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  • Andhra Pradesh

    1. Overview. 1
    2. Human rights violations by the security forces 3
    a. Killings in alleged fake encounters 3
    b. Custodial violence. 4
    c. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture. 5
    3. Political repression. 5
    4. Violations of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs 6
    a. Killings 6
    i. Killing of alleged “police informers”. 6
    ii. Killing of political party activists 7
    iii. Killing of other civilians 8
    iv. Kangaroo trials in “People's Court”. 9
    5. Human rights violations by the vigilante groups 9
    6. Violence against women. 9
    7. Violations of the rights of the Dalits 10
    a. Physical violence and discrimination. 11
    b. Denial of land rights 11
    8. Violations of the rights of the indigenous peoples 12
    a. Atrocities 12
    b. Denial of access to health care. 13
    c. Forced displacement and land alienation. 14
    9. Violations of the rights of the child. 14
    10. Violations of the prisoners' rights 15


    1. Overview

    Ruled by the Indian National Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti alliance, the fragile peace process between the State government of Andhra Pradesh and the Maoists ended on 17 January 2005 after the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Jana Shakti group withdrew from the peace talks accusing the government of killing Maoist cadres in “fake encounters”.[1] On the other hand, police authorities accused the Maoists of strengthening themselves by procuring arms and explosives during the ceasefire period.[2]

    The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of the Government of India recorded 53 deaths in police custody and deaths of 85 civilians in police firing in Andhra Pradesh during 2005.[3] The NHRC had recorded 13 deaths in police custody, 116 in judicial custody and 18 deaths in encounters in the state during 2004-2005.[4]

    On 17 August 2005, the Andhra Pradesh government banned the CPI (Maoist) and seven of its frontal organizations – the Radical Youth League, the Rythu Coolie Sangham, the Radical Students' Union, the Singareni Karmika Samakhya, the Viplava Karmika Samakhya, the All-India Revolutionary Students' Federation and the Revolutionary Writers' Association – for one year under the Andhra Pradesh Public Security Act following the killing of Congress Member of Legislative Assembly, C. Narsi Reddy and eight others by the CPI (Maoist) on 15 August 2005 in Mahbubnagar district.[5] In September 2005, the CPI (Maoist) banned the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh and threatened to kill Congress leaders if they did not resign from the party before 2 October 2005.[6]

    On 19 August 2005, Telugu revolutionary writers, P. Varavara Rao and G. Kalyana Rao, who acted as interlocutors during the failed peace talks between the CPI-Maoist and the state government of Andhra Pradesh, were arrested in Hyderabad under the Andhra Pradesh Public Security Act.[7] The court granted bail to Kalyan Rao under the Public Security Act but the Andhra Pradesh police booked both Varavara Rao and Kalyana Rao under two more cases of conspiracy of attacks against policemen in order to ensure that they were not released on bail. While one case related to the Maoists' attack on Achampeta police station in Mahubnagar district on 1 April 2005, the other related to the attempted murder of the Superintendent of Police, Mahesh Chandra Laddha of Prakasham district on 26 April 2005.[8]

    The conflict between the security forces and the Maoists intensified following the collapse of the cease-fire. In July 2005, more than 150 families left their houses at Bommalapuram village in Dornala mandal and more than 50 families fled from Tambadaplle village in Yerragondapalem in Prakasam district due to constant harassment and attacks by both the police and the Maoists. The police reportedly registered false cases against the villagers for allegedly helping the Maoists. The police frequently conducted searches and raids. On the other hand, the Maoists targeted those they suspected to be informers of the police.[9]

    The Dalits continued to be victims of atrocities perpetrated by the upper caste Hindus. The National Crime Records Bureau recorded a total of 3,117 cases of violations against the Dalits in Andhra Pradesh which amounted to 11.9 percent of the total violations against the Dalits in India during 2005.[10]

    The tribals were disproportionate victims of land alienation and displacement. They also suffered torture and harassment at the hands of both the security forces and the Maoists. The security forces harassed and tortured the tribal youth on the suspicion of being Maoists or Maoist sympathisers. On the other hand, the Maoists who claimed to be fighting for the rights of the impoverished tribals also targeted innocent tribals on the charges of being “police informers”.[11]

    2. Human rights violations by the security forces

    a. Killings in alleged fake encounters

    The NHRC recorded 18 deaths in encounters in the State during 2004-2005.[12]

    During 2005, there were reports of several encounter killings. However, despite allegations of “fake encounters”, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy[13] and the state's Director-General of Police, Swaranjit Sen, rejected any demand for probe into any encounter between the police and the Maoists.[14]

    Despite the official denial of alleged “fake encounters”, there were strong circumstantial evidences which suggested that the security forces carried out “cold blooded” murders of Maoists, their sympathizers and civilians.

