Linga Kodopi knew already what would happen to him ,after he returns to Dantewada.
I, Linga Ram Kodopi s/o Sri Joga Ram Kodopi resident of gram Sameli, Patel para, Block Kuakonda, tehsil Danewada, Chhattisgarh, aged 24 years do solemnly affirm and declare as under:
- That I live in Sameli village in my ancestral home with my parents and my elder brother Masa Ram Kodopi, aged about 32 years. My father Joga Ram Kodopi is a farmer and a former Sarpanch. My elder brother is a member of the Jilla Up Mandi.My second brother Bhima Ram Kodopi, aged 30 years, works with the National Mineral Development Corporation Limited at Bacheli in Dantewada district. My younger sister Kumari Kunti, aged 18 years, is studying in class 10 in Bacheli town.
- That I have studied up to class 9 and read and write Hindi. I work on my father's land in Sameli village. I also drive a jeep taking people from the village to the nearby towns.
- That I am peace loving and law abiding adivasi citizen. I have never done anything unlawful or illegal or committed any crime.
- That I was kept in illegal custody/detention from 31st August till 6th October, 2009, by the Chhattisgarh Police at the Dantewada Police Station. I was released only after the intervention of the Bilaspur High Court on a habeas corpus petition filed by my family, titled Masa Ram Kodopi vs Chhattisgarh Shasan, Writ Petition H.C. No. 5469/2009.
- That during the entire period of illegal custody/detention I have been physically and mentally tortured, threatened and pressurized to become a Special Police Officer (SPO) and that I fear for my life on return to my village in Dantewada district, in Chhattisgarh at the hands of the police in Dantewada.
- That on 14th August 2009 the CRPF and SPOs arrived in my village around midnight. They forcibly entered the house of my aunt (father's sister), Sony Sori, who is the principal of the Jabeli Ashram school in search of me. I had parked my motorcycle at my aunt's house that night. They enquired about me and accused me of helping the Naxalites. They ransacked my aunt's house, and took Rs 900/- from my trousers that I had left at my aunt's house and my hat saying that it belongs to a Naxalite.
- That on 27th August 2009, Shri Hunga Ram Mandavi a teacher at Jabeli Ashram, borrowed my motorcycle to take his infant daughter to the hospital. While returning from the hospital he along with his wife and daughter were stopped by the CRPF at Palnar chowk and detained for 24 hours. The CRPF made enquiries about me from them and released them. The CRPF has illegally taken my motorcycle into possession and it has not been returned to me till date.
- That on 31st August 2009, while I was at home around 12 noon, two men in civil dress arrived at my house on my motorcycle enquiring whose motorcycle it was. When I came out of the house they asked for a plain sheet of paper. By then about 10 policemen from the local police station had arrived and asked me to come to the police station with them. On asking why they were taking me, I was told that they needed to question me. The "thana munshi" of Kuakonda Police Station(P.S.) asked me to pack clothes as it might take 2 days for me to be released. Some other policemen said that there was no need to do that. I was taken to the CRPF camp at Palnar about 9 km from my village and then taken to the Kuakonda P.S.
- That at the Kuakonda P.S. I was beaten and repeatedly slammed hard against the wall and accused of being the son of a Naxalite. From P.S. Kuakonda I was taken to P.S. Dantewada on the same day at around 7 pm.
- That at Kuakonda P.S. I was kept in illegal custody /detention till I was released on 6th October 2009, pursuant to the orders of the Hon'ble Bilaspur High Court.
- That at the police station in Dantewada I was physically and mentally tortured everyday by the Superintendent Police, Mr Amaresh Mishra. I was kicked and beaten and falsely accused of being a Naxalite and of transporting goods for the Naxalites and possessing a revolver. The SP told me that I would be killed if I did not cooperate with them. I was pressurized to becoming a Special Police Officer(SPO). The SP forcibly made me write on a paper that I was harassed by naxalites and was willing to become an SPO. He said "it would take two years to clean your area." Throughout my detention I was either threatened or offered money to become an SPO. I was told that if I did not agree to become an SPO, I would be made to wear the Naxalite uniform and shot dead and everyone would think it was a Naxalite who had been killed. I was offered money and a a permanent job if I agreed to become an SPO and identify the Naxalites in my village.
