States Round Up Issue-01 July to September 2010 Index Page
Full version of the report

Andhra Pradesh



I. Highlight: Andhra Pradesh police sabotage Naxal peace process

Andhra Pradesh, ruled by the Indian National Congress, has been facing Maoists insurgency for decades. During July-September 2010, Andhra Pradesh Police sabotaged the peace process with the Communist Party of India (Maoists) by killing the Maoists spokesperson Cherikuri Rajkumar alias Azad along with another alleged Maoist symphatiser Hemchandra Pandey in a fake encounter at Jogapur in Adilabad district on 2 July 2010.[1] Prominent social activist, Swami Agnivesh was appointed by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to act as the interlocutor with the Maoists and Azad was representing the Maoists in the talks. [2] On 6 September 2010, the Andhra Pradesh Government ordered a Magisterial Inquiry by the Utnoor Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) G.K. Prasada Rao into the encounter death of Azad and Hemchandra Pandey.[3] Irrespective of the outcome of the magisterial inquiry, the peace process with the Maoists has been sabotaged; and the Central government has no other option but to engage in a military conflict at least in the short term. No senior Maoist leader is likely to feel confident to engage in talks with the Ministry of Home Affairs, when the police from any Maoist affected State can resort to such murder.

On 16 August 2010, the State Government extended the ban on the Maoists and six front organisations for a year under the Andhra Pradesh Public Security Act, 1992. The six frontal organisations are Radical Youth League, Ryot Coolie Sangham, Radical Students Union, Singareni Karmika Samakhya, Viplava Karmika Samakhya and All India Revolutionary Students’ Federation. [4]

II. Violations of civil and political rights

During July-September 2010, ACHR documented numerous cases of human rights violations including right to life.

On 5 July 2010, police tortured to death 30-year-old Gona Bhumaiah of Kadaparajupalli in Dornala mandal in custody at the Dornala police station in Prakasam district. The victim was taken into custody in connection with stealing of a gold chain. Police allegedly tortured the victim to extort a confession. [5]

On 14 July 2010, police opened fire upon protesters who were opposing the establishment of 2,000 MW electricity project at Baruva in Somepeta block under Srikakulam district. Four persons were killed and six others sustained bullet injuries. [6] Two of the deceased were identified as G. Krishnamurthy of Lakkavaram village and Bandi Joga Rao of Palasapuram while four of the wounded were identified as Bhanu Kumar, P. Lakshminarayana Rao, D. Gavarayya and P. Viswanatham. [7]

On 24 September 2010, 35-year-old Mopada Sreenu of Chinnayyapalem, who had sustained a serious head injury in the lathicharge by police on 20 September 2010 died at a corporate hospital in Vishakapatnam district while another victim identified as R. Peddi Naidu of Makavarapalem succumbed to injuries on 23 September 2010. Both the victims were participating in a protest at Makavarapalem demanding a rehabilitation package for the families displaced by the Anrak aluminium factory on 20 September 2010. [8]

III. Abuses by the AOGs

The Maoists, also known as Naxalites were responsible for gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. The Maoists often charge people of being informers of the security forces, and torture or kill them.

On 30 August 2010, alleged Maoists reportedly beaten up three youths in Cherla mandal under Khammam district accusing them of being informer of the security forces. One of the youths, identified as 30-year-old K Pullaiah from Kurnapally village succumbed to his injuries perpetrated by the assailants at a ‘praja court’ (people’s court). [9]

On 21 September 2010, alleged Maoists reportedly shot dead a 55-year-old man, Mosali Komuraiah, a resident of Alipur village under the Raikal mandal in Karimnagar district suspecting him to be a police informer. [10]

IV. Violations of the rights of indigenous peoples

The indigenous tribal people of the State continue to face atrocities at the hands of the non-tribals. On 18 September 2010, a non-tribal house owner in Pollovaram under West Godavari district allegedly subjected a 6th class tribal student, Mede Navin Kumar of Kottamamidigondi under the Kondrukota panchayat limits to confinement and torture on the charge of stealing his mobile phone. The house owner identified as Karri Bhaskara Rao allegedly summoned the tribal boy, who lived at a local Scheduled Tribe welfare hostel, tied him to a pole in his cattle shed and thrashed him. [11]

Land alienation and displacement

Lands belonging to the tribal continued to be alienated either by non-tribals or by the State in the name of public interest or industrialisation.

