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  • Maharashtra

    I. Overview. 1

    II. Human rights violations by the security forces 2

    III. Judiciary and administration of justice. 4

    IV. Violations of the rights of indigenous peoples 4

    V. Violations of the rights of Dalits 6

    VI. Attacks on the press freedom and minorities 7

    VII. Violations of International Humanitarian Law by the AOGs 7

    VIII. Special focus: farmer’s suicide. 8

     


    I. Overview

     

    Ruled by a coalition of the Indian National Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtra continued to record a high incidence of custodial deaths and extrajudicial executions. The National Human Rights Commission received complaints of a total of 21 deaths in police custody, and 15 cases of encounter killings in Maharashtra during 1 April 2006 - 31 March 2007. A total of 130 prisoners died in judicial custody in Maharashtra during 1 April 2006 – 31 May 2007.

     

    The Scheduled Tribes (STs) continued to face widespread violence. There was an increase of 19.20% in crime against tribals during 2006 as compared to 2005. According to “Crime in Maharasthra-2006” of the Maharashtra Crime Investigation Department, one crime was committed against tribals every day in 2006. The National Crimes Records Bureau of the government of India recorded 267 cases (4.6% of the total crimes against STs in India) of atrocities committed against Scheduled Tribes in Maharashtra in 2006. These included 56 rape cases, three abduction cases, eight arson cases and 58 cases registered under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, among others.

     

    Crimes against Scheduled Castes or Dalits increased. In 2006, the NCRB recorded 1,053 cases of violations against Dalits in Maharashtra, compared to 865 cases during 2005 signifying an increase of 21.73 %. The 1,053 cases included 21 killings, 87 rape cases, five abduction cases, nine cases of arson, 36 cases registered under Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and 350 cases registered under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. According to “Crime in Maharasthra-2006”, two crimes were committed against Dalits every day in 2006. There was an increase of 21.73% in crime against dalits during 2006 as compared to 2005.

     

    The Vidarbha region also recorded a very high incidence of suicide.  According to the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) 1,168 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha region in 2007. In 2006, at least 1,060 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha region. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in its 23rd report for 2006-07 presented to the 14th Lok Sabha on 20 March 2007 termed the Prime Minister’s package for Vidarbha region as a glaring example of the inefficiency of the Government in ameliorating the conditions of the farmers.

     

    According to the Maharashtra Crime Investigation Department, two crimes against women took place in every hour in the state in 2006. It also stated that Maharasthra recorded one case of dowry death a day, one rape case every six hours, one molestation case every three hours, one case of cruelty by husband and relatives in every two hours and one sexual harassment case every 10 hours. The NCRB recorded a total of 14,452 cases of crimes committed against women in Maharashtra in 2006, including 1,500 rape cases, 921 kidnapping cases, 387 cases of dowry deaths, 6,738 cases of cruelty by husband and relatives, 3,479 cases of molestation.

     

    Children remained extremely vulnerable. According to the Maharashtra Criminal Investigation Department, a crime was committed against children every four hours. The report stated that a total of 2,841 crimes were committed against children in the state during 2006, which is an increase of 23.25% compared to 2005 (2305 cases). It stated that a total of 207 cases of murder of children took place in 2006, 192 in 2005, 187 in 2004, 206 in 2003 and 248 in 2002; a total of 655 child rape cases took place in 2006, 634 in 2005, 634 in 2005, 605 in 2003 and 491 in 2002; a total of 552 cases of kidnapping were registered in 2006, 420 in 2005, 380 in 2004, 337 in 2003 and 275 in 2002; a total of 24 cases of selling and buying of girls for prostitution were registered in 2006, 7 in 2005, 14 in 2004, 8 in 2003 and 9 in 2002; a total of 15 cases of child marriage were registered under Child Marriage Restraint Act in 2006, 22 cases in 2005, 14 in 2004, 16 in 2003 and 18 in 2002, among others.  There was an increase of 3.31% in child rape cases during 2006 (655 cases) as compared to 2005 (634 cases) and further that 42.63% of the total rape victims in the state during 2006 were minors. 

