Who is Activist Himanshu Kumar, fined for implicating security forces in Dantewada tribal killings?
In the year 2009, a case of the alleged tribal massacre came to light in Chhattisgarh. In which 16 Naxals were killed. In this case, social activist Himanshu Kumar had filed a petition in the court for a CBI investigation. Now 13 years later, the Supreme Court dismissed Himanshu Kumar’s petition and imposed a fine of 5 lakh on him. The same court has asked the government to find out whether some people are using the court to save extremists or leftists?
What is the whole matter?
Chhattisgarh has been in the grip of Naxalism for years. In the year 2009, there was a massive anti-Naxal operation in Chhattisgarh. Meanwhile, 16 tribals were allegedly murdered in three villages of Dantewada (Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district). The matter became a part of the national debate. The blame for this massacre was laid on the security forces. It was said that the security forces allegedly killed the villagers and branded them as Naxalites. Social activist Himanshu Kumar (tribal rights activist) had petitioned the Supreme Court for a CBI investigation against the Chhattisgarh Police and Central Security Forces in this massacre.
Social activist Himanshu Kumar had told the court about the massacre that 16 tribals were brutally murdered by the security forces. Companions carried out rape and robbery with women. He had filed the petition on the basis of recorded statements on his behalf after the death of 16 villagers. The massacre took place between September 2009 and October 2009 in the areas of Gachanpalli, Gompad, and Belpocha in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
The case had taken a turn in the year 2010 when a judge ordered the recording of the statement of the petitioner Himanshu Kumar.
According to the report of Hindustan Live, this year a petition was filed in the Supreme Court through the Union Home Ministry. In which it was said that a report of the district judge had disappeared from the court records, which was received by the government in March 2022. In which it was told that tribals were murdered by some unknown people in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.
The government demanded punishment for the petitioner
The central government, in its application to the Supreme Court, claimed that the purpose of the petitioner is to project the Left Wing Extremists as innocent tribal victims killed by the security forces. The allegations leveled against the security forces are completely false and fabricated. At the same time, the government demanded punishment for the petitioner by accusing him of presenting false evidence.
According to the Indian Express report, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice JB Pardiwala imposed a fine of 5 lakh on Himanshu Kumar and ordered him to deposit the amount with the Supreme Court Legal Services Authority. The court has given the petitioner four weeks to deposit the fine. Said that in case of non-deposit of the amount, action would be taken against Himanshu Kumar. At the same time, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, requested the court that the central government should also be allowed to prosecute the petitioner.
The petitioner Himanshu Kumar has refused to pay the fine. He wrote-
Today the Supreme Court has imposed a fine of 5 lakhs on me for demanding justice and has asked the Chhattisgarh government to file a case against me under section 211. In the 2009 massacre, 16 tribals were killed. The hand of a one-and-a-half-year-old child was amputated. When I demanded justice in this case, I was punished. I will not pay any fine. Would love to go to jail but paying the fine would mean I was wrong. I will not do that.
Himanshu Kumar, Activist
Who is Social Activist Himanshu Kumar?
Himanshu Kumar is a Gandhian activist who, together with his wife, ran the Vanvasi Chetana Ashram in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh for 22 years. He learned the local Adivasi language (Gondi) and worked through the Ashram to help Adivasis access their rights under the law. Starting in 2005, during the murderous Salwa Judum campaigns of vigilante groups against the Adivasis of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, Himanshu worked to try to get villagers back to their homes, get people falsely accused out of jail, and win justice for the victims of police and vigilante crimes. His Ashram was eventually bulldozed and he was forced to move to Delhi, from where he continues to try to follow up with legal cases on the state’s treatment of the Adivasis.
The Naked Truth of Bastar; Tribal Heart Land of India
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