The State Government was accused of harassing the tribals and colluding with the non-tribals in settling the land disputes in favour of the non-tribals. [12] The state administration including police authorities reportedly favour the non-tribals in case of land disputes with tribals. Revenue and police officials continue to ignore pleas of the marginalized tribal owners whose lands have been alienated by powerful and influential landlords. In Vizianagaram district alienation of tribal land continues allegedly in collusion with Revenue and Police authorities. [13]

Mining and extraction of minerals in tribal lands continues unabated. By issuing two controversial orders i.e. GO 69 in February 2009 and GO 64 in June 2010, the State Government allowed the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) to explore iron ore reserves in tribal areas of Khammam district and supply the same to Rakshana Steels Limited. The tribals under the banner of Lambada Hakkula Porata Samiti (LHPS) have demanded that the government cancel the two controversial government orders. The Lambada Hakkula Porata Samiti claimed that the two government orders were issued in contravention of the Land Transfer Regulation Act, 1959 and the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act, 1957. The said legislations banned land transfer and mining of mineral reserves in the agency areas. Further, in 1997 the Supreme Court in the Samata case had ruled that lease of government, patta, revenue and private lands to APMDC was against the law. [14]

In order to obtain environment clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India for thermal power projects in the ecologically fragile eastern coastal belt, the state government was allegedly providing wrong information about the proposed sites. [15] On 16 July 2010, the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) quashed the environment clearance granted earlier in December 2009 to the Srikakulam thermal power project. In the quashing order, the NEAA noted that the authority was convinced that the environment clearance accorded by the Ministry was based on wrong information and was therefore liable to be quashed. [16]

The government started work for the 2640 MW East Coast Energy thermal power project while work for the Meghavaram thermal power project is yet to start. Both are located right next to the historic Naupada swamps which are considered the last of the marshlands on the east coast that supports rich biodiversity and thousands of livelihoods. A population of 50,000 people dependent on agriculture and fisheries in and around Naupada swams place face imminent displacement with the establishment of the two thermal power projects. [17]

Repression under the forest laws

Despite the enactment of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act in December 2006, tribals continued to be hounded out of their land by the state authorities. Often, they are beaten up and implicated in false cases for trying to assert their rights under the law.

On 11 July 2010, police and Forest department officials under Pangadi gram panchayat, in Khammam district allegedly beaten up tribals while they were taking up podu cultivation. Several tribals, including women and children, were reportedly injured in the assault. Four of them sustained head injuries and leg fractures. [18]

On 27 July 2010, the committee on the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act set up by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Tribal Affairs, during its maiden tour of tribal areas in Vishakapatnam district found anomalies in the enumeration of claims on the land cultivated by tribals. In most places, the state authorities have not accepted claims for pattas in bauxite mining areas of Raktakonda, Galikonda and Chittamgondi. The Committee recommended the authorities to accept all claims on forestland pattas in Joint Forest Management and bauxite mining areas. [19]

V. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

Dalits faced societal boycotts as well as physical attacks from the upper castes.

In September 2010, the upper caste villagers led by the gram sarpanch (village head), Mr G. Bhaskar Rao imposed social boycott against 83 dalit families in Gaaran mandal under Srikakulam district apparently on the issue of sand mining. The upper caste people had allegedly stalled power and water supply to the dalit families. [20]

In September 2010, a Dalit identified as Narsimha and a man belonging to Backward Community identified as Yellaiah were allegedly burnt alive by perpetrators belonging to upper castes at Khaitapuram village in Nalgonda district. [21]

VI. Violations of women’s rights

There were reports of violence against women including by police and public officials.

