A four-member fact-finding team of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) to
Nimmalagudem village on January 16, 2013 was told by tribal residents that two
women of the village — Madvi Parvathi, (aged 21, wife of Madvi Bhaskar) and a
minor Kovasi Somidi, (aged 15, daughter of Kovasi Idma and Kovasi Aite) were
forcibly taken away by policemen from Andhra Pradesh at about 7 am on
January 12, 2013 from the village itself. Their whereabouts are not known till
date. According to Parvathi’s mother Punam Jogamma and her husband Bhaskar,
Parvathi is also pregnant.
Nimmalagudem, with about 30 tribal households, is in Konta block of Sukma
district, Chattisgarh. It is located only about 3 km from the Andhra Pradesh border.
Residents, who are all farmers, said a huge police party from AP consisting of
over 100 personnel, including the Greyhounds, came to the village at daybreak
on January 12. On seeing the police from a distance, most men fled into the forest
in the opposite direction. The policemen began abusing and beating up residents
including several women and children. Among those beaten up were Sodi Devi, a
10 year-old girl and a 12-year old boy Madvi Venkatesh . The boy lost three teeth
as a result.
The policemen then picked up a farmer Podium Chukkaiah and his minor son
(aged about 11) P Bhimaiah as well as Parvathi, Somidi and another woman
Madkam Saramma. Their hands were tied and they were taken to a spot about half
a kilometre away from the village below a hillock where there were remnants of a
camp set up earlier by the Maoists. Accusing the four as well as the entire village
of providing food and help to the Maoists, they beat them with their hands and
sticks. Bhimaiah was slapped repeatedly.
Several women including Parvathi’s mother Jogamma, her aunt Punam Somamma,
Somidi’s mother Aite followed the policemen pleading with them to not harm
their daughters. The policemen instead abused and also beat up the three women
and even kicked them. Aite and Jogamma tried to give some water to Parvathi and
Somidi but the policemen did not allow it.
Soon after, the police partially disrobed Parvathi and Somidi and forcibly took
the two away with them. They let go of Saramma, Chukkaiah and Bhimaiah.
Chukkaiah was bedridden for two days from the beatings and is now better. Over
a week after they were abducted by the AP police, there is still no trace of Parvathi
The incident was reported in the Telugu media after the tribals went to Cherla,
a mandal headquarters in Khammam district of AP, and narrated the events to
local reporters. When contacted by reporters, police officials have kept denying
knowledge of the whole thing.
On January 16, Nimmalagudem villagers again walked to Cherla and met the
Bhadrachalam sub-collector Narayana Bharat Gupta. They told him what had
happened on January 12 and pleaded with to help them locate their daughters.
They told him that every-time there was movement of Maoists in the area or any
incident involving the Maoists, the Andhra police were targeting Nimmalagudem
and harassing them. Gupta promised to take up the matter with higher officials.
Three days have gone by and there is no word about the women.
Fax messages have been sent to the Chief Justice of the AP High Court as well as
the Chattisgarh CJ seeking their intervention.
An appeal was made by HRF through the media to immediately set the two women
free and handed over to their families.
Members of the HRF fact-finding team:
1. VS Krishna (HRF State general secretary)
2. SK Khadar Babu (HRF Khammam district president)
3. D Adinarayana (HRF Khammam district general secretary)
4. N Amar (HRF Nalgonda district vice-president)