    On 7 March 2005, 10 Maoists, including three women cadres, were killed in an alleged encounter with the police at Manala village in Nizamabad district. Among the dead were CPI (Maoist) Nizamabad district secretary Ramesh, alias Venkataswamy, and a district committee member, Babanna.[15] However, there had been allegations that the Maoists were tortured before being killed in police custody. A doctor in the team that performed post-mortem on the Maoists' bodies reportedly revealed that all the Maoists were beaten up with wooden sticks and hit with rifle butts. All the bodies reportedly had injuries on the chest, stomach, legs, and arms and on their backs. There were bullet injuries all over their bodies.[16] It was also alleged that the police used one B Mallesh alias Ganganna, a surrendered Maoist, to poison the food that was served to the 10 Maoists and later killed them in cold blood. The mystery surrounding the killing of 10 Maoists further deepened on 8 March 2005 when the police, ignoring the instructions of State Home Minister K Jana Reddy and guidelines of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, got the post mortem done hastily at a hospital in the absence of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mohammed Anwar, and handed the bodies over to their relatives.[17] On 10 March 2005, the Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the State government to file a detail counter affidavit regarding the post-mortem of the 10 Maoists.[18] A magisterial inquiry headed by the Nizamabad sub-divisional magistrate, Mr P Krishnamohan Reddy was ordered to investigate the killing.[19] 

    The other Maoists/ Maoist sympathisers who were allegedly extrajudicially executed included Nalla Vasant, Warangal district vice president of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Sudarshan, Nizamabad district convenor of Telangana Jana Sabha who were allegedly killed by the police in cold blood on 16 January 2005 in the Rampur forest area of Warangal district where they were holding a meeting with leaders of CPI-Maoist to bring the Maoists to the negotiation table with the state government;[20] alleged custodial killing of a Maoist cadre identified as Sridhar in Kurnool district on 3 April 2005;[21] and Andhra Pradesh state committee member of the CPI (ML)-Janashakti group, Riyaz Khan and three other Maoist cadres who were allegedly killed in police custody after their arrest from Karimnagar on the night of 30 June 2005.[22]

    However, most of the allegations of extrajudicial killings could not be verified.

    In addition to the killing of Maoists, the police were also responsible for alleged extrajudicial killings of civilians. Examples include the alleged extrajudicial killing of three persons including a 17-year-old Anil, a student of Sircilla Government College in Sircilla town in Karimnagar district on 20 January 2005;[23] and killing of a tribal identified as Kanaka Kishan in an alleged encounter at Babapur in Indravelli mandal in Adilabad district on 28 February 2005.[24]

    b. Custodial violence

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 53 deaths in police custody during 2005[25] while the NHRC had recorded 13 deaths in police custody during 2004-2005.[26]

    On 12 January 2005, a tribal youth identified as Irpha Sitaiah died in the custody of the police at Charla police station in Khammam district after being picked up for questioning regarding a cockfight that was being organized at Chinamidisileru village. Police claimed that Irpha Sitaiah fell unconscious during interogation and was rushed to the Primary Health Centre at Satyanarayanapuram where he was given first aid before shifting to the government hospital at Bhadrachalam where he died. But the villagers alleged that he  died of torture. Sub-Inspector Anisetti Raghu of Charla police station was suspended and Integrated Tribal Development Agency announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the deceased's family and free education to the deceased's son.[27]

    The other victims who died due to alleged torture during police custody included Chalapathi who died  at the One-Town police station in Madanapalle in Chittoor district on 12 January 2005;[28] Salapakshi Gopi, a student, who died at Venkatagiri police station in Nellore district on 19 January 2005;[29] Tadipatri Eswaraiah, a Communist Party of India activist of Akutotapalli village, who died at Itikelapalli police station in Anantapur district on 28 January 2005;[30] Muntha Narasimha who died at Pangal police station in Mahbubnagar district on 11 July 2005;[31] and Sanjeevarayudu who died at the Lingala police station lockup in Pulivendula Assembly constituency on the night of 18 July 2005.[32]

    c. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture

    Arbitrary arrest and illegal detention were rampant during 2005. In October 2005, two police officers of Kurnool Circle-Inspector Sivashanker Reddy and Sub-Inspector Maheswar Reddy, and three constables were suspended for illegal detention of three persons identified as Seshanna Goud, Panduranga Swamy Goud and Ravindra Goud in connection with a land dispute. The victims were taken into custody on 16 October 2005 but their detention was not recorded. The family members of the arrested persons filed a habeas corpus petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the police initially denied in the court that the victims were in their custody.[33]

    On 21 December 2005, the Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the police to take action against Inspector T. Srinivas Reddy of LB Nagar police station for illegally detaining and torturing one Ms Shoba Rani. The victim was illegally detained from 13 November 2005 but the police denied her detention. Following a habeas corpus petition filed by Ms Palle Lavanya, sister-in-law of Ms Shoba Rani, the police was forced to produce her before the High Court on 21 December 2005.[34]

    3. Political repression

    Political tension between the ruling parties and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) continued to take place. The TDP claimed that its activists were systematically targeted by the state government.