On 24 August 2010, a police constable and a home guard allegedly raped a woman after detaining her husband at a cottage in Sri Pothuluri Veera Brahmendra Swamy temple precincts at Brahmamgarimatam in Kadapa district. The victimized couple was identified to be devotees from Nagulapalem village under Venkatagiri mandal of Nellore district. [22]

Women also remain vulnerable to violence as societal punishment for alleged practice of witchcraft and sorcery. According to the State Crime Records Bureau, Karimnagar, Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda and Medak districts witness the most “black magic” murders and around 150-200 cases of beating or stripping are reported every year.[23]

On 14 August 2010, a woman was reportedly tied to a tree and beaten up by villagers at Pillalamarri village in Suryapet under Nalgonda district accusing her of practicing sorcery and witchcraft.  The victim identified as Ch. Nagamani alleged that the assailant also stripped her. [24]

Women were also targeted for trafficking.

On 12 August 2010, the South and East Zone Task Force arrested a Telugu Desam corporator from Karmanghat, Sama Ramana Reddy, along with a flesh trade organiser and a client, from a house at Anantha Ram Reddy Nagar in Amberpet. [25]

On 20 August 2010, D. Nageshwara Rao of the 5th Battalion of Andhra Pradesh State Police (PC number 1747) and his partner, Kalpana were arrested from a house in Gandhinagar for allegedly running a sex racket. The accused allegedly lured three girls aged between 17 and 20 years with false promise of better life. A case was filed against the accused under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.[26]

VII. Violations of the rights of the child

There were various reports of violations of the rights of the child including sexual violence and corporal punishment in educational institutions.

Sexual harassment in educational institutions

On 22 July 2010, police arrested one Mohammed Salahuddin Ayub, Director of Parkwood International School, located at Manneguda in Ranga Reddy district, on the charges of raping a minor student of the school. According to the victim, the accused had been sexually assaulting her since 10 March 2010. [27] During the course of investigation, it was revealed that the accused had also victimized at least three other girls aged 14 to 16 years, including a foreign student. [28]

On 15 August 2010, a 12-year-old girl was allegedly molested by her teacher at a government primary school in Narshipalli in Kurnool. The victim went to celebrate Independence Day in the school. [29]

On 12 September 2010, the founder and secretary of Siria Orphanage Home and School under Vanasthalipuram police station in Prakasam district was arrested for sexually harassing eight minor girls who lived and studied at his institution. Police reportedly found that the accused identified as M. Malyadri used to call the girls student of classes VII, VIII and IX to his office room on the hostel premises and allegedly sexually assaulted them. [30]

On 21 September 2010, police arrested a school staffer for molesting an eighth-standard student on the school premises at Meerpet town in Ranga Reddy district.[31]

On 22 September 2010, a Class IX girl student was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Telugu subject teacher at ZP High School in Bangarupalem under Chittoor district.[32]

On 27 September 2010, a 14-year-old Class IX girl student committed suicide by hanging allegedly unable to bear harassment from a teacher. The accused teacher, a vidya volunteer in Garikapadu zilla parishad high school under Wyra mandal in Khammam district, had been harassing the deceased to marry him for a few months preceding the incident. [33]

Corporal punishment:

ACHR also documented numerous cases of corporal punishment in Andhra Pradesh during July-September 2010.

On 1 July 2010, four nursing students hailing from Kerala reportedly attempted suicide by swallowing sleeping pills at their hostel in Hanamkonda in Warrangal after being allegedly humiliated by their warden for failing to score good marks in examination. [34]

On 23 July 2010, two girl students identified as 15-year-old Sandhya Devi and 14-year-old Sivalalitha committed suicide by hanging themselves after their teachers Swati, Aruna, Suhasini and Yugandhar had allegedly harassed and insulted them before other classmates. The deceased students were studying in Vikas Vidya Niketan in Kurnool city. [35]

On 9 August 2010, the headmistress of Government Primary School at Jamalandlapalli village in Warrangal district caused burn injuries to eleven children of Class I and II with a burning log. The headmistress allegedly plucked the burning log from the hearth where the mid-day meal was being cooked and pressed it onto the students’ hands, neck and legs resulting in serious burn injuries to three children and minor injuries to the rest.[36]

