Ruled by the Indian National Congress, on 1 August 2007 the State government of Andhra Pradesh extended the ban on the Communist Party of India (Maoists) and its alleged six front organisations - Radical Youth League, Rythu Coolie Sangham, Radical Student Union, Singareni Karmika Samkhya, Viplava Karmika Samkhya and the All India Revolutionary Students Federation by one more year. On 8 September 2007, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy stated in Hyderabad that his government was willing to hold talks with the Maoists if they “shun violence”. It did not evoke any response from the Maoists.
In order to counter the Maoists, in August 2007, the Andhra Pradesh government announced cash rewards ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 12 lakh for killing Naxalites. A total of Rs 16 crore was put on the heads of 1,133 Maoists. The cash reward is as follows: Rs 12 lakh each for killing 13 top Maoist leaders of the Central Committee, including Ganapathi and Ramakrishna, Rs 10 lakh each for killing 27 leaders of the State Special Zonal Committees, including Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee and Andhra-Orissa Border Committee, Rs 8 lakh each for members of State Committees, Rs 6 lakh each for Regional Committee members, Rs 5 lakhs for District Committee and Division Committee secretaries, military platoon commanders and members of the struggle and publicity committees, Rs 3 lakh each for deputy commanders and action team commanders, Rs 2 lakh each for Area Committee and “dalam” (squad) commanders, Rs 1 lakh each for local squad members and military platoon section deputy commanders and Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 for killing lower level Maoist cadres.
Andhra Pradesh also witnessed unprecedented increase of suicides of farmers who have been forced to take drastic steps due to failure of crops and inability to repay loans. According National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, almost 150,000 farmers committed suicide between 1997 and 2005. Out of these, over 89,000 occurred in just four States: Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh). Andhra Pradesh registered the highest increase in farm suicides with 127 per cent during 1997-2005 while Maharashtra saw an increase of 105 per cent.
The security forces were responsible for violation of the right to life including through extrajudicial executions and custodial deaths.
The NCRB had recorded killings of 72 civilians in police firing in 2006. Many were killed in arbitrary use of fire arms. On 28 July 2007, seven persons were killed when the police opened fire at a mob who turned violent during a strike called by the Left parties at Mudigonda village in Khammam district.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of the Ministry of Home Affairs had recorded 28 deaths in police custody in Andhra Pradesh in 2006. Cases were registered into all these custodial deaths but no magisterial or judicial inquiry was ordered into any of them. The police claimed that out of 28 persons who died in police custody, six committed suicide, 19 died due to illness and three persons died while escaping from custody. No policeman was chargesheeted by the end of 2006.
According to the figures obtained by Asian Centre for Human Rights through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the NHRC received five cases of deaths in police custody in Andhra Pradesh during the period of 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007. ACHR has also documented some cases of deaths in police custody which took place after March 2007. The police often claimed that the deceased had committed suicide in their custody.
On 26 June 2007, B. Parameswar Reddy died inside the lock-up of the Nalla Chervu police station in Anantapur district, a day after he was arrested for his alleged role in a murder case. While the police claimed that the deceased had committed suicide by hanging himself with a piece of cloth, his family members alleged that Sub-Inspector Devanand and Circle Inspector of Kadiri, Lakshmi Narayan had beaten Parameswar to death in police custody.
On 3 August 2007, Jujjuri Satyanarayana of Tirumalakunta of Ashwaraopet mandal in Khammam district died in the Nakrekal police station under Nalgonda district. The police claimed that he hanged himself in the toilet of the police station with his trousers.
On 19 October 2007, Pamujula Ramanaiah of Indukurpeta died at the Kovur police station in Nellore district. He was arrested on 18 October 2007 in connection with a dowry case filed by his daughter-in-law Pamujula Sakunthala. The police claimed that the deceased suddenly fainted at the police station and was taken to the government hospital in Kovur but he died during treatment.
