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Home > Human Rights > India: A Citzens Fact Finding Report on the Demolition of Vanvasi Chetna (...)

India: A Citzens Fact Finding Report on the Demolition of Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh

by PUCL, Chhattisgarh, 3 November 2009

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An all-India fact-finding team visited Chhattisgarh from 29 May to 1 June 2009 in the wake of certain disturbing developments in the State plagued by Maoist violence, state terror, the Salwa Judum campaign and attacks on voluntary organizations by the powers-that-be. The team visited the site of the demolished Vanvasi Chetna Ashram (VCA) at Kanwalnar near Dantewada and run by Himanshu Kumar, a noted Gandhian social activist working among the tribals of Dantewada and Bijapur districts of Bastar region.1

The members of the fact-finding team were Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magasaysay award winner social activist, Lucknow; Janak Lal Thakur, President, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM), former MLA, Dalli-Rajhara; Sumit Chakravarty, senior journalist and editor, Mainstream, New Delhi; Kamayani Bali Mahabal, human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist, Mumbai; Dr Harsh Dobhal, editor, Combat Law, New Delhi; Vijendra, representative of PUCL, Chhattisgarh, Raipur. Apart from the Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, Rahul Sharma and the
Governor of Chattisgarh, E.S.L. Narasimhan, the team also met the
Gandhian social activists running the VCA as well as Manish Kunjam, the
former MLA of the CPI. The team members spoke to various people
(villagers, social activists, and local media persons) in Kanwalnar,
Lingagiri, Basaguda, Boraguda, Kamaram, Bijapur and Dantewada. All of them confirmed and acclaimed the constructive work that the VCA has been doing in the region for the last 17 years. Himanshu Kumar, telling the Fact-Finding Team that the demolition has surprised them, as the same Government was not ashamed of burning down of 700 villages.

Published by:
People’s Union for Civil Liberties - Chhattisgarh
- Post Box No. 87, Main Post Office,
- Raipur 492001 (CG)
- Email: at

Copies available also at :

1. National PUCL,
- 270-A, Patparganj, Oppo. Anandlok Apartments,
- Mayur Vihar-I, Delhi 110091
- Email : puclnat at

2. Adv. Kamayani Bali Mahabal
- 503, Juhu Bharat Coop. Hsg. Society,
- Gandhi Gram Road,
- Juhu, Mumbai 400 049
- Email : kamayni at

3. Dr. Harsh Dobhal,
- Editor, Combat Low,
- Human Rights Law Network
- 576, Masjid Road,
- Jangpura,
- New Delhi 110 014
- Email: harshbodhal at

4. Chhattisgarh PUCL,
- C/o H—12, Anupam Nagar, P O Shanker Nagar,
- Raipur 492007: Chhattisgarh
- Email : at