On 14 August 2010, the Physical Education Teacher (PET) reportedly subjected 39 girl students to punishment of 500 sit-ups each for coming late to the ground at the Tribal Ashram School for girls in Keslapur in Indravelli mandal in Adilabad district. [37]

On 14 September 2010, a teacher at the private Tejaswi Grammar English Medium School in Kambalpally village in Mahbubabad mandal of Warangal district beat up four six-year-old kids with a stick. All four sustained bruises on their bodies and had to be admitted to the Mahbubabad Area Hospital. [38]

On 18 September 2010, a female Physical Education Teacher at a Zilla Parishad government high school at Siddarampuram in Anantapur district reportedly thrashed two Class X students for not being able to take part in a drill. While one of them, identified as A. Harish sustained fracture in his arm, the other identified as Y. Suresh was injured in one of his fingers. [39]

On 21 September 2010, the principal of New Sadhana High School at Kamareddy in Nizamabad district thrashed an eight-year-old student allegedly with a ruler. The victim identified as Balu suffered severe injuries and bled. [40]

VIII. Violations of the ESCRs

There were reports of violations of economic, social and cultural rights in Andhra Pradesh.

a. Violations of the right to work - NREGA

Misappropriation of social sector funds has led to denial of right to work.

In August 2010, it was reported that social audit conducted in 1,070 circles by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India revealed that 32,449 field staff had swindled Rs. 78.52 crore from funds belonging to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Andhra Pradesh. The NREGA was worst affected in Nalgonda district where irregularities of more than Rs 10 crore was recorded. [41] Similarly in Rajupalem mandal in Guntur district local politician and middlemen swindled nearly Rs.2 crore of NREGA funds while the actual beneficiaries of NREGA did not have job cards in their possession. [42] A sum of nearly Rs 20 lakh was allegedly misappropriated in the construction of houses under Indiramma scheme in the same mandal while the targeted beneficiaries continued to be deprived of the benefits. [43]

b. Violations of the right to health

Access to health services remains poor in Andhra Pradesh. The maternal and infant mortality rates remain high. The total number of births annually is around 15,00,000 and the infant mortality rate is still 53 per 1,000 live births while nearly 80,000 children die every year before celebrating their first birthdays. [44]

The absence of safe drinking water, most particularly in the tribal belts, caused water borne diseases. On 14 September 2010, about 100 tribals fell ill after drinking contaminated water in Kommarigudem thanda in Wardhanapet mandal in Warangal district while 50 people were treated at Wardhanapet civil hospital and the rest were treated at a special medical camp at Inovolu primary health centre. [45] Earlier, as of 18 August 2010 the death toll due to diarrhea reached to six in Warangal district. However, the unofficial figure of all reported diarrhea deaths in the district was said to be 27 as against six deaths reported by the health officials. [46]

c. Violations of the right to education

The lack of adequate school teachers resulted in denial of right to education. A total of about 7,200 schools in Andhra Pradesh did not have teachers while there was a requirement of 71,023 classrooms in schools of the state. [47] So far the state government failed to implement the Rashtriya Madyamika Siksha Abhiyan scheme launched to improve the quality of education in the government schools. [48]

Further, the State Government failed to set up monitoring mechanism for implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act though it came into force from 1 April this year. The model rules prescribed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to implement the RTE Act were yet to be adhered to. The model rules requires providing infrastructure facilities and filling up of vacant teacher posts to comply the norm of maintaining teacher-student ratio of 1:30 for primary classes and 1:35 for secondary classes. By this standard, the state government has to recruit about one lakh teachers to implement the RTE Act. [49]

d. Violations of the right to food

In August 2010, Vigilance and Enforcement (V&E) wing of the Andhra Pradesh Police seized as many as 346 quintals of rice meant for use in public distribution system from Venkata Krishna rice mill in Gudivada town in Krishna district. The rice estimated to be worth Rs. 9.39 lakh was being illegally traded in the open market. [50]