In a rare case on 17 August 2007, six persons including Sub Inspector Ms Jyothi Rayudu, women constables Santoshamma, P.V. Ragini and K. Raghavarani and two drivers of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation were sentenced to life imprisonment by Mahila Sessions Court Judge V. Appa Rao for the custodial death of Ms Kona Krishna Kumari in a women’s police station in Vijayawada in Krishna district on 5 May 1999.
ii. Extra-judicial executions
The security forces were responsible for alleged extrajudicial killings. According to information obtained by Asian Centre for Human Rights through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the NHRC received 15 cases of encounter deaths from Andhra Pradesh during the period of 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007. However, according to the data maintained by the ACHR, at least 36 alleged Naxalites have been killed by the security forces in alleged encounters in Andhra Pradesh during January-September 2007 alone.
On 15 March 2007, Inspector D. Kishan Singh of Patancheru police station and his wife Ms Padma were arrested on the charges of allegedly killing a surrendered female Naxal cadre identified as P. Nagamani alais Swarupa on 9 February 2007 in Prasanthnagar, Vanasthalipuram in Hyderabad.
There have been allegations of extrajudicial executions of the Maoists in “fake encounters”. The security forces seldom admit to having killed civilians. Those killed by the security forces were often identified as “Naxalites”. Many of these killings have been controversial.
On 1 July 2007, a senior Maoist leader Chettiraja Papaiah alias Somanna, Secretariat member of the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC), was killed in an alleged encounter with the police in Medaram forest area in Tadvai Mandal of Warangal district. The police claimed to have recovered one AK 47 rifle, a carbine, a pistol and four kitbags from the encounter site. However, in a statement released to the media on 2 July 2007, the Maoists alleged that police arrested Somanna on 30 June 2007 and killed him the next day. Revolutionary poet P Vara Vara Rao alleged that the police had violated the National Human Rights Commission’s guidelines by conducting the post-mortem on the body of Somanna in a hurried manner, without the presence of forensic experts at Eturnagaram Primary Health Centre on the morning of 2 July 2007. Following a petition filed by Mr Vara Vara Rao, on 2 July 2007 the First Additional District Judge K V Kishan Rao ordered another postmortem of Somanna’s body at MGM Hospital in Warangal. The post mortem was conducted at the MGM Hospital on 3 July 2007 by a group of forensic experts in the presence of the deceased’s relatives, Mr Varavara Rao and the Fifth Additional Judge P. Mohan Rao. The entire process was videod.
On 10 July 2007, five alleged Maoists identified as member of Karnataka State Committee of the CPI-Maoists, Gowtham (35), Paramesh (30), Subramanya (25), Rame Gowda (50) and Gowda’s wife Kaveri (40) were killed in an alleged encounter with the combined team of the State police and the Anti-Naxalite Force near Menasinahadya village under Narasimharajapura police station in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. The villagers of Menasinahadya however claimed that those killed in the alleged encounter were illegally killed. They did not allow the police to take the bodies away for post mortem. On 16 July 2007, representatives of various political parties and civil society groups such as Congress, Communist Party of India, the Dalit Sangarsh Samiti, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, All India Trade Union Congress and Indian National Trade Union Congress demanded a judicial probe into the encounter that they believed to be fake.
On 26 September 2007, four alleged Maoists, including three women were killed by the police in an alleged encounter at Amidala village in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. The police claimed to have recovered two 303 rifles, one DBBL gun, and five kit bags from the encounter site. The deceased were identified as Swetha of Maddigaruvu, Chanti Babu of Tulam village and Vijaya of Deddilawaka village in East Godavari and Mandapa Nagaratnam alias Shakeela. But the villagers of Amidala alleged that the encounter was “fake”. According to the villagers, six Naxalites came to the village on the morning of 26 September 2007. A police party surrounded them. While Swetha was shot, two Naxalites managed to escape and other three Naxalites surrendered to the police when the police assured them that they would not be harmed. But the police personnel allegedly tied their hands and took them to the nearby forest and killed them in fake encounter.
The courts also awarded compensations in some cases of extrajudicial killings.
On 3 August 2007, a court in Nizamabad district ordered the state government of Andhra Pradesh to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to three families of L Narasaiah, Narsa Goud and Shaikh Mahmood who were killed by the police after they were picked up in a fake encounter in July 1991.
On 31 October 2007, Senior Civil Judge C. Shyam Sundar directed the state government of Andhra Pradesh to pay Rs. 1.5 lakh with 12 per cent interest from the date of suit until payment to Banala Namona, wife of an encounter victim Banala Kotaiah of Dubbaka village who was killed in 5 October 1998. The court held that it was a clear case of custodial death.