     

    II. Human rights violations by the security forces

     

    Maharashtra continued to record high rates of custodial deaths and extrajudicial executions. The NHRC received complaints of a total of 21 deaths in police custody, and 15 cases of encounter killings in Maharashtra during 1 April 2006 - 31 March 2007.

     

    During 2006, the National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, recorded 18 deaths in police custody in the state. Of them, the state government claimed that eight committed suicide in police custody, four died during hospitalization/treatment, one died in accident, two died by mob attack/riot and three died due to illness/natural death. Two custodial rape cases were also registered.

     

    According to the Maharashtra Criminal Investigation Department (CID), a total of 5,159 complaints were received against the state police personnel and enquiries were initiated in 1,049 cases including judicial inquiry ordered in 71 cases, magisterial inquiry in 10 cases and regular departmental inquiry in 968 cases during 2006. After inquiry, 3805 cases were found to be false. While departmental inquiry was initiated in 332 cases and accused were charge sheeted or sent for trial in 233 cases.

     

    On 16 January 2007, Ramdas Gaekwad was allegedly tortured to death in the lock-up in Andheri police station in Mumbai. He was arrested after a case of theft was filed against him and another person by his employer, Mukesh Sharma on 9 January 2007. The accused were remanded to police custody till 17 January 2007. According to Bipin Bihari, Additional Commissioner of Police, West Zone, Ramdas Gaekwad had a “chest pain” in the night after which he was taken to Cooper Hospital at 1.15 pm but died on the way to hospital. The deceased’s relatives blamed the police for his death. The case has been handed over to the Crime Branch for investigation. 

     

    On 18 February 2007, Vinod Chandorkar was picked up by the police of Wadala police station in Mumbai on the basis of a complaint filed by his wife alleging domestic violence. By 7.35 pm of the same day, he had died. The police said he committed suicide in the toilet room but the relatives of the deceased claimed that he was tortured to death. After the opposition parties raised the issue of Vinod Chandorkar’s custodial death in the State Assembly, the Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minster of Maharashtra, Mr R R Patil ordered an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department.

     

    On 16 May 2007, Suman Kale, a woman belonging to a denotified tribe, died in police custody at Ahmednagar, 120 km from Pune. According to the Superintendent of Police of Ahmednagar, Sunil Ramanand, Kale was summoned on 12 May 2007 on suspicion of being in possession of stolen jewellery and harbouring dacoits. She  was kept at the local crime branch, where her health deteriorated suddenly. The Superintendent of Police claimed that she had consumed poison but failed to explain how she could have access to poison in custody. She died at a private hospital on Savedi road in Ahmednagar where she was admitted on 14 May 2007. Maharashtra Bhatkya Vimukta Jamati president Kisan Chavan alleged that the deceased was tortured by the police which resulted in her death. Kale’s son Saheba also alleged torture. He stated that he was not allowed to meet his mother (the victim) when she was held in custody.

     

    There were frequent reports of alleged encounter killings. According to the NHRC, as many as 15 encounter deaths were reported from Maharashta during the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007.

     

    On 18 December 2007, Mr. Subhash Shivappa Bhosle, a member of Scheduled Tribe/Denotified Tribe of Mangalvedha Town under Solapur district was allegedly killed by the police at Arvali village under Mohol taluka in Solapur district. According to Akhabai, the wife of the deceased, over 200 people gathered to perform a pooja (worship) to Godess Kalobai at Arvali village on 18 December 2007 evening by sacrificing four goats. A group of nearly 100 policemen raided the village and began beating them. Mr. Subhash Shivappa Bhosle was beaten to death during the events. When women from the village tried to stop the beating, the police began to beat the women.

     

    Arbitrary arrests were also reported. The Anti Terror Squad of the Maharashtra police arrested Shridhar Srinivasan alias Vishnu, Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram and K D Rao, an advocate from Mumbai, on the suspicion that they were Maoists on 19 and 20 August 2007. They were allegedly tortured in the custody.

