PUCL Bulletin, June 2003

Firing on Adivasis at Muthanga
PUCL will support enquiry by NHRC
-- By H.B. Shenoy, National Vice-President (PUCL)
10 March, 2003

I am very happy to note that National Human Rights Commission has taken note of the Human Rights violation and firing on Adivasis at Muthanga on February 19th. Number of teams have visited the site and Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer also has initiated some sort of enquiry under the banner of non-political organisation namely Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity. But the most heartening news in the light of the present facts is that the National Human Rights Commission has called upon the state with a notice calling full facts of the untoward incidents of 19th February which ended with the life of many Adivasis and a lone policeman.

There is a clamour and agitation demanding a judicial enquiry from the State Government. The Chief Minister has not agreed for a judicial enquiry in this issue. Most unfortunate is his taking shelter of the notice of National Human Rights Commission to the State Government and trying to cover up the whole matter stating that a National body is already seized of for the matter. In the light of these facts I only request this commission to hold a full fledged enquiry with proper and regular sitting in Kerala, more so in Wayanad District.

Secondly the enquiry should not confine to the incident of the February 19th alone. Background of the 19th incident and subsequent firing and the 1975 Tribal Land Act and the issue of total violation of civil liberties consistently from 1975 to the present date must comprise and be subjected for the enquiry by the commission. If such an exercise is undertaken it will go a long way in finding a solution to the tribal peoples problem of Kerala. The patchwork that has been done has not been a solution to the problem of the unfortunate tribals exploited by almost all.

The National Human Rights Commission's action of issuing a notice to the Kerala Government should not conclude with a reply to it. The hidden truth has to come to light especially in the light of the fact that the Government has not ordered a Judicial Enquiry.

People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) will extend full co-operation and active support to such a full-fledged enquiry by the National Human Rights Commission. For kind consideration and early necessary action.


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