The police were responsible for illegal arrest, unlawful detention and torture. Torture in police custody in Andhra Pradesh is believed to be a very widespread practice. According to the figures obtained by Asian Centre for Human Rights through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the NHRC received eight complaints of illegal arrest and three cases of unlawful detention in Andhra Pradesh during the period of 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007.
On 9 July 2007, a youth identified as U. Anjaiah reportedly committed suicide after being tortured by Cyberabad Police while being detained at Miyapur police station in Hyderabad.
On 20 September 2007, the Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the Cyberabad Police to admit S. Ashok Reddy in Osmania General Hospital and submit a medical examination report. The victim was allegedly unlawfully detained and tortured by the police at Central Crime Station, Cyberabad from 8 to 16 August 2007, resulting in a fracture to his right hand.
On 28 November 2007, the police arrested 11 tribals who were demanding their rights on their lands forcibly alienated by the non-tribals at Lankalapalli in Jeelugumilli mandal in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
The Maoists continued to be responsible for gross violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and perpetrated violations of the right to life, extortion, abduction, hostage taking, torture and awarding ‘people’s justice’ through its so called Peoples' Court, Jana Adalat.
According to the estimate of Asian Centre for Human Rights, the Maoists killed at least 23 persons in Andhra Pradesh during January – September 2007 alone. Of them, 21 were civilians.
The Maoists killed many civilians for being “police informers”. Those killed for allegedly reporting to the police about the Maoists’ activities included:
Gorle Ramesh of Pathakota village under Y Rayavaram mandal in East Godavari district on 20 January 2007;
Gemeli Venkat Rao of Boddamanupakalu in Visakapatnam district on 1 February 2007;
Jangam Narayan of Komatlagudem village in Warangal district on 11 February 2007;
T Appa Rao whose dead body was recovered on 24 February 2007 after being kidnapped from the market in GK Veedhi Agency Mandal in Visakhapatnam district;
Kesmudi Venkatesh, a resident of Gandagatta, was tortured to death in Sringeri Police Station limits on 3 June 2007;
Nomula Mariadas, a surrendered Maoist, at Kallagunta village in Veldurthi mandal in Guntur district on the night of 24 July 2007; and
Jinkala Shankar at Yelimonigudem in Nalgonda district on 6 December 2007.
The Maoists also targeted leaders and activists of various political parties. Some of the political party activists/ leaders killed by the Maoists included:
- Boyapati Chinna Ramaiah, a leader of Telugu Desam Party who was shot dead at his house at Yachavaram in Prakasam district on 19 January 2007;
- Lakkireddy Rangareddy, a leader of the youth wing of the Congress party, who was killed on 23 January 2007 at Lakshmipuram village in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh;
- Erava Tirupal Reddy, a leader of Telugu Desam Party who was shot dead at Erlupalli village in Prakasam district on 23 February 2007;
- Komati Prakash, a Mandal Parishad member of the Congress party at Marikal village in Mahbubnagar district who was killed on 5 March 2007;
- Korra Rama Rao of Congress party and Sarpanch (village head) of Balapam panchayat under Chintapalli Agency mandal in Visakhapatnam district who was killed on the night of 10 April 2007;
- Samidi Ravi Shankar, Vice-Chairman of Zilla Parishad of Visakapatnam of Hukumpeta village in Visakapatnam who was killed on the night of 28 May 2007; and
- K. Satyam, a Congress leader, who was killed at Chinnamidisaleru village in Khammam district on 5 June 2007; Mandava Ram Reddy, a Congress leader, who was killed at Banjaragudem village in Khammam district on 12 July 2007.
The judiciary was undermined by backlog. There were a total of 1,47,537 cases pending before the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and 943686 cases were pending before the District and Sub-ordinate Courts as on 30 September 2007.
Yet, as of 1 January 2008, there were 19 vacancies of judges in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, while there were 175 vacancies of judges in the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2007. The lack of adequate judges in the courts, among others, contributed to judicial delay.
The Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission took up 3,621 cases as of 14 August 2007. Of these, the Commission passed verdict on 1,127 cases and about 2,494 cases were at different stages of progress. Some 23 per cent of the cases were related to police harassment.
