Firing on Adivasis at Muthanga
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.