– WITHDRAW THE GALLANTRY MEDALS FOR THE POLICE WHO KILLED INNOCENT ADIVASIS IN ODISHA
Shri Pranab Mukherjee
President of india
WITHDRAW THE GALLANTRY MEDALS FOR THE POLICE WHO KILLED INNOCENT ADIVASIS IN ODISHA
We, the undersigned with utmost urgency request you for your immediate intervention in this matter, with respect to the conferment the Gallantry Medals for the Police from Odisha.
On 14th August 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India announced police medals on the occasion of Independence Day -2014. Out of the total 15 recipients for President’s Police Medal for Gallantry, eight police officers from Malkangiri, Odisha were recommended to be awarded. The awardees are Satya Sundar Behera (Habildar), Manoj Kumar Parida (Constable), Moti Singh Nayak (Constable), Tribijay Khara (Constable) and Sanat Kumar Patra (Constable).
Under Police Medal for Gallantry Santosh Kumar Mall (Addl. Superintendent of Police), Pabitra Mohan Nayak (Constable), Dibyalochan Raj (Sub-Inspector), Chitta Ranjan Jena (Constable), Samodar Kulusika (Constable), Jayanta Kumar Naik (Sub-Inspector), Satyajit Kandankel (Sub-Inspector), Niranjan Sarangi (Constable).
The names of Akhileswar Singh (Superintendent of Police), Pabitra Mohan Nayak (Constable) and Siva Sankar Nayak (Constable) were announced under President’s Police Medal for Gallantry and Police Medal for Gallantry.
On 13 September 2013, 14 innocent Adivasis were killed in a staged encounter in Malkangiri and the matter is pending with the National Human Rights Commission bearing NHRC Case No. 3324/18/29/2014-AFE, 2171/18/29/2013-AFE. It is also to be noted that Mr. Akhileswar Singh, IPS has been transferred to Sambalpur. It is also learnt that unfortunately one Raju Saha was killed on 2nd October 2014, in a staged encounter by a team led by Superintendent of Police IPS Akhileswar Singh which is also pending with National Human Rights Commission bearing multiple petitions at NHRC vide case details: 4491/18/13/2014-AFE, 4353/18/13/2014-AFE, 4217/18/13/2014-ED and 4144/18/13/2014-AFE.
As per Supreme Court guidelines, cops should not be honoured with awards if they are involved in encounter. However, the state government recommended the names of cops without ascertaining the veracity of the encounter. Observing this, a petition was filed and challenging the state government’s announcement of names of police personnel for gallantry awards. Justice Biswanath Rath issued notices to the home secretary, director general of police, Sambalpur superintendent of police and Centre seeking reply within 10 days.
It is indeed a shame and we as responsible citizens do not want to see this blunder committed yet again by the state rewarding the killers of its own citizens, as was done in the case of Ankit Garg who also was conferred the Medal of Gallantry where innocent civilians were also killed in the midst of an encounter led by him as well as he being the main orchestrator of inflicting third degree torture on Soni Sori, an Anganwadi teacher in Chattisgarh.
We would like to seek your urgent intervention to immediately withdraw the conferment of the medals bestowed over these police officers with immediate effect.
“Sometimes — quite often — the same people who are capable of a radical questioning of, say, economic neo-liberalism or the role of the state, are deeply conservative socially — about women, marriage, sexuality, our so-called ‘family values’ — sometimes they’re so doctrinaire that you don’t know where the establishment stops and the resistance begins. For example, how many Gandhian/Maoist/ Marxist Brahmins or upper caste Hindus would be happy if their children married Dalits or Muslims, or declared themselves to be gay? Quite often, the people whose side you’re on, politically, have absolutely no place for a person like you in their social, cultural or religious imagination.That’s a knotty problem politically radical people can come at you with the most breathtakingly conservative social views and make nonsense of the way in which you have ordered your world and your way of thinking about it and you have to find a way of accommodating these contradictions within your worldview.” -Arundhati Roy