On 21 September 2007, S.R. Nayak, Chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission stated it could not function properly due to inadequate office space, shortage of funds and staff. When it was launched in July 2007, the commission functioned from Mr. Nayak’s residence. Later the office was shifted to Balabrooie Guesthouse and then to Vikasa Soudha before being given some space on the 4th Floor of the M.S. Buildings 5th Phase. However, the 1,600 sq ft space was not adequate for the commission to house three court halls, chambers for the chairman, members, secretary and officials and office space. Mr Nayak said the panel needed at least 10,000 sq ft space. Although it was the duty of the state government to frame rules and regulations for the functioning of the commission; define the tenure and working conditions of chairman and members and frame rules for the employees, it did nothing. The SHRC itself drafted the required rules and regulations, besides working out the staff strength.
In 2007 Andhra Pradesh government sought to restrict freedom of the press and expression by introducing government order (GO No. 938) dated 20 February 2007 which authorised commissioner, information and public relations, to launch criminal proceedings against newspapers and editors if he felt that the reports/telecast were false, baseless and defamatory in nature. Following protest, the order had to be withdrawn on 22 February 2008. In December 2007, the state government also claimed that it had evidence to prove that more than 75 senior journalists had links with banned Maoists organizations.
A number of journalists were arrested under terror laws.
On 4 April 2007, police arrested national council of Indian Journalist Union (IJU) and former president of Warangal Working Journalist Union Pendyala Venkata Kondal Rao on the charge of being a Maoist sympathizer. Kondal Rao’s mother alleged that he was being targeted by the police as he was the nephew of revolutionary writer Vara Vara Rao.
On 4 December 2007, Pittala Srisailam, editor of the online television station Musi TV was arrested by the police from Hyderabad and accused of being a “courier” for the Maoists. Srisailam was going to interview one of the Maoist leaders when he was arrested. He was reportedly interrogated for nearly 30 hours before being formally placed under arrest. He alleged that he was tortured in custody. He was charged under Andhra Pradesh Public Security Act, 1992 for abetting and helping the banned CPI (Maoist) but he denied any link with the Maoists. On 21 December 2007, he was released on bail.
Journalists were also assaulted. In February 2007, Lakshmi Sujata, a newsreader of a television channel was found dead with 19 stab injuries and slashed wrist at a lodge at Vijayawada in Hyderabad. On the night of 20 May 2007, Ambresh Mishra, correspondent of India Today, was allegedly attacked with rods by policemen and anti-social elements in Hyderabad.
The state launched a concerted attack on human rights activists.
On 4 April 2007, police arrested Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) leader Chikkudu Prabhakar in Warangal.  The police also targeted his family members. Two days after Prabhakar’s arrest, the police detained his son Chaitanya from their Hyderabad house and mistreated other family members during the raid.
On 22 July 2007, Joint Secretary of APCLC S.Sugunadham was reportedly arrested at Minimuluru in G.Madugula mandal in Visakhapatnam district for alleged links with Maoists.
In 2006, Andhra Pradesh ranked third in the atrocities against tribals. According to the NCRB, 793 cases of crimes committed against the tribals were reported from Andhra Pradesh, representing 13.7% of total such cases in India. These included eight cases killings, 60 cases of rape, four cases of abduction, two cases of arson, 12 cases registered under the Protection of Civil Rights Act of 1955 and 298 cases registered under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act of 1989, among others.
The rate for filing charge-sheets for crimes committed against the tribals was 95.1% during 2006 but the conviction rate was merely 13.4% during the same year. Out of total 314 cases in which trials were completed, only in 42 cases the accused were convicted. Trial in 800 cases of crimes committed against the tribals was pending in the courts at the end of 2006.
Many villages in Andhra Pradesh have not been recognized as tribal areas for the inclusion in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India despite being tribal-majority villages. Due to the non-inclusion of tribal dominated villages under the Fifth Schedule, nearly 200,000 Adivasis spread over 805 villages in nine districts of Andhra Pradesh do not enjoy the Constitutional protection.
