminary reports, we also think the Seshachalam deaths were not the result of the STF resorting to the firing in the face of a serious threat to them from red-sanders smugglers but because the police shot to kill without sufficient threat. We recall that last year the STF shot dead 11 persons (5 in Kadapa district and 6 in Chittoor district) in several fake encounters in the Seshachalam forest. In all those cases they took the extra-judicial option even though in most of them they could have easily apprehended those who were cutting down the red-sanders. HRF would be soon conducting a comprehensive fact-finding into the Seshachalam killings.
The police simply cannot wash their hands off after declaring that they were under attack and they had to fire in self-defence. Whether there was a justifiable plea of self-defence is a matter to be decided by the courts and not the police. The law will not have it any other way.