     

    The courts intervened in a number of cases of gross human rights violations.

     

    On 22 March 2007, Mumbai High Court sentenced three police officials identified as Subhash Panhale, Ananda Bhosale and Sunil Jadhav to life imprisonment for killing one Arun Pandav of Shahupuri in the custody of Kolhapur police station in December 1985.

     

    In December 2007, after the Bombay High Court’s 15-day ultimatum to the Maharashtra Government on 21 November 2007, the state government provided the permission or the prosecution of police officers allegedly involved in the custodial death Khwaja Yunus in January 2003. Yunus was arrested as an accused in the powerful blast ripped apart a bus in Ghatkopar in northern Mumbai on 29 July 2003 in which four persons were killed and 32 injured. An investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department found 14 police personnel responsible for the death of Yunus. The CID forwarded the proposal to the Maharashta government to give the sanction for the prosecution of these 14 police personnel.

     

    In December 2007, the Nagpur Bench of the High Court convicted nine policemen of the custodial death in 1993 of Joinus Adam Elamatti arrested on mistaken identity. The court sentenced them to three years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) each, while acquitting the tenth accused policemen for lack of evidence. The nine policemen convicted were identified as police inspector Yashwant Kanade, police sub inspectors Zahiruddin Deshmukh and Ram Kadu, and constables Bhaskar Narule, Nilkanth Chorpagar, Namdeo Ganeshkar, Ramesh Bhoyar, Ashok Shukla and Sudhakar Thakre. The bench, however, acquitted driver Raghunath Bhakte.

     

    III. Judiciary and administration of justice

     

    The judiciary was hampered by a significant backlog of cases. There were a total of 3,67,409 cases pending before the Bombay High Court and 40,32,194 cases were pending before the District and Sub-ordinate Courts in Maharashtra as on 30 September 2007.

     

    Yet, as of 1 January 2008, there were 24 vacancies of judges in the Bombay High Court, while there were 206 vacancies of judges in the District and Subordinate Courts in Maharashtra as on 30 September 2007. The lack of adequate judges in the courts, among others, led to judicial delay in disposing of the cases.  

     

    IV. Violations of the rights of indigenous peoples

     

    According to 2001 census of India, the total population of Maharashtra was 96,878,627 out of which 8,577,276 (8.9 per cent) were Scheduled Tribes (STs). There are 47 tribal groups in the state of which Katkaria (Kathodi), Maria Gond and Kolam are recognized as so called Primitive Tribal Groups. Although tribals are scattered through out the state, about 54% of them are concentrated in six districts, namely Thane, Nashik, Nandurbar, Yavatmal, Nagpur and Dhule. About 87.3 per cent of the ST population of Maharashtra lives in rural areas.

     

    The Scheduled Areas notified by the Government of India are 5,809 villages and 16 towns in 12 districts namely Thane, Pune, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Nanded, Amravati, Yeotmal, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur.  The Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) covers the Scheduled Area. In addition, the State Government designated 773 villages in the districts of Raigad, Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur, Yeotmal and Pune as Additional Tribal Sub-Plan (ATSP) areas. Other villages having substantial tribal populations have also been included under Modified Area Development Approach (MADA) and Mini-MADA. 

     

    According to the state government of Maharasthra, 49 % of the tribals live in Scheduled Areas (main TSP area), 2.6% in ATSP areas, 6.8% in MADA and Mini-MADA areasThe remaining 41.6% of the tribals live outside all these areas. Effectively, 41.6% of the tribals have been denied the special benefits meant for the development of the tribal areas.

     

    Literacy is low among tribals. According to 2001 Census, 55.2 per cent of tribals are literate against 76.9 per cent state average. The female literacy rate of 43.1 per cent among ST population compares  to 67.0 per cent among the average of the state. Of those literate 45 per cent of those not attained primary level education. Only 2.1 per cent of literates are graduate or above.

