From SHABANA KHAN
Varanasi: Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, Convener of the Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), a non-government human rights organization working in Varanasi, is continuously receiving death threats over his mobile.
On 22nd July, at 9:05 pm Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi got a missed call on his mobile telephone +91-993559933 from an unknown person. The same caller rang again at 9:06 and abused him using filthy words and held out threat to his life. At 9:30 pm Dr. Lenin called back to get more information about the caller. The person said he belonged to Bihar. However, Dr. Lenin identified his language and tone as that of western UP or Bundelkhand region.
On 23rd July, at 11:07 pm Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi again receives a threat from an unknown number. The caller abused him and threatened to kill him and kidnap his son.
His wife Shruti called the police number 100 from her mobile at 11:18 pm for help even as the caller was threatening Dr Raghuvanshi. The policeman on duty listened to the complaint and advised that a complaint be lodged with the Inspector General of Police (IG), Varanasi zone.
After half an hour Dr. Raghuvanshi called the number from which the threat had come. The person who answered said “someone borrowed my cell phone”. But he recognizes the voice as that of the person who had threatened him earlier.
On 21st May, 2008 Dr Raghuvanshi had received several such calls threatening to kill him if he continued with the work of the PVCHR among the Dalit communities of Varanasi district.
On 23rd July Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi sent a complaint by registered post to the Director General of Police, Lucknow, and the Inspector General of Police, Varanasi zone, about the calls he had received and urged them to take necessary action in the matter.
Threat and intimidation are not to be taken lightly in Uttar Pradesh, where people are abducted and children kidnapped for settling private and political feuds. In some cases the abducted victims are tortured or even murdered if the demands of the criminals are not met.
The PVCHR is a human rights organization with limited resources, but with a large work group, including staff and volunteers..In the past three years, it has brought to light many cases of human rights violations. These cases have attracted attention from various corners of the world, leading even to intervention by UN agencies. Such interventions have stimulated activists and volunteers associated with the PVCHR to engage in human rights promotion with greater vigour. It has also brought immediate and long-term relief to the victims of human rights violations.
In recognition of the activities of the PVCHR, the Gwangju based human rights group, the May 18 Foundation has awarded Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi the Gwangju Price for Human Rights along with Ms. Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur in 2007. He received ACHA Star Peace award from Association for Communal Harmony in Asia, USA, in 2008 along with B. M. Kutty, Karamat Ali, and Mubashir Mirza, all from Pakistan.