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Seeking justice for massacred tribals of Chhattisgarh, Activist Himanshu Kumar won’t pay fine imposed by Supreme Court

Activist Himanshu Kumar on Tuesday said he will not pay the fine of Rs 5 lakh imposed by the Supreme Court on him for filing a petition seeking probe into alleged massacres of tribals in Chhattisgarh.

Activist Himanshu Kumar on Tuesday said he will not pay the fine of Rs 5 lakh imposed by the Supreme Court on him for filing a petition seeking probe into alleged massacres of tribals in Chhattisgarh. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Activist Himanshu Kumar on Tuesday said he will not pay the fine of Rs 5 lakh imposed by the Supreme Court on him for filing a petition seeking probe into alleged massacres of tribals in Chhattisgarh.

On July 14, the apex court dismissed a petition filed by Kumar and others seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the incidents which had taken place in the then Dantewada district.

It also imposed an “exemplary” cost of Rs 5 lakh.

“According to the Supreme Court, I have filed this case to help the Maoists. But if the SC gives justice to the victims, how will it benefit the Maoists?”Himanshu KumarVanvasi Chetna Ashram activist

The alleged massacres had taken place on September 17 and October 1, 2009, at Gachhanpalli, Gompad and Belpocha villages.

The cost shall be paid by Kumar who was the petitioner number one, the SC said.

Talking to PTI over phone from Delhi, the activist said, “Whatever issues I have raised regarding the atrocities on tribals by the police and security forces have never been proven false. Seeking justice is not a crime in this country. I will not pay the fine as I have not done anything wrong.

“As long as the matter has not been investigated by any agency appointed or monitored by the Supreme Court, how can it be described as false,” Kumar added.

He alleged that in 2009, 16 tribals were “murdered” by the police and security forces at Gompad (now in Sukma district).

Among those killed were women, children and elderly people, and the fingers of a one-and-half-year-old boy were chopped, he alleged.

“According to the Supreme Court, I have filed this case to help the Maoists. But if the SC gives justice to the victims, how will it benefit the Maoists? And if justice is not delivered and the person who seeks justice is fined, how will it benefit the country?” Kumar questioned.

He had filed petitions in as many as 519 cases of alleged atrocities including rape and loot by the police, and “none of these issues have proved to be wrong,” he claimed.

“The court has said that in this case the police had already registered FIRs (First Information Reports) and filed the charge sheet, so we should have trusted the actions of the police and not come to the Supreme Court. But how can the victims trust investigation of the police who were themselves involved in this offence? The victim tribals had come to the Supreme Court seeking justice against the police. That’s why we demanded a CBI or SIT probe,” he added.

He ran Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, a non-profit organization which worked for the tribals, in Dantewada from 1992 to 2009, Kumar said.

A seminar on ‘Save Adivasi Save Constitution – Give justice on the Gompad massacre of 16 Adivasis’ will be held at the Press Club of India, Delhi on July 22, he said, adding that besides him, tribal activist Soni Sori and two others will speak at the event.

The SC in its verdict earlier this month noted that the power to transfer investigation must be used “sparingly” and only “in exceptional circumstances.” The filing of charge sheets at the conclusion of the probe into various FIRs referred to in the matter would indicate that the alleged massacre was at the end of the Naxalites, it said.

The top court also said that it was “really taken by surprise” that the petitioners’ lawyer was oblivious of the fact that all the FIRs had been probed by the concerned investigating agencies and charge sheets filed in different courts for offences including murder and dacoity. 


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2022 8:01:39 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/seeking-justice-massacres-of-tribals-in-chhattisgarh-activist-himanshu-kumar-wont-pay-fine-imposed-by-supreme-court/article65658876.ece