     

    a. Atrocities

     

    Crime against tribals in Maharashtra is the highest in India. According to “Crime in Maharasthra-2006” report of the Maharashtra Crime Investigation Department, one crime was committed against the tribals every day in 2006. There was an increase of 19.20% in crime against the tribals during 2006 as compared to 2005. The NCRB recorded 267 cases (4.6% of the total crimes against STs in India) of atrocities committed against the Scheduled Tribes in Maharashtra in 2006. These included 56 rape cases, three abduction cases, eight arson cases and 58 cases registered under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, among others.

     

    On 11 November 2007, a 17-year-old tribal girl was allegedly gang raped by seven persons in Warud tehsil in Amravati district.

     

    b. Land alienation

     

    Maharashtra has a number of laws, such as the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966, that prohibit the transfer of tribal land without prior permission of the District Collector. As the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966 failed, the government of Maharashtra enacted Maharashtra Land Revenue Code and Tenancy Laws (Amendment) Act, 1974 which provided that no tribal can transfer his land to a non-tribal, by way of sale (including sales in execution of a decree of a Civil Court or an award or order of any Tribunal or authority), gift, exchange, mortgage, lease or otherwise transfer without the previous sanction (a) of the Collector, in the case of mortgage or lease for a period not exceeding five years, and (b) of the Collector, with previous approval of Government, in other cases with effect from 6th July, 1974.

     

    The government of Maharashtra itself admitted that permissions by the District Collectors “appear to have been given as a matter of routine. The tribals were also induced to sell their lands because of indebtedness and poverty.”

     

    In order to restore the alienated lands of the tribals, the state government enacted the Maharashtra Restoration of Lands to Scheduled Tribes Act, 1974. This Act provides for restoration to a tribal his/her land transferred to a non-tribal during the period from 1 April 1957 to 6 July 1974 as a result of validly effected transfers (including, exchanges).

     

    But both the land protection law - Maharashtra Land Revenue Code and Tenancy Laws (Amendment) Act, 1974 and the land restoration law - Maharashtra Restoration of Lands to Scheduled Tribes Act, 1974 have failed to check further alienation of the tribal land or restore alienated lands. According to the Annual Report 2007-08 of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, a total of 45,634 cases have been filed in the court in the state. 44,624 cases have been disposed of by the court, of which 19,943 cases (44.7%) involving 99,486 acres of land have been disposed of in favor of tribals and 24,681 cases (55.3%) against tribals. 1,010 cases were pending in the court.

     

    V. Violations of the rights of Dalits

     

    Crimes against the Scheduled Castes or Dalits were high in Maharasthra. In 2006, the NCRB recorded 1,053 cases of violations against Dalits in Maharashtra, compared to 865 cases during 2005 signifying an increase of 21.73 %. Of the 1,053 cases included 21 killings, 87 rape cases, five abduction cases, nine cases of arson, 36 cases registered under Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and 350 cases registered under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 among others. According to “Crime in Maharasthra-2006”, two crimes were committed against Dalits on average every day in 2006. There was an increase of 21.73% in crime against Dalits during 2006 compared to 2005.

     

    The conviction rate for crimes committed against Dalits has been very low in Maharashtra. According to information obtained through the Right to Information Act by the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, 4,864 cases were filed under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocity) Act of 1989 between 2000 and 2006 in the State. However, there were less than 200 convictions during the same period. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, the rate of filing charge-sheet for crimes committed against Dalits in Maharashtra was 96.3% during 2006 but the conviction rate in court was merely 3.6% during the same year. Out of total 1208 cases in which trials were completed, only in 44 cases the accused were convicted. Trial in 6,181 cases of crimes committed against Dalits was pending in the courts at the end of 2006.

