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

Madhya Pradesh



I. Highlight: Forest rights denied to tribals, many die of hunger and malnutrition

Ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Madhya Pradesh failed to properly implement the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006. As of 30th September 2010, a total of 4,08,602 claims including 4,00,351 individual and 8,251 community claims were filed at the Gram Sabha level for getting land titles under the Act but only 98,621 land titles were granted while the state government rejected a total of 2,57,603 claims. [1]

On 6 September 2010, a demonstration was organized by members of tribal communities at  the Chief Ministers’ residence under the banner of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad and Shramik Adiwasi Sangathan to protest the alleged atrocities by the forest officials. The tribal protestors alleged that nearly 100-150 forest personnel, 100 police personnel and 200 other villagers destroyed nearly 50 huts of tribals at Kamtha in West Betul forest division and looted their properties. The protestors further alleged that the forest officials were instigating clashes between illages. They also alleged that the role of the Gram Sabha was minimized and the tribals were not informed the reasons for the rejection of their claims as per the provisions in the Forest Rights Act. [2]

On 28 July 2010, Madhya Pradesh Revenue Minister Karan Singh Verma stated in the State Assembly that action was taken to stop transfer, registration and construction on a land belonging to a tribal which was allegedly sold illegally to a non tribal at Kuchwahi village in Umaria district and action will be taken against those found guilty. The concerned tribal land owner, Chamelia Bai Dhimar had been provided land deed for five acre land on 17 May 1979 but he sold it to an Allahabad resident, Anita Madhyan without obtaining permission from the Collector. However, the transfer was approved by the Revenue Inspector and Madhyan constructed a resort on the land. Similarly, another tribal, Ramkaran Gond had been granted land deed for two acre land on 16 November 1978 but he sold the land to one Dhan Singh Uike without obtaining permission from the Collector. [3]

On 11 July 2010, Health Minister Anup Mishra stated in the State Assembly that 1,22,422 children died due to malnutrition during four years from 2006 to 2009. Confirming the figures stated in the National Family Health Survey-III, the Health Minister said that 60 percent of children in the state were malnourished and were prone to diseases like measles, malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. Worst affected districts in terms of death of children were Satna (1,856 deaths), Sagar (1,481 deaths), Chhattarpur (1,242 deaths), Betul (1,190 deaths), Balaghat (1,150 deaths), Sidhi (1,122 deaths), Shivpuri (1,059 deaths), Panna (626 deaths), Damoh (621 deaths) and Tikamgarh (455 deaths). [4]

The tribal families belonging to BPL category reportedly faced humiliation. At Gopalganj village in Seoni district the officials allegedly forced the tribal families to declare themselves as poor by writing “I am poor” in Hindi on the front door/wall of their houses. The tribal villagers stated that they were not only humiliated but also faced problems in getting marriage proposals for their daughters. [5]

II. Violations of civil and political rights

During July to September 2010, the Asian Centre for Human Rights documented a number of deaths due to alleged torture by the law enforcement officials in Madhya Pradesh.

On 14 August 2010, Raghunath Patel, a resident of Baghoudi village under Ameelia police station in Sidhi district, died due to alleged torture in custody at the Ameelia police station in Sidhi district. The family members of the deceased and residents of Baghoudi village alleged that he died due to torture in police custody. [6] Enraged villagers burnt the police station demanding a judicial probe into the custodial death. [7]

On 22 August 2010, four persons identified as Raju Banjara, Udal Bare, Ravindra and Amjad Khan were killed in an alleged fake encounter by the police in the Baksana area of Chambal ravines in the Bhind district. [8] Deputy leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Chaudhary Rakesh Singh and Amjad Khan’s wife Yasmin claimed that Amjad Khan was not a dacoit but someone who had served in the Indian Army for 10 years and fought in the 1999 argil war. Amjad Khan’s wife Yasmin claimed that the police killed him in cold blood “to get medals and promotions” after picking up for questioning along with Raju, Udal and Ravindra on the same day. She further alleged that when her husband was taken away he was not wearing khaki coloured clothes but khaki dress was found on his body after the alleged encounter. [9]However, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chambal Range, Sanjay Kumar Jha claimed that Raju Banjara, Udal Bare and Ravindra were hardened criminals and that they had cases registered against them in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh including robberies, loot, and possession of illegal arms. He said that in 2004, Raju Banjara had looted .303 rifles from Thared police station in Datia district. The IGP further stated that Amjad Khan was dismissed from the Army and received no pension after 10 years of service. Bhind Superintendent of Police, Chanchal Sekhar claimed that they had received a tip-off that the gang had congregated in Baksana area of the Chambals and were planning kidnappings. When the police went there, there was heavy exchange of fire in which all the four were killed. The state government ordered a magisterial inquiry after it was alleged to be a fake encounter. [10]