    On 24 January 2005, TDP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Paritala Ravi, and two other activists were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at the TDP office in Anantapur town.[35] The TDP accused that the state government was involved in the killings. In protest, the TDP activists went on rampage in several towns, setting ablaze dozens of government buses and attacking Congress and Government offices. The state government reacted by arresting about 2,500 activists of the TDP and registered criminal cases against some TDP leaders including Member of Parliament from Chittoor, D K Audikeshavulu, former minister ST Srinivas Yadav, TDP MLA G Sayanna and T Srinivas Reddy for their alleged role in the arson and violence.[36]

    4. Violations of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs

    The Maoists were responsible for executions of its opponents, alleged police informers and socalled class enemies in violation of the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

    a. Killings

    i. Killing of alleged “police informers”

    The Maoists continued extrajducial execution of innocent civilians on the charges of being “police informers”. On 19 July 2005, Maoists reportedly shot dead one Thati Eedaiah, a para teacher working in a Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) school at Isuka Tripurantakam in Pullalacheruvu mandal in Prakasam district after branding him a “police informer”.[37] On 6 April 2005, Vadde Kantaiah was dragged out from his house and shot dead from point blank range by the Maoists at Banal village in Mahbubnagar district for similar reasons.[38]

    Other civilians who were killed as “police informers” included a tribal youth identified as Vadthya Dasarath at Peddagattu thanda near Kasarajupalli village in Nalgonda district on 22 January 2005;[39] Dhole Zuru Matami at Maweli village in Gadchiroli district on 29 January 2005;[40] Damodar Rao of Gangapur in Adilabad district on 1 February 2005;[41] Battula Rajaiah, a farmer at Kadaparajupalle village in Prakasam district on 2 February 2005;[42] Rami Reddy at Edullapally village in Warangal district on 2 February 2005;[43] Venkateswara Reddy and Saidulu in Guntur district on 8 February 2005;[44] Bomma Chinna Venkateshwarlu in Nalgonda district and Jigata Gangaiah at Thimmampet village in Warangal district on 10 March 2005.[45]

    Former Maoists were specifically targeted. Those former Maoists who were killed on the charges of being “police informers” included Narsimhulu who was killed at Srigadha village in Karimnagar district on 16 January 2005;[46] V Ramaesh who was killed near Vegumpet village in Karimnagar district on 30 January 2005;[47] Narasimha Rao in Guntur district on 8 February 2005;[48] Potharaju Sattaiah in Medak district and Venkatramula in Anantapur district on 17 March 2005;[49] and J Bachibabu of Sampangiguda village who was killed at Pedavalasa village in Visakhapatnam district on 10 August 2005.[50]

    ii. Killing of political party activists

    The political party activists were killed for their alleged anti-Maoist stand.

    Those targeted by the Maoists included activists from Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telengana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On 15 August 2005, Maoists shot dead Congress MLA Chittem Narsi Reddy and eight others including his son Venkateshwar Reddy and Narayanpet municipal commissioner Ram Mohan, at a school inaugration function at Narayanpet in Mahbubnagar district.[51] The Communist party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) owned responsibility for the killings and stated that it was done to protest against the “anti-people” policies of Congress-led Andhra Pradesh government and threatened to carry out more attacks on politicians.[52]

    As stated earlier, in September 2005, the CPI (Maoist) banned the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh and threatened to kill Congress leaders if they did not resign from the party before 2 October 2005.[53]

    Others killed by the Maoists included BJP activist Bandla Srinivasa Rao on 11 January 2005;[54] Telugu Desam Party activist Ramaiah at Kalagall village in Anantapur district on 18 January 2005;[55] TDP activist Kotturi Pocham at Ankoda under Easgaon police station limits in Adilabad district on 21 January 2005;[56] a former Sarpanch (village head) of TDP, Hanmanthu Chandraiah Goud at Devarakonda in Nalgonda district on 24 January 2005;[57] Congress Sarpanch (village head) Lingaiah at Bopparam village in Adilabad district on 27 January 2005;[58] TDP activist Narayana at Yedullapalli village in Warangal district on 2 February 2005;[59] vice-president of Rangareddy district Congress Committee, VS Papi Reddy at Arutla village in Rangareddy district on 9 March 2005;[60] TDP activist Chinna Yellaiah in Nalgonda district and Congress activist Parvathalu at Mannanur village in Mahbubnagar district on 24 March 2005;[61] TRS leader K Narayan Goud at Nacharam in the outskirts of Hyderabad on 29 March 2005;[62] local Congress leader Madhusudana Reddy in Atchampeta Mandal in Mahaboobnagar district on the night of 3 April 2005;[63] BJP activist Ayyapu Reddy at Peddapur village in Mahabubnagar on 4 April 2005;[64] TDP leader Singi Reddy Satti Reddy at Allapuram village in Nalgonda district on 7 April 2005;[65] Congress Sarpanch (village head) Konganti Komuraiah at Kantathmakur village in Warangal district on 11 April 2005;[66] TDP sarpanch Adinarayana at Kondapur village in Anantapur district on 19 April 2005;[67] TDP upa-sarpanch (vice village head) Gandra Rajeswara Rao at Golla Budharam village in Warangal district on the midnight of 21 April 2005;[68] BJP Manchal mandal unit president, M. Mahender Gowd near Ibrahimpatan in Ranga Reddy district on 22 April 2005;[69] Mandal Prajaparishad Territorial Constituency member of TRS T Nagabhushanam at Veernapalli in Karimnagar district on the night of 17 June 2005;[70] three TDP workers - P Ramaiah, B Yogaiah and M Venkata Subbaiah at Yachavaram village in Prakasam district on the night of 18 June 2005;[71]  TDP activist G Satyanarayana at Adigoppala village in Guntur district on 23 August 2005;[72] and TDP Sarpanch (village head) of Kazipally, K Ashoka Chary at Bahadurpally Crossroads near Dullapally village, about 40 km from Hyderabad on 21 September 2005.[73]

    iii. Killing of other civilians

    The Maoists were also responsible for killing of civilians. On 26 January 2005, alleged Maoists kidnapped an advocate, Annapareddy Ravi Kumar from his house in Vinukonda town in Guntur district. His body was found at Gummanampadu village in the district on the next morning. The Maoists alleged that he was involved in extortion posing as a Maoist cadre.[74]