     

    On 4 April 2007, a school headmaster identified as Sharad Kaitade, a member of Other Backward Classes community, allegedly sprinkled cow urine on Scheduled Caste students to purify them at Surewadi village in Bhandara district. A teacher of the school Madhavi Raut publicly stated that the school was rid of a “curse” following the transfer of the Dalit headmistress Tilottama Tembhurkar. Mr Kaitade, who was appointed headmaster of the school got a bottle of cow’s urine and asked Ms Raut to sprinkle it on the Dalit students in the classroom. Following a complaint from the parents of the students, Mr Kaitade was arrested on 17 April 2007 under Section 7 (1) (d) of the Protection of Civil Rights Act. But he was released on bail the same day.     

     

    On 7 April 2007, a Dalit woman identified as Indubhai Tandekar was allegedly set on fire by an upper caste man identified as Babulal Bhagat at Pachgaon village under Mohadi tehsil in Bhandara district. The victim died on 8 April 2007 due to burn injuries. The accused had reportedly demanded a loan from Indubhai Tandekar but when she refused to lend him money, he poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. 

     

    In the last week of April 2007, a Dalit identified as Madhukar Ghatge, a farmer, was killed with axes and iron rods by upper castes for digging a well on his own land at Kulakjai village under Man taluka in Satara district. The upper caste villagers did not want him to dig a well which would have been the first well in Kulakjai village on land owned by a Dalit. Ghatge had prior permission from the District Council and Village Council to dig a well. Ten people were arrested under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in connection with the murder.  

     

    VI. Attacks on the press freedom and minorities

     

    The media houses and journalists and religious minorities in Maharashtra came under attacks from Hindu fundamentalists.

     

    On 16 April 2007, the office of Star TV located near Mahalaxmi station in south central Mumbai was attacked by a mob of about 50 persons allegedly associated with Hindu Rashtra Sena who were protesting a news story about inter-caste marriage. News Editor Chandramohan Puppala was injured in the attack.

     
    On 14 August 2007, members of the Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist political party, ransacked the office of
    Outlook magazine at Nariman Point in Mumbai after the magazine included Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in the list of “villains” in a special issue to mark India's 60th independence anniversary. A cartoon showing him dressed like Adolf Hitler accompanied the article. About a dozen Shiv Sena activists entered the office smashing windows and damaging computers.

     

    On 7 May 2007, two Christian priests identified as Ajit Billawi and Ramesh Kagargole from Ichlakaranji in Kolapur district were severely beaten up and paraded through the streets allegedly by Bajrang Dal and VHP activists for allegedly converting Hindus to Christianity.

     

    On 13 May 2007, a group of Hindu extremists allegedly beat up a Christian missionary identified as Shrikant Chandekar of the Maharashtra Village Ministries at Joadmoha in Yavatmal district. The incident reportedly happened when a group of villagers numbering around 30 came to stop a prayer meeting of Christians held at Shrikant Chandekar's residence and beat up Shrikant when he refused to stop the prayer meeting.

     

    VII. Violations of International Humanitarian Law by the AOGs

     

    The Naxalites who are active in Gadchiroli district were responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law including the killing of alleged police informers.

     

    On the night of 28 February 2007, Patali Pandu Zore was killed by the Naxalites at Tamba village under Etapalli taluka in Gadchiroli.

     

    On the night of 16 May 2007, a tribal woman identified as Samsubai Muraji Uike was shot dead by Naxalites at Dabri under Bedgaon police station in Gadchiroli district on the suspicion of being police informer.

     

    On the night of 11 June 2007, a tribal identified as Doge Mura Naroti (30) was killed by slitting his throat with a sharp weapon on the charge of being police informer at Hedri village under Etapalli tehsil in Gadchiroli district.

     

    On 14 October 2007, two tribal youths identified as Santosh Navdi (19) and Ranjit Holi (18) were killed in a forest at Jambia-Gatta under Etapalli tehsil in Gadchiroli district on the charge of being police informers.

     

    On 6 November 2007, a tribal youth identified as Fagusoma Tofa (25) was shot dead by Naxalites at Tavegaon village in Gadchiroli district on the charge of being police informer.

     

     

    The Naxalites were also responsible for kidnapping and destruction of public property.