On 14 September 2010, Munendra Pal Singh (32 years) was allegedly tortured to death by the police personnel including constable Neeraj at Rajepur area in Farrukhabad district. The deceased, a tempo driver by profession, was stopped by the accused police constable allegedly for driving his tempo with overcrowded passengers. The police claimed that the deceased fainted and rushed to hospital where he died. However, the deceased’s relatives alleged that Munendra Pal Singh was tortured to death by the police. [11]

In another case of highhandedness, Shivmangal Singh (55 years) was allegedly shot dead by Head Constable Parasnath of the 9th Battalion of Special Armed Force (SAF) for failing to obey his order at Hinauti village in Rewa district on 8 August 2010. Head Constable Parasnath allegedly asked the deceased to come to his house to give him a shave but the deceased failed to turn up. This infuriated the accused and he shot him dead on the spot. [12]

III. Violations of the rights of women and children

There were reports of violence against women and violations of the rights of the child.

On the night of 31 July 2010, a 26-year-old tribal woman was allegedly raped by four upper caste persons including a District Panchayat President at Meni Mata area under Silavd police station in Barwani district. The victim who worked as an assistant warden of a girls’ hostel at Meni Mata village was kidnapped by the four accused persons identified as Ramesh Patel (District Panchayat President and Congress leader), Gangram Baghel, Rai Singh Barde and C Banjara from her room of the hostel at gunpoint and raped in a moving vehicle. The medical test conducted on the victim reportedly confirmed rape. [13]

On 1 August 2010, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) held a state-level public hearing on “Children’s Right to Education and other issues” at Gandhi Bhavan in Bhopal. During the day-long programme the panel heard 20 cases related to RTE and other issues. Some of the cases were [14]:-

Diksha (14 years) and Priya (14 years) complained about regular and continuous sexual harassment at workplace (an under construction shopping mall) where they worked as child labourers. The girls wanted to study but could not do so as teachers push them out of school.

Ganesh (11 years), a resident of Khera Kusalpur village in Neemuch district, cleared entrance test for admission in Navodaya Vidyalaya in Rampur on 10 September 2009 and was given admission on 23 June 2010. However, in the
meantime he lost his eyesight in a mishap and on that ground his admission seemed to have been rejected. The jury members opined that Navodaya Vidyalaya violated norms and issued strict directives to principal and Navodaya Sangathan to readmit the child.

Rakesh Valmiki (12 years), a class V student of Government Primary School, Jaitpur, complained that he had to sit separately in school for a Schuduled Caste. He alleged that his teachers taunted that he belonged to the scavenger community, whose primary work is to clean toilets.

Mamta Pathrod (16 years), a Dalit student was forced to leave school in 2009 because she was regularly beaten up and discriminated.

Laxmi (13 years), a tribal student, of Harda district was not allowed to have mid-day meal with other students. The tribal students in the government school were even not allowed to touch drinking water pot. Laxmi also alleged that she was beaten up for touching cooked midday meal. [15]

Endnotes:
1. Ministry of Tribal Affairs, “Status report on implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 [for the period ending 30th September, 2010]” available at http://www.fra.org.in/Sept_2010_India.pdf
2. Tribals demonstrate at CM house,  The Hindustan Times, 7 September 2010
3. ‘Construction on illegally-sold tribal’s land halted’, The Pioneer, 28 July 2010
4. Over one lakh underfed M.P. kids die in four years, The Hindu, 11 July 2010
5. Tribals’ homes tagged ‘I am poor’ in Madhya Pradesh, NDTV, 23 July 2010
6. ACHR’s complaint with the National Human Rights Commission dated 17 August 2010; ACHR’s Reference No MP/28/2010
7. Probe death of man in police custody in Sidhi district: Ajay, CNN-IBN, 16 August 2010
8. Cops killed Kargil war hero in ‘encounter’?, The Times of India, 29 August 2010
9. Kargil hero was killed in fake encounter: Cong, The Hindustan Times, 28 August 2010
10. Cops killed Kargil war hero in ‘encounter’?, The Times of India, 29 August 2010
11. ACHR’s complaint with the NHRC dated 29 September 2010; ACHR’s reference no. MP/29/2010
12. Complaint of the ACHR to the NHRC dated 29 September 2010
13. Complaint of the ACHR to the NHRC on 6 August 2010
14. Children cry foul: caste bias, sexual abuse, denial of education, The Hindustan Times, 2 August 2010
15. Ibid
Copyright © 2010 Asian Centre for Human Rights. All rights reserved.