    On the night of 28 February 2005, alleged Maoists killed eight persons in cold blood and cut off the hands and legs of two others at Vempenta village near Atmakur of Kurnool district. The Maoists had invited some 50 villagers to Nallamalla forest area for settling a long pending dispute between the villagers and the Naxalites. Those killed include Rajender Goud, Davidu, Janardhan, Ravi, Murli, Swamulu, Swami Das and Shivaiah. The Maoists cut off the hands and the legs of Shiva Reddy and Shankar Goud. Communist Party of India-Maoist claimed responsibility for the killing, saying it was done in retaliation of the burning to death of 9 Dalits of the same village in 1998.[75]

    iv. Kangaroo trials in “People's Court”

    The Maoists continued to deliver kangaroo justice through its socalled “People's Court”, the Jana Adalat. On 19 January 2005, a TDP activist Bikkati Ramudu was awarded death sentence by the Maoists' “Peoples' Court” at Kalagallu under Kuderu mandal in Anantapur district. According to the family members of the deceased, the Maoists held a “People's Court” in a citrus orchard on the outskirts of the village, where they sought an explanation from the victim over the alleged excesses committed by him in the past. Although the victim denied the allegations and pleaded for his life, he was pronounced guilty. He was reportedly shot dead from close range.[76]

    5. Human rights violations by the vigilante groups

    A large number of private armies, whose cadres consisted of dominantly former Maoists, sprang up in Andhra Pradesh under the guise of anti-Maoist groups. Some of these vigilante groups were Fear Vikas, Green Tigers, Nalladandu, Red Tigers, Tirumala Tigers, Palnadu Tigers, Kakatiya Cobras, Narsa Cobras, Nallamalla Nallatrachu (Cobras) and Kranthi Sena. These anti-Maoists vigilante groups allegedly had the backing of the state government, which the state government strongly denied. These vigilante groups were responsible for a series of killings of the alleged Maoist sympathisers.

    On 24 August 2005, a member of the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Kanakachary was allegedly hacked to death by cadres of Narsa Cobras in Mahbubnagar district.[77]

    The other victims included Mannem Prasad, an activist of anti-casteism organization Kula Nirmulana Porata Samiti who was allegedly killed by members of Nallamalla Black Cobras at Singarayakonda in Prakasam district on 10 September 2005;[78] and Alladi Ravi, another activist of Kula Nimulana Porata Samiti, who was killed in Chimakurthy mandal in Prakasham district by the members of Nallamalla Black Cobras on 17 September 2005.[79]

    6. Violence against women

    According to 2005 Annual Report of the National Crime Records Bureau, Andhra Pradesh accounted for 13.4% of the total cases of crimes against women in the country by reporting 20,819 cases during 2005. These included 935 cases of rape, 995 cases of abduction, 443 dowry deaths, 8,696 cases of domestic violence, among others. With 26.1% crime rate, Andhra Pradesh was second only to Delhi which topped with 27.6% crime rate against women during 2005.[80]

    In February 2005, the Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission ordered the state government to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation to a woman who was molested by Sub-Inspector D Venkanna Choudary at the Tenali police station in Guntur district on the night of 8 August 2003. The victim had filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission. After investigation, the SHRC found Sub-Inspector D Venkanna Choudary guilty of illegal confinement and attempted sexual assault on the victim in the lock-up.[81]

    On 10 March 2005, the Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission asked the State government to pay a compensation of Rs 100,000 each to the three tribal women who were gang-raped by the police and Rs 50,000 each to other villagers who were tortured during a raid at Veldurti in Guntur district in September 2003. The SHRC also asked the State government to suspend the 13 police officers involved in the incident, including the Macherla Circle-Inspector Gaviri Srinivasa Rao and Sub-Inspector Subba Rao.[82]

    Women also faced societal discrimination and physical attacks.