The security forces deployed in the Naxalite-affected areas were accused of torture, illegal arrest and harassment of the tribals. Tribal women were raped by the security personnel engaged in counter-insurgency operations. On the morning of 20 August 2007, 11 tribal women were allegedly gang raped by Greyhound policemen during anti-Naxalite operations at Vakapalli village under Nurmati panchayat in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. According to the victims, 21 Greyhound policemen entered the village around 6 a.m. and raided their houses on charges of association with Naxalites. While some of the women were raped in their homes, some others were raped in the fields. Ten of the victims were between 20-30 years and one was 45 years old. The police allegedly tried to cover up the incident. They failed to conduct an identification parade of the suspects, although the victims have claimed that they could identify the rapists. On 30 August 2007, the National Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognizance of the incident and sent notice to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Vishakhapatnam district and the Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh to submit a factual report within four weeks. But to date, no action has been taken to identify and prosecute the rapists.
On 28 November 2007, the police arrested 11 tribals who were demanding their rights on their lands forcibly alienated by the non-tribals at Lankalapalli in Jeelugumilli mandal in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The tribal landowners accused the police of protecting the non-tribals for harvesting paddy in 90 acres of disputed land.
As of October 2007, about 137 Chenchu tribal families comprising 468 persons had to flee their homes at Palutla, Nekkanti, Pannalabailu, Guttalachenu and Alatam villages to Venkatadripalem village under Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh. They were forced to flee to escape from police attacks that stemmed from charges that they were providing food and water to the Maoists. As is the case in many like incidents Maoists harassed and threaten local people if they did not provide them food and other assistance. 
Despite having stringent provisions under the Andhra Pradesh Schedule Areas Land Transfer Regulation of 1959 to protect the lands of the tribals in the Scheduled Areas, the tribals face alienation of their lands.
The rate of alienation of tribal land is alarming in Andhra Pradesh. Non-tribals presently hold as much as 48 per cent of the land in Scheduled Areas of the state. Since the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation came into effect in 1959, 72,001 cases of land alienation have been filed involving 3,21,685 acres of land in the state. The tribals are losing their legal fight to recover their lands. Of the 72,001 cases registered under the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation, 70,183 cases were disposed of and 33,319 cases (47.47 per cent) were decided against tribals involving 1,62,989 acres of land. As of January 2007, about 300 cases were pending in Andhra Pradesh High Court involving about 2,500 acres of land under the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation.
In 2006, the Andhra Pradesh ranked 4th in violation of human rights of the Dalits according to the National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The NCRB recorded 3,891 cases of crimes committed against dalits in Andhra Pradesh, which was 14.4% of total cases of crimes committed against the dalit community in India. These included 52 cases of killing, 97 cases of rape, 12 cases of abduction, 13 cases of arson, 93 cases registered under Protection of Civil Rights Act of 1955 and 1,514 cases registered under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act of 1989, among others.
The rate for filing charge-sheets for crimes committed against the dalits in Andhra Pradesh was 86.7% during 2006 but the conviction rate was 15.9% during the same year. Out of total 1,425 cases in which trials were completed, only in 226 cases was the accused convicted. Trial in 4,369 cases of crimes committed against dalits was pending in the courts at the end of 2006. 
Dalits continued to face discriminations and violations of their rights. The Chairman of Andhra Pradesh State SC/ST Commission, Acharya Nagarjuna stated on 19 July 2007 that atrocities against the SC/STs were on the rise in Andhra Pradesh. He pointed out atrocities such as untouchability, ill treatment and social boycott of Dalits and also use of two-tumbler system (one tumbler for the Dalits and another for the upper castes) were prevalent in the state. He also stated that the practice of Jogin, child temple prostitutes, system and killing Dalits in the name of witchcraftwas continuing in Telangana and Rayalaseema regions. In several schools, upper caste students allegedly refused to eat meals provided under the Mid-Day Meal scheme if it was cooked by Dalits.
Dalit women remained vulnerable to sexual abuses. On 2 April 2007, a Dalit Anganwadi teacher was allegedly raped by two upper caste persons at Godakondla in Chintapally mandal in Nalgonda district. However, the police did not arrest the accused as they were believed to be relatives of a dominant caste politician.