Endnotes:
1. Top Maoist killed in A.P., The Hindu, 3 July 2010
2. Agnivesh seeks judicial inquiry into Azad death, HM says no, The Hindustan Times, 10 July 2010
3. Probe begins into encounter deaths, The Hindu, 7 September 2010
4. State extends ban on Maoist groups, Deccan Chronicle, 17 August 2010
5. Lock up death sets off protest, The Deccan Chronicle, 5 July 2010
6. AP protest goes awry, 4 die in police firing, The Asian Age, 15 July 2010
7. Two killed in police firing in Srikakulam district, The Hindu, 15 July 2010
8. Lathicharge in Vizag: second victim dies, The Hindu, 25 September 2010
9. Youth ‘killed’ by Maoists, The Hindu, 1 September 2010
10. Reds gun down police informer, The Deccan Chronicle, 23 September 2010
11. ‘Torture’ of tribal student triggers row, The Hindu, 19 September 2010
12. Tribal leader’s arrest sparks protest, The Hindu, 29 July 2010
13. CPI (M) demands justice for tribal families, The Hindu, 11 September 2010
14. Tribals want Bayyaram mining lease scrapped, The Hindu, 29 July 2010
15. The ‘big green lie’: Wetland declared wasteland in Andhra Pradesh, 27 July 2010
16. Stir fallout: Andhra power plant on hold, The Hindustan Times, 16 July 2010
17. The ‘big green lie’: Wetland declared wasteland in Andhra Pradesh, NDTV, 27 July 2010
18. Action sought against police, forest officials for attacking tribals, The Hindu, 12 July 2010
19. Officials told to accept claims on forestlands, The Hindu, 28 July 2010
20. 83 Dalit families boycotted, Deccan Chronicle, 19 September 2010
21. Dalit burning: panel demands stringent action, The Hindu, 17 September 2010
22. 2 cops booked for molestation, Deccan Chronicle, 24 August 2010
23 . Woman branded as witch, beaten, Deccan Chronicle, 16 August 2010
24. Ibid
25. Constable, partner held for running sex racket, Deccan Chronicle, 21 August 2010
26 . Ibid
27 . Minor’s rape: school director held, The Hindu, 23 July 2010
28 . Principal abused 3 others, Deccan Chronicle, 24 July 2010
29 . Teacher thrashed for molesting girl, Deccan Chronicle, 17 August 2010
30 . City orphanage girls molested by founder, Deccan Chronicle, 13 September 2010
31 . School staffer arrested, The Hindu, 22 September 2010
32 . 2 teachers in the dock for kids’ abuse, The Deccan Chronicle, 23 September 2010
33 . Harassed student commits suicide, The Times of India, 28 September 2010
34 . ‘Humiliated’ nursing students attempt suicide, The Hindu, 3 July 2010
35 . 4 teachers held for 2 girls’ suicides, Deccan Chronicle, 25 July 2010
36 . Headmistress turns torturer, The Hindu, 11 August 2010
37 . Criminal action against teacher, Deccan Chronicle, 15 August 2010
38 . Teacher beats up kids, Deccan Chronicle, 16 September 2010
39 . Teacher breaks student’s hand, The Deccan Chronicle, 21 September 2010
40 . 2 teachers in the dock for kids’ abuse, The Deccan Chronicle, 23 September 2010
41 . Rs 79cr fraud by NREGA, Deccan Chronicle, 5 August 2010
42 . NREGS ‘scam’: CPI (M) seeks stringent action, The Hindu, 3 July 2010
43 . Ibid
44. Mother and Child Health Record project on the anvil, The Hindu, 25 September 2010
45. 100 tribals down with diarrhea, Deccan Chronicle, 15 September 2010
46 . Diarrhoea deaths on rise as tribals bear the brunt, Deccan Chronicle, 19 August 2010
47 . 7,200 schools in AP lack teachers, Deccan Chronicle, 13 July 2010
48 . Pilot project set for state schools, Deccan Chronicle, 22 August 2010
49 . State to get 400cr for RTE, Deccan Chronicle, 18 September 2010
50 . PDS rice seized, The Hindu, 14 August 2010
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