    On 5 October 2005, a woman identified as Ellava was allegedly beaten up, paraded and hanged upside down for about 40 minutes by the relatives of a man who was allegedly killed by her family members for having an affair with Ellava's daughter at Rudrangi village in Chandurthi mandal of Karimnagar district. She was reportedly tortured in the presence of elected representatives of the village.[83] In a similar case, on 22 December 2005, G. Malamma was reportedly tied to a pole and tonsured by the villagers led by P. Siddulu and Mallaiah who accused her of performing black magic at Tondapally village in Ranga Reddy district.[84]

    There were also reports of honour killings. On 7 July 2005, Gilani Bi was allegedly murdered by her elder brother, Nagur Vali for “honour” after she was suspected of having an affair with her neighbour at Betamcherla village in Kurnool district.[85]

    7. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

    Incidence of violence against the Dalits was very high in Andhra Pradesh. The National Crime Records Bureau recorded a total of 3,117 cases of violations against the Dalits in Andhra Pradesh which amounted to 11.9% of the total violations against the Dalits in India during 2005.[86]

    a. Physical violence and discrimination

    The Dalits were victims of caste-based physical violence and discrimination. 

    On 3 March 2005, a landlord Kommu Appa allegedly molested the wife of the Dalit Sarpanch (Village Council President) Jinaka Iddaaiah of Abbayipalem village in Warangal district. Unable to bear the humiliation, the Dalit sarpanch committed suicide by consuming insecticide on 6 March 2005.[87] Earlier, an investigation conducted by a team of Andhra Pradesh State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (State SC/ST Commission) consisting of its Chairman, Justice K Punnaiah and two other members K V Narayana and Azmeera Raju Nayak in Janaury 2005 found two landlords Ravindranath and Bolla Radhakrishna guilty of harassing and exploiting the Dalits at Bandlagudem hamlet of Pedathummidi village in Krishna district. The State SC/ST Commission directed the district administration to take action against the landlords and protect the Dalits and other weaker sections of society.[88]

    Caste-based discrimination and violence were common not only in rural areas but also in urban areas. The Andhra Pradesh State SC/ST Commission stated in July 2005 that it received “complaints about several instances of untouchability” from the outskirts of “cyber city” Hyderabad. Justice K. Punnaiah, Chairperson of Andhra Pradesh State SC/ST Commission stated that the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes were still not allowed into temples and they faced discrimination “on various other fronts”. According to L. Mysaiah, State President of Ambedkar Yuvajana Sangham and Mr B. Vishwanatham, State President of Dalit Praja Samithi, many upper caste people refused to accept Dalits and tribals as their tenants. Even IAS and IPS officials allegedly discriminated against them.[89] 

    Justice remained elusive for the Dalits. By the end of 2005, 3,780 cases were pending for trial in courts while 2005 cases were pending investigation by the police in the state. While the charge-sheeting rate for the crimes against the Dalits in the state was 96.4%, the conviction rate for the same remained as low as 15.3% during 2005.[90]

    b. Denial of land rights

    The state government of Andhra Pradesh continued to discriminate against the Dalits by denying them land rights. In November 2004, the state government had launched much-hyped “Indira Prabha” scheme, which is a comprehensive land development programme, for the landless poor with a budgetary allocation of about Rs 500 crores. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were the proposed beneficiaries of the project,[91] and the state government claimed to have distributed hundreds of hectres of land to the landless poor.

    Ironically, the same “Indira Prabha” scheme made the Dalits victims of land alienation. On 22 August 2005, a Dalit farmer named Katuri Moses committed suicide at Pedapalaparru village under Mudinepalli mandal in Krishna district after the revenue officials identified his 22 cent land as government land and decided to hand over the ownership of the land to another landless farmer under the “Indira Prabha” scheme. The land originally belonged to the government but Katuri Moses had reportedly been tilling the land for over 15 years with permission from the authorities. Suddenly, he became landless after the revenue officials turned down his plea to make him beneficiary of the land.[92]

    Often, the Dalits were given pattas (deed) for land; but not the actual land. In March 1992, the then Mandal Revenue Officer of Vissannapet, J Nageswara Rao issued ownership pattas of over 567.02 acre of surplus land to 125 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families at Kondaparva village of Vissannapet Mandal in Krishna district. The government claimed to have acquired the lands from the landlords under the Andhra Pradesh Land Ceiling Act in 1992. But as on 13 February 2005, these lands were still being occupied by the landlords and the government failed to hand over the lands to the proposed beneficiaries despite repeated representations by the ST/SC beneficiaries to the Mandal Revenue Office.[93]

    8. Violations of the rights of the indigenous peoples

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 515 cases of atrocities against the tribals in the state during 2005, which amounted to 9% of the total all India cases of atrocities against the tribals.[94] By the end of 2005, 678 cases were pending for trial in courts while another 307 cases were pending investigation by the police in the state. While the charge-sheeting rate for the crime against the tribals in the state was 91.3%, the conviction rate remained as low as 12.4% during 2005.[95]

    a. Atrocities

    The tribals, particularly the youth, suffered torture at the hands of both the security forces and the Maoists. The security forces harassed and tortured the tribal youth on the suspicion of being Maoist cadres or Maoists' sympathizers. On the other hand, the Maoists who claimed to be fighting for the rights of the improvised tribals targeted innocent tribals on the charges of being police informers.[96] In other words, the tribals remained sandwiched between the security forces and the Maoists.