On 31 July 2007, a special court under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Guntur sentenced 21 persons to life imprisonment while 35 others were sentenced to one year each in the Chundur Dalit massacre case in which eight Dalits of Chunduru village of Guntur district were killed in August 1991.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of the Ministry of Home Affair, Government of India, Andhra Pradesh topped the list of crimes against women with 21,484 cases, accounting for 13% of total incidents during 2006. These included 1,049 cases of rape, 1,329 cases of kidnapping and abduction, 519 cases of dowry deaths, 9,164 cases of cruelty by husband and relatives and 4,534 cases of molestation, among others. The NCRB also reported one case of custodial rape in police custody during 2006.
According to the police record in Visakhapatnam region alone, dowry deaths cases increased from 12 in 2006 to 14 in 2007 rape cases increased from 20 in 2006 to 23 in 2007; women harassment cases increased from 392 cases in 2006 to 528 cases in 2007; and molestation cases increased from 68 in 2006 to 96 in 2007.
On 18 January 2007, police registered a rape case against a Home Guard identified as Rajaram who was posted at Osmania University police station for allegedly raping a 20-year-old woman in Hyderabad.
Women were also targeted as alleged “witches” or users of black magic in rural Andhra Pradesh. On 3 May 2007, a woman identified as Pochamma (60) and her husband Pandla Chinmna Sailu (70) were burnt alive by villagers of Ullitimmayipalli under Chegunta mandal of Medak district on suspicion of practicing black magic. They alleged that the couple was killing their cattle with black magic.
During 2006, the NCRB recorded a total of 1,386 cases of crimes against children, accounting for 7.3% of total incidents in India. These included 61 cases of murder, 412 cases of rape, 498 cases of kidnapping and abduction, 5 cases of buying of girls for prostitution, 6 cases of selling of girls for prostitution and 17 cases of child marriage, among others.
During 2006, the Andhra Pradesh police had filed charge-sheet in 96.3% of the cases of crimes against children but the conviction rate by courts was 22.1%. Of 1,001 cases in which trials were completed, convictions were made only in 221 cases.
Child labour continued. Andhra Pradesh had 1.36 million child labourers, the second largest in the country, as per the 2001 census. In 2007 as of mid-November, around 9,329 children were reportedly rescued. 40 rescued children were engaged in hazardous work.
Conditions in Juvenile Homes were appalling. On 19 February 2007, Kadapa District Judge M. Vijayalakshmi and District Collector M.T. Krishna Babu paid a surprise visit to Government Juvenile Home for Boys in Kadapa and found the Home in miserable conditions. They found that the boys were forced to eat unhygienic food. All the 160 inmates were shabbily dressed and they complained that they were not provided with enough soup to wash. The toilets were extremely dirty. The rooms in which the inmates slept had no lights; there was only one fan. 
According to the information received by Asian Centre for Human Rights through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the NHRC received 118 cases of deaths in judicial custody in Andhra Pradesh during the period of 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007.
Many prisoners were allegedly tortured in judicial custody.
Following the twin terrorist attacks in Hyderabad on 25 August 2007 which killed 43 people, many Muslim youths were arrested by the police. They were tortured in custody including severe beatings and electric shocks at private parts to extract confessions about their involvement in the blasts. A three-member fact finding committee consisting of civil society activists Nirmala Gopalakrishnan, K Anuradha and Mohammed Afzal, mandated by the Andhra Pradesh State Minority Commission, confirmed illegal detention and torture of at least 20 Muslims and demanded a judicial probe. In its report, the committee stated it “sees communal bias in the pattern of detentions/arrests made after the twin bomb blasts. There is sufficient evidence to believe that Muslim young men were picked up at random because they belonged to a particular religion.” An official forensics expert Dr Mahender Reddy, who accompanied the committee members in its fact-finding mission, confirmed after examining signs of torture on the detainees that they were subjected to third-degree methods. The fact-finding committee report stated that there were allegations of beating on soles of feet by leather or rubber objects; there were noticeable small scars of 1-cm diameter noted on external ears; there were noticeable 1-mm to 2-mm scars noted around nipples indicative of electricity or needle entry; medical records confirmed that suspect Hafez Mohammed Bilal Muftahee (26) was tortured. Another suspect Abdul Kareem (24) told the committee that during interrogations he was beaten severely, electric shocks applied, including to his genetalia, he was hung upside down, kicked in the face; another suspect Ibrahim Ali Junaid (25) said he was picked up on 3 September 2007 and produced before a magistrate only five days later. During interrogation at an undisclosed location, the interrogators took off all his clothes, tied his feet together and with a belt beat him on the sole of his feet and other parts of his body and that electric shocks were administered on his penis, ears, waist and ankles to coerce him to admit about his involvement in the blasts.
