Mass Harassment Of Adivasis Through ‘Bind-Over’ Proceedings On the Khammam-Chattisgarh Border

The Principal Secretary,
Department of Home
Govt. of A.P., Hyderabad


Sub: Elections – harassment of tribals – border villages of Khammam district – regarding

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) has drawn your attention to the severe harassment being faced by the Scheduled Tribes of Bhadrachalam Division in Khammam district which borders Chattisgarh. We visited a number of villages in Chintur, Kunavaram and Cherla mandals of Bhadrachalam division on 27 and 28 March, 2009 and spoke to the people of the affected tribal villages. The following are the villages we visited: Amudalapeta, Pungatta and Thatikoyyagondi (Chintur mandal), Ramachandrapuram (Kunavaram mandal), Bodanelli, Yerraboru, Kurnapalli, Bathinapalli, Thippapur, Oddipeta and Vunjapalli (Cherla Mandal).

All these are totally Adivasi villages. Some are villages of local Adivasis and some are hamlets of immigrants from the troubled areas of Chattisgarh. The common complaint in all these villages is that the police are asking many of the people to come to the local police station to attend what are described as ‘bind-over’ proceedings. These are proceedings under Sec. 107 C.P.C. These proceedings are to be conducted by the Tahsildar or RDO and not the police. The law lays down a procedure, namely notice is to be issued and enquiry is to be held before any one can be directed to sign a bond. What is happening in these areas is that signatures or thumb impressions of the people are taken on blank papers on which some thing is later written or typed. They are told that they have been ‘bound over’ and have to come whenever directed by the police. They go accordingly and are made to sit in the police station for a whole day, some times well into the night. May be the police feel it is a way to keep a tab on villages affected by Maoist activity, but it amounts to severe harassment for the tribal people. When they are called for being ‘bound over’ they are often beaten and asked to reveal the names of villagers who have Maoist connections. There is at least one person who committed suicide back in his village after such treatment. He is Dirida Doola of Pungatta in Chintur mandal. The number of persons who have been subjected to such ‘binding over’ proceedings ranges from a minimum of five in almost every village to more than twenty in villages such as Kurnapalli in Cherla mandal. This is nothing but mass harassment.

The biggest fear of the tribals is that these persons will be used as a human shield at the time of polling. They may be made to guard the polling station, made to carry the poll material and boxes to inaccessible areas and face the possible attacks of the Maoists. This is a most cruel strategy but there is no exaggeration in the fear the people are experiencing. Using suspected sympathisers of Maoists as shields against possible attacks on the poll process by the Maoists has happened in the past, too. That is always inhuman and unlawful but what makes it worse now is that whole communities are suspected. This is especially true of the immigrant tribal people from Chattisgarh, but is not confined to them.

We request you to ensure that this harassment in the name of security against possible Maoist attacks is immediately stopped. The people live from day to day on their labour and cannot afford to spend a whole day on visits to the police station, even if it is once a week. This misuse of provisions of the Cr.P.C meant for checking habitual crime must stop. Further, there should be no use whatsoever of people as a shield against Maoist attacks at poll time.

We are marking a copy of this letter to the Chief Electoral Officer so that he is also made aware of this systematic violation of the basic right to life.

Yours truly

K Balagopal
HRF general secretary



Copy to: The Chief Electoral Officer
Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad.

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