An introduction to Where Peacekeepers Have Declared War, Human Rights Violations in Assam

posted on the mailing list on Monday, 29 September, 1997

A recent report I read on the human rights situation in the north-east might interest this net. The report is based on a tour by an extremely conscientious and reliable group of people. Here are the details:

"Where Peacekeepers Have Declared war." It is published by the National Campaign Committee Against Militarisation and Repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. The contact address is K-14, F.F. Green Park Extension, New Delhi 110016. It costs Rs. 25.00. April 1997.

The team that visited Assam include: Gautam Navalekha, Madhu Bhusan, Celine Suquna, V.T. Joshi, Sujata Bhadra and Sarvesh. Some of them are journalists; others involved with organizations like People's Union for Democratic Rights [Delhi] and Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights, Calcutta.

It was interesting to see a group of people from the rest of the country reacting to what is now normal life in Assam. Here is a small segment:

"While we were travelling, a Maruti Gypsy carrying uniformed men holding guns pointed towards the road in different directions overtook us. Anjali Dailari of the All Bodo Women's Justic Forum who accompanied us looked at the vehicle and commented. "They are taking someone for questioning." She mentioned that she saw a man lying down in the back of the Gypsy with his legs bent and plaster on his mouth. We were surprised to hear because it was a very busy public road."

"After a while we stopped for lunch. Our car was parked just behind the Gypsy. They too had also stopped for lunch at Mangaldoi. And yes, there was this man, his hands were tied behind his back and his mouth was sealed with a patch of sticking plaster. His captors had gone to eat lunch. It did not seem to disturb any local person who saw this man tied up like this. It seemed that such happenings were normal and regular in Mangaldoi. The fact that these things have become a part of the daily life of common people living there was the most blood chilling experience for us." [page: 53.]

I guess, I should warn people. The details of the report is not for the faint-hearted.

Sanjib Baruah