Yet, on 27 October 2007, a representative of the Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Commission, Advocate Commissioner Ravi Chander, was refused permission by the state authorities to meet the detainees at Charlapally Prison. He was sent by the state minority panel to visit the jail following the report of the three-member committee alleging torture and ill-treatment of prisoners arrested in connection with the 25th August Hyderabad twin blasts.
On 2 September 2007, undertrial prisoner identified as Banoth Ananta Rao (38) allegedly died of torture by jail officials at the Nizamabad district prison. But the jail authorities claimed that the deceased committed suicide by hanging himself with a towel.
On 29 July 2007, under-trial prisoner identified as Gollu Kanna Rao (40) died at Government General Hospital in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. He was arrested on 26 July 2007 in a theft case and was remanded to judicial custody at the district jail in Gandhi Nagar.
In a report titled “Cherlapally prisoner dies in hospital” published in The Hindu daily on 27 October 2007 it was claimed that at least 10 prisoners had died at the Cherlapally Jail in Hyderabad in 2007. While nine of them died undergoing treatment for various illness, at least one prisoner identified as D. Bhaskar (32), a life convict, was allegedly beaten to death by the jail staff. On the night of 25 October 2007, an under-trial prisoner identified as Sanjeeva (24) from Bachupally village in Ranga Reddy district died at the Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad while undergoing treatment for fever. Earlier on 23 October 2007, another under-trial prisoner identified as Laxman from Nalgonda district died at the Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad one hour after he was admitted there for abdominal pain. The fact that the prisoners died from easily preventable diseases like fever and abdominal pain provides strong grounds for concern that they had not been provided timely access to proper medical facilities. The Cherlapally Jail has nearly 2000 prisoners but the jail hospital has only 50 beds and two doctors, which is highly inadequate.
The conditions of all the 10 sub-jails in Anantapur district were appalling. The sub-jails are overcrowded and lack basic facilities. The state government failed to take steps to solve the problem. For instance, in the sub-jail of Dharmavarm, 59 prisoners were lodged against the sanctioned number of 19 as of 11 August 2007.
. The National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%2014.1.pdf
. The National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006
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. Attack on journalist: two remanded to judicial
custody, The Hindu,
. Journalist, APCLC leader arrested, newinpres.com,
. APCLC condemns police action, The Hindu,
. APCLC activist held? The Hindu,
. The National Crime Record Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.10.pdf
. The National Crime Record Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.12.pdf
. The National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.15.pdf
. Apathy denies tribals statutory rights, The Deccan
Girijan women allege gang-rape by policemen, The Hindu,
. Tribals attack police party, The Hindu,
. Andhra tribe leaves forest
run over by Maoists, The Indian Express,
of tribal land grabbed, The Deccan Chronicle,
. The National Crime Record Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.2.pdf
. The National Crime Record Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.4.pdf
. The National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%207.7.pdf
Atrocities on Dalits rising, says SC/ST panel chief, The Hindu,
. CASTEISM - Andhra students refuse mid-day meal, The
of Dalit teacher: MRPS warns of Statewide agitation, The Hindu,
. ’91 Dalit Killings in AP - 21 get life term, The Tribune,
. National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006
. The Natioanl Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%2013.5.pdf
. Crimes against women are on the rise, The Hindu,
case registered against Home Guard, The Hindu,
Villagers burn old couple for ‘black magic’, The Deccan Chronicle,
. National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006
. National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%206.4.pdf
. National Crime Records Bureau, Annual Report 2006, see http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%206.7.pdf
. Andhra Govt claims crackdown on child labour, The Indian
Appalling conditions in juvenile home, The Hindu,
Torture report: Panel member denied access to jail, The Indian Express,
Torture report: Panel member denied access to jail, The Indian Express,
. SHRC collects
details of under-trial’s death, The Hindu,
Prisoner dies in hospital, The Hindu,