Archive for February 5th, 2010

Raipur : Free Run for An Absconder.

5 February 2010

Dantewada : Accused roam freely, Victims in custody”, covered the drama of an accused and Salwa Judum leader, Soyam Mukka, freely moving around in Dantewada on 6th January 2010 right in the presence of police. Soyam Mukka was one of the four leaders who were leading a group of Salwa Judum cadres reconstituted under the banner of Ma Danteshwari Swabhimani Adivasi Manch (MDSAM). This brand new outfit was formed only a month earlier with the specific intent of targeting Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, who had organized a peace march starting on 14th December that would have passed through some two dozen odd villages that had been plundered and burned by Salwa Judum. The purpose of the foot march was to instill confidence among the terrified tribal residents who had run away into the nearby forests & were hiding there, and to encourage them to return to their villages and lands. MDSAM has now metamorphosed into a platform to take on activists, researchers, academics, scholars and journalists who want to visit Bastar division of Chhattisgarh State for a fact finding mission in the wake of ‘Operation Green Hunt’.

Soyam Mukka has been declared on 10th December 2009, around the time MDSAM was formed, an absconder and a non-bailable arrest warrant has been issued for him by Shri Sharad Gupta, Sessions Court Judge – South Bastar, Dantewada. Ironically, not only he was allowed to lead the mob that pelted eggs, muck and tomatoes on the activists lead by Medha Patkar & Sandeep Pande at Dantewada, but he seems to roam around freely even in the state capital Raipur. In fact, he was at the press conference on 16th January 2010 in the Raipur Press Club that was also addressed by his colleagues Chhavindra Karma, Chaitram Atami and Sukhdev Tati.
The police are supposed to execute the arrest warrant and to arraign the accused before the court, but in Chhattisgarh, police appear to be protecting the absconders and accused at the direction of highest levels in administration. In the above photograph a youth in civies with a gun is clearly seen behind Chhavindra Karma, son of founder of Salwa Judum and Congress leader (ex-CPI) Mahendra Karma. Who is the gunman? – Police in plain clothes, Special Police Officer, or a Salwa Judum vigilante. When a person who is to be arrested as per law and produced before court gets police protection to roam freely; Isn’t it a breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state