    The situation became alarming as the state government of Andhra Pradesh proposed to bring the tribals in direct confrontation with the Naxalites by arming them. In August 2005, the state Cabinet gave its nod to raise a tribal battalion known as “Girijan Battalion” with strength of 1,260 tribals, including 10 reserve Inspectors, 30 Sub-Inspectors, 45 Assistant Sub-Inspectors, 277 Head-Constables and 820 constables. The Cabinet sanctioned Rs 13.73 crores to create and maintain this tribal battalion.[97] Many tribal leaders and Members of Legislative Assembly opposed the setting up of the tribal battalion.[98]

    b. Denial of access to health care

    The tribals continued to be denied the basic medical facilities. Hundreds of tribals reportedly died due to malaria and other diseases in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam district. The state government, however, consistently denied the “malaria” deaths.

    Following a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by the opposition Telugu Desam Party on 26 July 2005 against alleged “neglect” by the state government over the deaths of tribals due to malaria,[99] the NHRC sent its Special Rapporteur for the Southern States, K R Venugopal to investigate into the matter. In his report to the NHRC, Special Rapporteur K R Venugopal confirmed the deaths of 2,227 persons due to malaria and other communicable diseases in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam district from January to July 2005.[100] He blamed the State government for the miserable economic and health status of the tribals. He found that out of the total 1,26,013 households in Paderu in Visakhapatnam district, 1,17,834 households i.e 94 % were living below the poverty line.[101]  This was despite the fact that Paderu was covered under the much-hyped Integrated Tribal Development Agency programme of the state government. Clearly, the various programmes of the state government to help the tribals failed miserably to achieve the targets.

    The Andhra Pradesh government rejected K R Venugopal's figures of malaria deaths. On 10 September 2005, Visakhapatnam District Medical and Health Officer P. Rama Rao clarified that only seven persons died of malaria from January to July 2005 in the state and only one in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam district and that the total number of 2,227 deaths during the period in the agency area of Visakhapatnam conformed to the normal rate of death. Giving a break-up of the total figures, Dr. Rama Rao stated that out of 2,227 deaths, 139 were infants, 5 maternal, 1 malaria (other 6 deaths were recorded in hospitals in the plain area), 2 diarrhoea, 107 cardio vascular, 1 typhoid, 2 malnutrition, 112 heart diseases, 53 TB, 111 jaundice, 30 paralytic, 4 by snake bite, 32 poisoning, 93 in road accidents, 121 due to fits, 156 acute appendicitis, 54 due to upper respiratory infection, 102 due to asthma common in high altitudes, 680 due to old age and 414 due to other diseases.[102]

    c. Forced displacement and land alienation

    The tribals had been disproportionate victims of land alienation. Many tribals lost their lands to the non-tribals, who occupied the lands illegally. On the other hand, the police filed cases against the tribal land owners on the basis of complaints by the non-tribals. On 4 July 2005, tribal people from six villages in Devipatnam mandal under East Godavari district made a representation to the project officer of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency of Rampachodavaram, Solomon Arokhyaraj stating that the police were filing cases against them and harassing them on the basis of false reports of non-tribals, who encroached upon tribal lands.[103]

    According to Adivasi Sangrama Parishad, the proposed Polavaram project on Godavari river would submerge 276 tribal villages and about 3,886 hectares of reserve forest. In all, about 40,773 hectare of land would be submerged.[104]

    9. Violations of the rights of the child

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 950 cases of crimes against children in Andhra Pradesh during 2005 which included 56 cases of murder, 315 cases of rape and 332 cases of kidnapping.[105]

    The Maoists were allegedly responsible for the recruitment of children as soldiers to fight the security forces. According to the estimates of the Andhra Pradesh police, there were around 150 minors in various Maoists organizations in the state.[106]  On 1 February 2005, two out of eight surrendered Maoists were minors. They were identified as Boggula Ramadevi alias Vennela (14) and E Saraswathi (18).[107]

    According to official figures, there were about 1.8 lakh child labours in Andhra Pradesh.[108] The 2003-2004 financial report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) stated that the government of Andhra Pradesh failed to check child labour in the state, despite its claims of abolishing child labour by 2004. The CAG report revealed that millions of rupees in child labour abolition schemes had been diverted and the Supreme Court guidelines were flouted. The Supreme Court had directed the state government to collect Rs. 20,000 per child from employers in hazardous occupations and use that money for rehabilitating the child labourers. However, the state government rescued only 3 children from hazardous occupations. The report stated that out of the 1.88 lakh child labourers enrolled in special schools, only 1.08 lakh or 58 per cent were successfully inducted into mainstream schools. The CAG report also states that there was no co-relation between incidence of child labour and the location of special schools.[109]

    The condition of the juvenile homes remained deplorable. On 16 January 2005, 23 juvenile prisoners reportedly escaped from an observation home in Nizamabad.[110] On 16 February 2005, another 6 juveniles escaped from the Krishna District Children Observation Home for Boys in Vijayawada.[111]

    10. Violations of the prisoners' rights

    Prisons were overcrowded and their conditions sub-human. The NHRC recorded 116 cases of deaths in judicial custody from Andhra Pradesh during 2004-2005.[112]

    On the night of 4 June 2005, an undertrial prisoner identified as Erramkurthi Shobhan Babu of Kamareddy Sub-Jail reportedly died under suspicious circumstances at Kamareddy government hospital in Nizamabad district. The deceased was shifted to the hospital by the jail authorities after he complained of chest pain. But the family members of the deceased claimed they found severe wounds on the neck and limbs of the deceased and alleged that Erramkurthi Shobhan Babu had died due to torture.[113]

