Category Archives: Press

Press release on Red sandalwood encounters

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.

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HRF demands Govt to revoke Asanagiri laterite proposal

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the Government revoke the lease granted to Singam Bhavani for mining of laterite in an extent of 35.84 hectares (86.05 acres) near Asanagiri village of Sarugudu panchayat, Nathavaram mandal in the Agency region of Visakhapatnam district. We urge the District Collector, who is custodian of the Constitutional rights of adivasis, to immediately intervene and cancel the public hearing for the proposed project slated for February 19 at Sundarakota village. Not doing so would amount to a mockery of the environmental clearance regime.

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HRF calls upon the AP and Telangana governments to bring about a comprehensive ‘Drought Relief Code’.

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) calls upon the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to bring about a comprehensive ‘Drought Relief Code’. This Code should encompass measures that must be implemented towards effective drought relief and mitigation. The duties of the State to the people affected by drought and the rights and entitlements of those who suffer from drought must be codified in this law. Such a code is imperative at the earliest because governments continue to exhibit adhocism and tokenism in the matter of addressing agrarian crisis and even providing relief to the drought-hit.

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HRF condemns foiling of FAP meet by police, continued ban on tv channels in Telangana

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) condemns the disallowing by the Telangana government of a seminar, rally and public meeting by the Forum For Alternative Politics in Hyderabad on Sunday. The reported preventive detention of over 200 persons by the police since the night before so as to foil the meeting is highly deplorable. Only a regime that is disrespectful of democratic norms would forbid free expression, the fundamental right to assembly and allow the police to resort to such actions.

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HRF against AP Cabinet decision to locate the Capital city in the Vijayawada-Guntur region.

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) finds unacceptable the decision of the AP Cabinet to locate the Capital city in the Vijayawada-Guntur region. We concur with the recommendation of the Sivaramakrishnan Committee that locating the capital in this area would entail loss of very precious agricultural land that would impact negatively upon food security and the environment and would also displace farmers and agricultural labourers in large numbers. Discarding this recommendation would amount to a historic blunder.

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HRF demands that the government immediately drop the proposal to construct a major port near Dugarajapatnam in Vakadu mandal of Nellore district

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the government immediately drop the proposal to construct a major port near Dugarajapatnam in Vakadu mandal of Nellore district. If the government does go ahead and sets up this port, it will seriously endanger the country’s second largest brackish lagoon, the Pulicat Lake.
A 10-member HRF team visited several villages in and around the Pulicat Lake on Wednesday (March 12). It was clear to us that a large portion of the land being sought to be acquired for the proposed port (5,028 acres in the first phase) is actually located within the northern boundary of the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary and its Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).

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