- That I was informed by the SP that I had been appointed SPO from 28th August 2009 and would get Rs 2150/- per month.
- That on the 31st August, 2009 after I was illegally picked up, when my aunt Sony Sori and Hunga Ram reached the Kuakonda P.S. and pleaded for my release, the SP responded by calling me a Naxalite and a Naxalite's son. The SP declared that he would shoot me and that my relatives should leave the thana immediately.
- That a few days after I was illegally picked up, my mother, father, brother, the Sarpanch of our village, the sarpanch's husband and a few other villagers went to Dantewada Police Station. They met the SP and requested him to release me. My brother, father, the sarpanch's husband and others were beaten by the SP Amaresh Mishra saying you have come to get a Naxalite released.
- That during he entire period of illegal detention from 31st August - 6th October, 2009 I was kept in a small cell like room, which had no light with three other Adivasis. I was forced to defecate, urinate, and eat in that cell. I was given a handful or rice/dal to eat once a day. I was allowed to bathe only once during my detention.
- That I was repeatedly to name the Naxalites in my village. I was taken to 3-4 towns such as Bacheli, Ballidala to identify Naxalites. I was told that I would get a reward, a job and they would be promoted if I identified some adivasis as Naxalites.
- That one day during illegal custody/detention I was produced before the DIG's office in Dantewada. The DIG asked the constables to slap me and said it would have been better if the police had shot and thrown me instead of taking me into custody.
- That on 6th October, 2009 I was produced before the Bilaspur High Court on a habeas corpus petition filed by my brother titled Masa Ram Kodopi vs Chhattisgarh Shasan, Writ Petition H.C. No. 5469/2009.
- That, around 3rd October, 2009 before being produced before the Bilaspur High Court I was taken for a medical check up by the police.
- That on the way to the Bilaspur High Court, the DSP Mr Sharma threatened me saying that if I told the High Court about how I had been treated by the police, I would be killed by them.
- That I had stated before the High Court that I was with the police of my own free will, but was not wanting to go back home. I was made to sign a similar statement by the DSP outside the Court and was asked to take a copy of the same from the SP's office in Dantewada. Fearing for my life, I have not collected the statement.
- That I along with my family members - my mother, brother and father and some villagers were photopgraphed by DSP Dantewada outside the Bilaspur High Court after my release.
- That fearing for my life after being released from illegal detention by the High Court, I have not returned to my village. For a few days, I stayed with my second brother in Bacheli and am now in Delhi.
- That my family was stopped by the Chhattisgarh police while returning home after securing my release. My brother, Masa Ram Kodopi was picked up by the police on the evening of 7th October 2009 on the accusation of securing the release of a Naxal. He was kept in illegal custody by the police for 24 hours at Kuakonda P.S. He was released on 8th October, 2009 around 8:00 pm from Dantewada P.S. on the intervention of the local MLA Bhima Mandavi.
- That I wish to return to my village and lead a normal and secure life as I had done before being illegally picked up, detained and tortured by the Chhattisgarh police.
- That I am unable to return to my family and village as I feel insecure and fear for my safety and life. Since I have refused to become an SPO, I have been falsely branded a Naxalite. I have a real apprehension that the SP and other police personnel in Dantewada will have me killed.
- That I do not want to work as an SPO for the Chhattisgarh police and my so called appointment letter be cancelled.
- That my family members are being regularly harassed and threatened by the police for securing my release from illegal custody through a judicial order.
- That I have a grave apprehension that I may be killed or again illegally detained and tortured by the police for expressing this grave threat to my life before the concerned constitutional authorities.
- That in the name of combating naxalites, I and my family who are hard working and innocent adivasis are being targeted by the police.
- That there is a grave risk to my fundamental right to life from the police of Dantewada. I appeal that the constitutional and human rights of myself and my family members are protected.
- That the above affidavit has been read over and explained to me in Hindi and the same is correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Linga Ram Kodopi
Verified at Delhi on this 22nd day of October, 2009 that the contents of the above affidavit are true to the best of my knowledge and belief and nothing material has been concealed therefrom.
Linga Ram Kodopi