    On 8 September 2005, the inmates of Nellor Central jail launched a hunger strike in protest against poor medical facilities in the jail following the death of an under-trial prisoner identified as Ch Nagaraju after he had a fall in the prison bathroom in August 2005.[114]



    [1]. Rebels dump Andhra talks, The Telegraph, 18 January 2005

    [2]. Naxals thought we had gone weak: DGP, The Deccan Chronicle, 21 January 2005 

    [3]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [4]. 2004-2005 Annual Report of NHRC of India

    [5]. CPI(Maoist) banned, The Hindu, 18 August 2005 

    [6]. BAN ON CONGRESS IN AP - Threat to kill party leaders, The Deccan Herald, 10 September 2005 

    [7]. Two pro-Naxal poets arrested in AP, The Tribune, 20 August 2005

    [8]. Varavara, Kalyan charged under two more cases of conspiracy, The Pioneer, 26 August 2005

    [9]. Cop, Naxal fear grips villages, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 July 2005

    [10]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [11]. Tribal youth hit by Naxal ire, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 March 2005

    [12]. 2004-2005 Annual Report of NHRC of India

    [13]. YSR gives clean chit to police, The Hindu, 21 January 2005

    [14]. DGP rules out probe into encounters, The Hindu, 23 January 2005

    [15]. 10 Naxals shot dead in Andhra, The Asian Age, 8 March 2005

    [16]. Torture suspected before encounter, The Deccan Chroncile, 9 March 2005

    [17]. Naxal killings: Police do hasty cover up act, The Pioneer, 9 March 2005

    [18]. HC asks State to file a counter in Manala Case, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 March 2005

    [19]. Probe into Manala encounter postponed, The Deccan Chronicle, 2 May 2005

    [20]. Cops killed unarmed Telangana leaders, say eyewitnesses, The Pioneer, 20 January 2005

    [21]. 3 Naxals killed in ‘encounters', The Pioneer, 4 April 2005

    [22]. Top Naxal leader killed in encounter, The Deccan Herald, 2 July 2005

    [23]. Three Naxals killed in AP, The Deccan Herald, 21 January 2005

    [24]. People dispute cops version on encounter, The Deccan Chronicle, 2 March 2005

    [25]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Government of India

    [26]. 2004-2005 Annual Report of NHRC of India 

    [27]. SI suspended for death of a tribal, The Deccan Chronicle, 13 January 2005

    [28]. Death in custody: CI, SI suspended, The Hindu, 14 January 2005 

    [29]. Lock-up death sparks violence, The Deccan Chronicle, 20 January 2005

    [30]. Man dies in police station, The Deccan Chronicle, 29 January 2005

    [31]. Accused dies in police lockup, The Deccan Chronicle, 12 July 2005

    [32]. Thief dies in police lock-up, The Deccan Chronicle, 20 July 2005

    [33]. Five cops suspended for illegal detention, The Deccan Chronicle, 28 October 2005 

    [34]. Action on cop for torture, The Deccan Chronicle, 22 December 2005

    [35]. Telugu Desam MLA shot dead, The Hindu, 25 January 2005

    [36]. Police arrests 2,500 TDP workers in AP, The Deccan Herald, 29 January 2005 

    [37]. Maoists kill school teacher, The Hindu, 20 July 2005

    [38]. Naxals kill TD leader, torch buses, The Deccan Chronicle, 8 April 2005 

    [39]. Tribal youth shot dead by Maoists, The Deccan Chronicle, 24 January 2004

    [40]. Naxals kill police informer, The Tribune, 31 January 2005

    [41]. Three informers killed by Maoists, The Deccan Chronicle, 3 February 2005

    [42]. Ibid

    [43]. Ibid

    [44]. Naxals kill three, girl hurt in firing, The Deccan Chronicle, 9 February 2005

    [45]. Naxalite bandh marred by violence, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 March 2005

    [46]. Trigger-happy Naxals on killing spree, The Pioneer, 17 January 2005

    [47]. Maoists kill former Naxalite, The Deccan Chronicle, 31 January 2005 

    [48]. Naxals kill three, girl hurt in firing, The Deccan Chronicle, 9 February 2005

    [49]. Ex-naxalites slain, bus set on fire in AP, The Deccan Herald, 18 March 2005 

    [50]. Maoists kill 2 informers, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 August 2005

    [51]. Maoists in AP kill MLA, his son, 8 others, The Deccan Herald, 16 August 2005

    [52]. CPI-Maoist threaten to kill more politicians, The Asian Age, 18 August 2005

    [53]. BAN ON CONGRESS IN AP - Threat to kill party leaders, The Deccan Herald, 10 September 2005 

    [54]. Informer shot dead by Naxals, The Deccan Chronicle, 13 January 2005

    [55]. No let-up in naxal-related violence, The Hindu, 20 January 2005

    [56]. TDP activist killed by Maoists, The Hindu, 23 January 2005 

    [57]. Maoists kill ex-Td sarpanch, The Deccan Chronicle, 25 January 2005

    [58]. Naxal violence in AP: Two killed, 10 injured, The Deccan Herald, 27 January 2005

