HYDERABAD: The Human Rights Forum (HRF) has demanded the state government to take steps to ensure that inhuman torture of adivasis by Venkatapuram and Cherla police of Khammam district is stopped immediately.
A three-member HRF team VS Krishna, SK Khadar Babu and D Adinarayana visited six villages in Venkatapuram mandal on Wednesday and spoke to Adivasis as well as the functionaries of various political parties in the area. The team had learnt that over the past few weeks the local police had been committing frequent illegalities on the citizens, often including torture of the most heinous kind. In the course of what the police term as anti-naxal combing operations, they are picking up adivasis at nights from their homes. It has become routine for the police to hold these adivasis in illegal custody beyond the permissible 24-hour limit, according to a press release from the HRF.
The police have been inflicting terrible violence on those in their custody. The adivasis were frequently threatened and beaten up. ''We are shocked to learn that several adivasis have been subjected to third degree torture like administering electric shocks and brutal beatings on the hands and legs with sticks. Adivasis who have suffered this kind of torture find it difficult to resume normal life. They are rendered unfit to carry out farm work or collect bamboo from the forest because of their battered physical condition,'' the HRF said in the release. The police must respect people's rights and function within the ambit of law. The behaviour of the Venkatapuram and Cherla police have led to an unacceptable violation of right to life and liberty, the release said.
HRF demanded a high-level investigation into these illegalities being committed by the police. Those responsible for torturing adivasis must be charged and criminally prosecuted. The government should seriously address the issue of torture by law enforcement personnel, the rights forum said. The villages visited by the HRF team include - Kalipaka, Kothagumpu, Tippapuram, Mutharam and Penkavagu all in Alubaka panchayt in Venkatapuram mandal.