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19 April, 2008

Long March in support of victims of violence perpetrated during hunt for Veerappan

Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, People’s Watch, writes:

I am addressing this letter as the member of the Campaign for Relief and Rehabilitation of Victims of the STF* violence in the States of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in India. These victims are victims of gross violence of torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, degrading punishment, disappearances, extra judicial killings, custodial rapes, arbitrary detention and so on. Their cases are pathetic, the note that is enclosed will speak that people have undergone such torture. A few sample cases are also enclosed.

This campaign is now commencing a long march of about hundred victims supported by different political parties in Tamil Nadu to demand justice – justice from the Government, justice from National Human Rights Commission and justice from civil society. These are cases of one or two or ten or hundred victims. These are the cases of over thousand victims, men and women, who have suffered and are struggling to re-live their lives while their perpetrators are parading on the corridors of the poor with their awards, out of turn promotions, crores worth of properties made over to them, with their hands soaked in blood that over hundreds of innocent men and women have shed. The International Human Rights Community has so far been not an active participant of these issues and while the march goes on from Sathyamangalam to Chennai from 20th to the 30th of April, 2008 People's Watch would desire that your organisation speaks, writes, and distributes widely the information on the march as well as demands of the march. We do hope that justice will prevail to these hundreds of victims with your efforts of building solidarity.

You will be therefore receiving regular information from here on the long march which we hope you will disseminate widely in your networks. We do hope you will be willing to undertake urgent appeals on this matter addressed to the State Government of Tamil Nadu, State Government of Karnataka , Government of India, a variety of other agencies including the National Human Rights Commission of India, State Human Rights Commission of Tamil Nadu, State Human Rights Commission of Karnataka – all to make the noise and put pressure to fight against impunity that accompanying these horrendous violations that have taken place.

Many of these victims and their family members have died. But I do think that those who are living are living only with the hope that International voices against torture and impunity will be on their side and that ultimately they will win. I am sure you will want to be on their side. Therefore please support the long march. Please support our demands, please support our cause, please disseminate this information for the next few days and focus on putting pressure from a variety of sources on the Government that we have indicated.

Thanks and regards,

Henri Tiphagne

Documents: Jus Sadasiva (325KB), 06. STF_article.pdf (139KB), 01. Chronology of events from 1993 - 2008.doc (84KB), 03. STF LIST OF DOC.doc (32KB), Jus Sadasiva reportDeposition fo (325KB), 04. STF (1776KB), STF - Appeal for donations to support the long march.htm (33KB)

*STF refers to special task force set up jointly by the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka police to hunt for forest brigand Veerappan. He was shot dead on October 18, 2004.

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