    [59]. Maoists gun down two in Andhra, The Central Chronicle, 3 February 2005

    [60]. Maoists strike back at Congress, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 March 2005

    [61]. Naxals shot TDP activist to death, kill Congress worker, The Deccan Herald, 26 March 2005

    [62]. Maoists kill TRS leader, The Deccan Chronicle, 30 March 2005

    [63]. Naxal kill Congress leader; torch seven house; One Maoist killed, The Free Press Journal, 5 April 2005 

    [64]. BJP worker killed, The Hindu, 5 April 2005

    [65]. Naxals kill TD leader, torch buses, The Deccan Chronicle, 8 April 2005

    [66]. Sarpanch chased and shot dead by Naxals, The Deccan Chronicle, 12 April 2005

    [67]. Naxals kill TDP sarpanch, blast police station, The Hitavada, 21 April 2005

    [68]. BJP leader among 3 shot dead by Maoists, The Hindu, 23 April 2005 

    [69]. Ibid

    [70]. Maoists hack TRS member to death, The Times of India, 19 June 2005 

    [71]. Maoists kill 3 TDP workers, The Central Chronicle, 20 June 2005

    [72]. Naxals kill TDP man in AP district, The Asian Age, 25 August 2005

    [73]. TD sarpanch shot dead, The Deccan Chronicle, 22 September 2005

    [74]. Advocate killed by Naxalites, The Deccan Chronicle, 29 January 2005 

    [75]. Naxals kill 8, disable 2 in Andhra, The Pioneer, 2 March 2005

    [76]. Maoists gun down Desam activist, The Deccan Chronicle, 20 January 2005

    [77]. Andhra Govt to probe activist's killing, The Pioneer, 27 August 2005

    [78]. Maoist party ally killed, The Hindu, 11 September 2005

    [79]. Cobras kill Dalit leader in Ongole, The Deccan Chronicle, 18 September 2005

    [80]. http://ncrb.nic.in/crime2005/cii-2005/CHAP5.pdf

    [81]. Molested Woman gets Rs 3 lakh, The Deccan Chronicle, 3 February 2005 

    [82]. SHRC indicts cops who raped 3 tribals, The Deccan Chronicle, 25 March 2005

    [83]. Woman hanged upside down in AP, The Times of India, 7 October 2005 

    [84]. Farmers tonsure woman, The Deccan Chronicle, 23 December 2005 

    [85]. Man kills sister for family's honour, The Deccan Chronicle, 9 July 2005 

    [86]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [87]. Dalit sarpanch ends life, The Deccan Chronicle, 7 March 2005

    [88]. Dalit victims narrate tales of woe, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 January 2005

    [89]. Untouchability rules beyond city limits, The Deccan Chronicle, 20 July 2005 

    [90]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [91]. YSR launches schemes for youth welfare, land development, The Hindu Business Line, 20 November 2004, available at http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2004/11/20/stories/2004112002161700.htm

    [92]. Dalit's suicide puts State in fix, The Deccan Chronicle, 24 August 2005 

    [93]. State fails to give land to Dalits, The Deccan Chronicle, 24 February 2005

    [94]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [95]. Ibid

    [96]. Tribal youth hit by Naxal ire, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 March 2005 

    [97]. State to pit tribals against Naxals, The Deccan Chronicle, 17 August 2005 

    [98]. Tribal leaders oppose special battalion, The Deccan Chronicle, 26 August 2005

    [99]. AP tribal deaths: Congress, TDP play blame game, The Deccan Herald, 27 July 2005 

    [100]. AP in a spot over NHRC reports, Decan Herald, 10 September 2005, available at http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/Sep102005/national19278200599.asp

    [101].  “Govts to blame for tribal deaths”, The Deccan Herald, 20 September 2005, http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/Sep202005/panorama1522402005919.asp

    [102]. Health official clarifies on malaria deaths in agency, The Hindu, 11 September 2005 

    [103]. Tribals allege police harassment, The Hindu, 5 July 2005 

    [104]. Tribals' strike on Polavaram, The Deccan Chronicle, 21 June 2005

    [105]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [106]. Minors go the Naxal way, The Deccan Chronicle, 2 February 2005

    [107]. 2 minors along with  6 Naxals surrender, The Deccan Chronicle, 2 February 2005 

    [108]. Child labour haunts Andhra, The Telegraph, 24 May 2005 

    [109]. Removal of child labour a hollow promise: CAG, The Hindu, 2 April 2005  

    [110]. 23 juveniles escape from Nizamabad, The Deccan Chronicle, 17 January 2005

    [111]. Six undertrials escape from juvenile home, The Deccan Chronicle, 17 February 2005 

    [112]. NHRC Annual Report 2004-2005, http://www.nhrc.nic.in/Documents/AR/AR04-05ENG.pdf

    [113]. Undertrial dies at hospital, kin stage agitation, The Deccan Chronicle, 6 June 2005

    [114]. Inmates of Nellor jail go on strike, The Deccan Chronicle, 9 September 2005

     

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