     

    On 19 July 2007, the Naxalites kidnapped two engineers of Lloyds Metals from Surjagarh hills area in Etapalli tehsil in Gadchiroli district.

     

    On the night of 18 January 2007, the Naxalites set ablaze a tower of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) at Yelchil village under Aheri tehsil in Gadchiroli district.

     

    On 8 April 2007, Naxalites belonging to Dippagarh Dalam burnt down the Dhanora tehsil office in Gadchiroli district.

     

    On 10 April 2007, the Naxalites burnt down the panchayat office of Chokhewada village at Etapalli tehsil in Gadchiroli district. 

     

    On 2 December 2007, Naxalites blew up a telephone tower of Vodafone at Virola under Dhanora tehsil in Gadchiroli district.  

     

    VIII. Special focus: farmer’s suicide

     

    29,000 farmers have committed suicide in the state between 1997 and 2005, according to a study of data issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Crime Records Bureau. Maharashtra saw an increase of 105 per cent in farm suicides during 1997 – 2005 and more than 19,000 of those farmer suicides occurred from 2001 onwards. Out of the 1,50,000 farmer suicides in India between 1997 and 2005, over 89,000 occurred in just four States: Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh).

     

    Maharashtra accounts for a third of all farm suicides within these States. The six districts - Akola, Arnravati, Buldhana, Washim, Yavatmal and Wardha – of the impoverished Vidarbha region were the worst affected.

     

    According to the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), 1,168 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha region in 2007 as on December 14th. Of them, 99 died in January, 107 in February, 113 in March, 97 in April, 102 in May, 82 in June, 75 in July, 95 in August, 113 in September, 109 in October, 106 in November and 68 as on 14th December 2007. In 2006, at least 1,060 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha region.

     

    In order to address the farmers’ problems, on 29 September 2006, the government of India approved a Rs.1,69,78.69 crore (1 crore = 10 million) rehabilitation package for farmers in 31 districts of Andhra Pradesh (16 districts), Karnataka (6 districts), Kerala (3 districts) and Maharashtra (6 districts of Vidarbha region). The package comprised loan rescheduling and interest waiver, and specific schemes for watershed development, seed replacement, horticulture and extension services, and for subsidiary income through livestock, dairying and fisheries. Under the package which would be implemented in a period of three years, Andhra Pradesh got Rs. 9,650.55 crore (including a waiver of interest on loans to the tune of Rs. 1,436.44 crore), Karnataka got Rs. 2,689.64 crore, including an interest waiver of Rs. 209.81 crore, Kerala’s package was Rs.765.24 crore, including interest waiver of Rs. 360 crore, and Vidharbha region of Maharashtra was alloted Rs. 3,873.26 crore, including an interest waiver of Rs.712 crore.

     

    In March 2007, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in his reply to the Rajya Sabha stated that the Centre had released Rs 1,530 crore or 39.5% of the Rs 3,873 crore package announced by the Prime Minister for relief to farmers in six districts of the Vidarbha region. The amount released included Rs 784 crore for waiver of interest on loans taken by farmers and about Rs 700 crore for irrigation projects.

     

    However, the Prime Minister’s relief package failed to reach the farmers.  The state government undermined the scheme. The farmers were given very small sums as compensation. It has been reported that farmers in Vidarbha were given compensation money ranging from Rs 13 to Rs 20 for crop losses. What is more grotesque is that the cheques often have often bounced. In November 2007, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court took note of the situation with regard to a cheque for  Rs 10,000 for Vandana Shende whose husband had committed suicide. The cheque was issued by Yavatmal district administration but the district central cooperative bank dishonoured the cheque because of lack of funds in the district administration account. Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jana Andolan Samiti filed a Public Interest Litigation. Widespread reports in the media prompted the Prime Minister’s Office to issue a clarification on 7 July 2007 stating that Rs 3 crores was dispersed to six districts of Vidarbha in July 2006 itself, and there was no delay in releasing the funds. In addition to Rs 3 crores for Vidarbha, funds to the remaining 25 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were released without delay, amounting to Rs 12.5 crores from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

     

    The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in its 23rd report for 2006-07 presented to the 14th Lok Sabha on 20 March 2007 termed the Prime Minister’s package for Vidarbha region as a glaring example of the inefficiency of the Government in ameliorating the conditions of the farmers.”

