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How many more deaths will it take before we accept that too many people have died: Chhattisgarh

15 Jun 2016
Soni Sori on Dharna outside Sukma Collectorate Against the Alleged Rape & Encounter of Madkam Hidme



Soni Sori, Adicasi woman leader and other members of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) party are right now on dharna outside the Sukma collectorate against the recent incident of Rape and Fake Encounter of Madkam Hidme, a young girl from Gompad village. Speaking to Sabrangindia at 11.30 p.m. Sonio Sori said that they would sleep out there and not leave the spot until the team is allowed to go in.
 
On June 13, the Sukma police announced a successful encounter where a woman Maoist, Madkam Hidme, was killed in an encounter close to village Gompad, Konta Tehsil, Sukma district. Villagers called up Soni Sori and her lawyers yesterday complaning that the 'official' account was incorrect and that Madkam Hidme was not a Naxalite, but a villager, picked up from her home, gang raped by the police and then killed, with the body then callously returned to the villagers. Today, June 15, a fact-finding team on behalf of the AAP, led by Soni Sori tried to visit the village to investigate the allegations. 
 
On a legitimate citizen's mission, the team was stopped and harassed at four different camps on the way, finally they were stopped and held for almost hours at the Injeram Camp on various excuses, just 10 km short of the village.  Soni Sori and others thereafter returned back to Sukma in the evening to meet the collector and SP. But no one was available at their office. ASP, Sukma Mr. Santosh Singh met the team and told them that they cannot be allowed inside without personnel from the security forces. The team then asked them to send some personnel's with them, ASP said no one was available and so they can;t be allowed to visit the village. 
 
While the police is reluctant to afford even a basic degree of transparency to a leader like Soni Sori and her team, villagers on the other hand are willing to talk and are waiting with the body of the girl for the team or journalists to come and talk to them and see for themselves. In protest, Soni Sori and others have decided to camp/do a dharna at the collectorate itself until they are allowed to go in.  That is where they are, past midnight, waiting and protesting.
 
Social Media Posts
 
This is the corpse of a young woman named Madkam Hidme  (photograph above) . According to the Chhattisgarh Police, she was a Maoist guerrilla and was killed in an encounter with a team of the Special Task Force. The encounter, they say, happened near Gompad village under Chhattisgarh's Konta Police Station. They say she was a member of "Kistaram area platoon number 8."

According to Himanshu Kumar, Madkam was from Gompad village and was thrashing paddy outside her hut when she was picked up by the police and bad things were done to her before she was shot in cold blood. He says the villagers are refusing to put her body to rest. I cannot independently verify this, but I can point out a few other things.

Look closely. Look at how the weapon (bharmar) has been placed strategically next to her body. Look at the uniform Madkam Hidme is wearing. It is brand new and crisp; the cut looks high fashion if we ignore the cheap fabric. Can the uniform of a Maoist guerrilla who was killed in an encounter be so unblemished? In 18 years of my travels in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere, I have never seen a Maoist guerrilla wear such a spotless (and crisp) uniform.

It is very easy to verify the truth. It will be just a matter of one honest autopsy. Will that be ever done?
We know the answer.
The anthropologist, Michael Taussig, refers to instances of the Colombian army murdering civilians and then making them wear uniforms worn by guerrilla fighters so as to boost their "kill count." In Colombia they began to call such cases as "False Positives."

Madkam Hidme, to the best of my knowledge, is a false positive.
 
Appeal
This is a request to all the journalists, civil society and other concerned people to:

1. To please call the  officials to insist that the team be allowed to go in to meet the villagers.
2. To visit the village themselves and investigate the incident as soon as possible (asap).
 
Numbers of the officials:
SP Sukma,. Indira Kalyan Elesela: +917389546789
Sukma Collector, Neeraj Bhansod- 9424136900
Sukma Police Control Room - 07864284204

 

How many more deaths will it take before we accept that too many people have died: Chhattisgarh

Soni Sori on Dharna outside Sukma Collectorate Against the Alleged Rape & Encounter of Madkam Hidme



Soni Sori, Adicasi woman leader and other members of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) party are right now on dharna outside the Sukma collectorate against the recent incident of Rape and Fake Encounter of Madkam Hidme, a young girl from Gompad village. Speaking to Sabrangindia at 11.30 p.m. Sonio Sori said that they would sleep out there and not leave the spot until the team is allowed to go in.
 
On June 13, the Sukma police announced a successful encounter where a woman Maoist, Madkam Hidme, was killed in an encounter close to village Gompad, Konta Tehsil, Sukma district. Villagers called up Soni Sori and her lawyers yesterday complaning that the 'official' account was incorrect and that Madkam Hidme was not a Naxalite, but a villager, picked up from her home, gang raped by the police and then killed, with the body then callously returned to the villagers. Today, June 15, a fact-finding team on behalf of the AAP, led by Soni Sori tried to visit the village to investigate the allegations. 
 
On a legitimate citizen's mission, the team was stopped and harassed at four different camps on the way, finally they were stopped and held for almost hours at the Injeram Camp on various excuses, just 10 km short of the village.  Soni Sori and others thereafter returned back to Sukma in the evening to meet the collector and SP. But no one was available at their office. ASP, Sukma Mr. Santosh Singh met the team and told them that they cannot be allowed inside without personnel from the security forces. The team then asked them to send some personnel's with them, ASP said no one was available and so they can;t be allowed to visit the village. 
 
While the police is reluctant to afford even a basic degree of transparency to a leader like Soni Sori and her team, villagers on the other hand are willing to talk and are waiting with the body of the girl for the team or journalists to come and talk to them and see for themselves. In protest, Soni Sori and others have decided to camp/do a dharna at the collectorate itself until they are allowed to go in.  That is where they are, past midnight, waiting and protesting.
 
Social Media Posts
 
This is the corpse of a young woman named Madkam Hidme  (photograph above) . According to the Chhattisgarh Police, she was a Maoist guerrilla and was killed in an encounter with a team of the Special Task Force. The encounter, they say, happened near Gompad village under Chhattisgarh's Konta Police Station. They say she was a member of "Kistaram area platoon number 8."

According to Himanshu Kumar, Madkam was from Gompad village and was thrashing paddy outside her hut when she was picked up by the police and bad things were done to her before she was shot in cold blood. He says the villagers are refusing to put her body to rest. I cannot independently verify this, but I can point out a few other things.

Look closely. Look at how the weapon (bharmar) has been placed strategically next to her body. Look at the uniform Madkam Hidme is wearing. It is brand new and crisp; the cut looks high fashion if we ignore the cheap fabric. Can the uniform of a Maoist guerrilla who was killed in an encounter be so unblemished? In 18 years of my travels in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere, I have never seen a Maoist guerrilla wear such a spotless (and crisp) uniform.

It is very easy to verify the truth. It will be just a matter of one honest autopsy. Will that be ever done?
We know the answer.
The anthropologist, Michael Taussig, refers to instances of the Colombian army murdering civilians and then making them wear uniforms worn by guerrilla fighters so as to boost their "kill count." In Colombia they began to call such cases as "False Positives."

Madkam Hidme, to the best of my knowledge, is a false positive.
 
Appeal
This is a request to all the journalists, civil society and other concerned people to:

1. To please call the  officials to insist that the team be allowed to go in to meet the villagers.
2. To visit the village themselves and investigate the incident as soon as possible (asap).
 
Numbers of the officials:
SP Sukma,. Indira Kalyan Elesela: +917389546789
Sukma Collector, Neeraj Bhansod- 9424136900
Sukma Police Control Room - 07864284204

 

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