     

    The government also tried to mislead the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture by providing lower figures of suicides by farmers. The Committee stated, “The Committee further note that as per the information provided by the Department (Department of Agriculture and Cooperation), number of suicide cases in the country during last 5 years (2000 onwards) is 11782 but the figure does not seem to be correct for example in Maharashtra the number of cases projected by Department are 142 in 2005 whereas the Committee are aware that only in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra 435 farmers have committed suicide since June 2005”. The Committee recommended the Government to straighten their records and asked the State Governments to project the factual position so that the Government and the people of the country are aware of the actual position and act accordingly.”

    Endnotes:

    1.     Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through use of RTI Act

    2.     Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC by filing of RTI application

    3.     See http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    4.     See Annual Report 2006 of the National Crime Records Bureau

    5.     See NCRB’s Annual Report 2006

    6.     See http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    7.     http://vidarbhajanandolansamiti.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2007-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=50

    8.     Farmers Suicides Very-Urgent- Press-Note Dated 29th December 2006, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti available at http://andolan.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html

    9.     Twenty Third Report of The Standing Committee on Agriculture (2006-07) submitted to Fourteenth Lok Sabha

    10.   See http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    11.   See Annual Report 2006 of National Crime Records Bureau, Govt of India

    12.   See Crime Against Children, http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    13.   See Crime Against Children, http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    14.   Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through use of RTI Act

    15.   Annual Report 2006 of National Crime Records Bureau, Government of India

    16.   “Crime In Maharashtra 2006”, Maharashtra CID, see chapter “Complaint against police”, http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    17.   Custody death: Relatives blame police, The Free Press Journal, 18 January 2007

    18.   Patil orders CID probe into custodial death, The Free Press Journal, 31 March 2007

    19.   Pardhi woman dies in custody, relatives allege torture, The Indian Express, 17 May 2007

    20.   Information received from NHRC by ACHR through RTI application

    21.   Petition to the NHRC by Mr Subhas Mahapatra, Director of Forum for Fact Finding, Documentation and Advocacy, available at http://www.ffdaindia.in/OpenLetter/maharashtra-police-kills-denotified-tribes

    22.   Activists cry foul over 'Maoist' arrests, STF stands firm, Rediff News, 31 August 2007, http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/aug/31mum.htm

    23.   Arrest, torture condemned, The Hindu, 1 September 2007

    24.     3 cops get life for custodial death, The Times of India, 23 March 2007

    25.     Yunus case: Govt nod to prosecute cops, The Indian Express, 7 December 2007, http://www.indianexpress.com/story/247501.html

    26.   9 policemen sentenced to 3 years' RI for custodial death
    http://news.oneindia.in/2007/12/14/9-policemen-sentenced-to-3-years-ri-for-custodial-death-1197632267.html

    27.   Supreme Court of India, Court News, October-December 2007

    28.   Supreme Court of India, Court News, October-December 2007

    29.   Census of India 2001, available at http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/SCST/dh_st_maha.pdf

    30.   Maharasthra Tribal Department, see http://www.maharashtra.gov.in/english/tribal/

    31.   Census of India 2001, available at http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/SCST/dh_st_maha.pdf

    32.   See http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    33.   See Annual Report 2006 of the National Crime Records Bureau

    34.   Five held for tribal girl’s gang-rape, The Hitavadaonline, 13 November 2007

    35.   Maharashtra Tribal Development, see “MEASURES  AGAINST  ALIENATION   OF  LAND  BELONGING  TO ST'S” available at http://www.maharashtra.gov.in/english/tribal/

    36.   Maharashtra Tribal Development, see “MEASURES  AGAINST  ALIENATION   OF  LAND  BELONGING  TO ST'S” available at http://www.maharashtra.gov.in/english/tribal/

    37.   Maharashtra Tribal Development, see “MEASURES  AGAINST  ALIENATION   OF  LAND  BELONGING  TO ST'S” available at http://www.maharashtra.gov.in/english/tribal/

    38.   See http://rural.nic.in/annualrep0708/anualreport0708_eng.pdf

    39.   See NCRB’s Annual Report 2006

    40.   See http://mahacid.com/from_CD/contents.html

    41.   Dalits still easy prey in Maharashtra, CNN- IBN, 30 April 2007, available at: http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/04_2007/in-ambedkars-home-state-Dalits-remain-easy-prey-39436.html

    42.   The National Crime Record Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.4.pdf

    43.   The National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.7.pdf

    44.   Cow’s urine sprinkled on students, headmaster held, The Hindu, 22 April 2007

    45.     All India Christian Council, “Dalit woman set afire, dies in Maharashtra”

    46.     Dalit killed for digging own well, The Hindustan Times, 4 May 2007

    47.   Moral police ransack Star office in Mumbai, The Times of India, 17 April 2007

    48.   Shiv Sena workers ransack Outlook magazine office, Reauters India, 14 August 2007, available at: http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-28978920070814

    49.   Christian priests beaten up in Maharashtra, The Hindu, 9 May 2007

    50.   Hindu fanatics beat up missionary in Maharashtra, All India Christian Council, available at http://indianchristians.in/news/content/view/2095/45/

    51.   Villager killed in Tamba, The Hitavada, 2 March 2007

    52.   For the first time, Naxals kill woman, The Hitavada, 18 May 2007

    53.   Naxals trigger mine blast, kill tribal, The Hitavada, 14 June 2007

    54.   Naxals kill two youths in Gadchiroli, The Indian Express, 15 October 2007

    55.   Naxals kill youth in Gadchiroli, The Times of India, 8 November 2007

    56.   Naxals abduct two Lloyds engineers, The Hitavadaonline, 20 July 2007

    57.   Naxals torch BSNL tower, The Hitavada, 20 January 2007

    58.   Naxals set Dhanora tehsil office afire, The Hitavada, 10 April 2007

    59.   Naxals set panchayat office afire, but bandh call gets no response, The Hitavadaonline, 12 April 2007

    60.   Naxals blast cell phone tower in Gadchiroli, The Hitavadaonline, 3 December 2007

    61.   Maharashtra: ‘graveyard of farmers’, The Hindu, 14 November 2007, available at http://www.hindu.com/2007/11/14/stories/2007111453091100.htm

    62.   http://vidarbhajanandolansamiti.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2007-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=50

    63.   Farmers Suicides Very-Urgent- Press-Note Dated 29th December 2006, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti available at http://andolan.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html

    64.   Package for farmers, The Hindu, 30 September 2006

    65.   Pawar faces Elders' wrath over suicide by farmers, The Pioneer, 10 March 2007

    66.   Govt gives Vidarbha farmers Rs 13 as compensation, CNN-IBN, 9 January 2008, available at http://www.ibnlive.com/news/govt-gives-vidarbha-farmers-rs-13-as-compensation/55958-3-1.html

    67.   High Court takes serious note on bouncing of farmer's cheque, The Hindustan Times, 4 November 2006, available at http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print.aspx?Id=ebe2c6f4-dbbe-403f-a956-569c5f0cef25

    68.   Clarification on PM's National Relief Fund, Press Release dated 7 July 2007 from Prime Minister’s Office, available at http://pmindia.nic.in/prelease/pcontent.asp?id=608

    69.   Twenty Third Report of The Standing Committee on Agriculture (2006-07) submitted to Fourteenth Lok Sabha

    70.   Twenty Third Report of The Standing Committee on Agriculture (2006-07) submitted to Fourteenth Lok Sabha

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