campaign against sexual violence & state repression - 2 MTGS

CAMPAIGN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION

A report on the first two national level meetings

Newsletter Sept 2009 - Apr 2010

The First Meeting: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

From Kashmir to Gujarat, and the North Eastern states to Kandhamal, and in fact, in countries all over the world, sexual violence on women has been a key instrument of crimes against and within communities, and a weapon of suppression used by the state. Thirty years after the rape of a tribal girl named Mathura which galvanised the women’s movement in India to organise collectively against rape and sexual assault, the State, rather than heed the call of justice and contain the security forces and police, now seems all set to increase its repression, especially in resource rich adivasi areas of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. More specifically, cases of rape / rape and murder in Dantewada and Shopian, had triggered major concerns among various women’s groups, including Saheli, and an urgent need was felt for an organised response to the situation. It is clear that if justice is to be served, we need a strong and powerful campaign by women across India to prevent such crimes by the armed forces and police, punish those guilty and create awareness against the increasingly repressive role of the State. Towards this end, more than 25 women’s organisations and individuals finally met in Bhopal on October 24 and 25, 2009 for a meeting initiated by the Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch. The Campaign against Sexual Violence and State Repression had taken its first step.

Shopian - A case in point in Kashmir. One of the first cases discussed was of the rape and murder of Neelofar and Asiya in Shopian, based on the case-watch conducted by the Independent Initiative of Women for Justice from Delhi. While the concerns regarding the case range from the brutality of the crimes to the organised cover up and intimidation of the villagers and witnesses by the local police and security forces, the role of the CBI too is becoming suspect. For instance, the investigating agency suddenly stated in its exhumation report that the younger girl’s hymen is ‘intact’ – somewhat miraculously after four months of decomposition!

Manipur - The legacy of militarisation lives on. For the last 6 years, the horrific case of rape, torture and murder of Thangjam Manorama in Imphal, Manipur has dominated the discourse and campaign against the repressive AFSPA in Manipur. Recounting many other cases of rape and sexual assault committed by the security forces in the conflict torn state, Ranjita and Helam, from Manipur pointed out that the life of women in Manipur is fraught with many insecurities today. Women who complain about rape and sexual abuse are intimidated and threatened with being branded as terrorists. Sexual assault is used against women as a punishment for anything – from being in the area where a theft occurred to being in the house of a person thought to be an insurgent. On the other hand, women’s bodies are also used to settle scores between communities by the multiple insurgent groups in the region. The harsh reality is that people are also hesitant to protest against such sexual crimes by insurgent groups.

In states where the AFSPA is in force, key concerns among the activists were that most sexual violence is against poor and rural women, who either have no support to take their cases forward or who work in situations that make them more vulnerable to violence. The state, instead of being the protector of the rights of women, has been seen to protect the perpetrators with state machinery complicit in the cover-up during investigations and even intimidation of voices raised against the security forces. In the context of ‘national security’ which is posed as the primary national concern in these regions, widespread militarisation and the application of legislations like the AFSPA make it much more difficult for ordinary citizens to access justice against the armed forces. “Unke saare gunah maaf hain” (All their crimes are forgiven), as one activist said. Activists also shared the concern that many cases are hushed up for fear of social stigma, backlash and retaliation, and it is only if the woman is murdered or commits suicide, does the case come out into the open.

The meeting also discussed the systematic sabotage of the process of seeking justice by the police. Fudging of paperwork, protection of colleagues by dilution of charges, delaying the filing of the FIR and medical examination of the assaulted woman were some of the common complaints shared at the meeting. There was also a discussion on whether the punitive measures for armed/security forces using sexual violence on women should be greater than the current norm of 7 -14 years. We all know that greater punishment often results in even lower conviction. But it was agreed upon that in cases of sexual assault by state security personnel, the SP, Collector or the senior police/armed forces officers or government officials too need to be accountable for their crimes, as currently they cannot be booked without the express permission from the Government of India. In the face of inordinate delays, evasions and intimidation from government agencies, justice often loses meaning and the victims become more and more alienated. In such a situation some people may seek support from insurgent groups for their survival. Activists also shared concern about how effective fact-finding processes have been in going beyond revealing ‘facts’ and effecting concrete action towards justice.

Targetting Chattisgarh. On the second day of the meeting, Sudha Bharadwaj of Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha described the situation in the state. Chhattisgarh is rich in minerals and natural resources and the people of the region are mostly adivasis, who are being driven away by the state and corporations to gain access and control over land and natural resources. The pursuit of profit has resulted in large scale displacement of the people and loss of their livelihood.

While this is being done in the name of development and employment generation, yet by the government’s own admission, alienation of sections of people was a factor in the rise of left wing extremism. According to press reports, the Home Minister, P Chidambaram himself agreed that, “Frustration and alienation builds up when state governments neglect development needs.” Yet the government and corporations are using various inducements to get people to move out. If they refuse to comply, they are declared ‘naxalites’ and their land forcibly taken from them. Sudha said that the government is projecting the Naxalites as the ‘biggest internal security threat’ so as to set the stage for Operation GreenHunt – a concerted military operation against Maoist bases in the tri-junction of Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh-Chhattisgarh. Given the strong army presence in Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh the fear shared was that these states would also replicate the experience of the Kashmir valley and the north east.

The state is tactically also using information and misinformation to create confusion and fear among the people. While publicly denying ‘Operation Green Hunt’, the central and state governments are actively cooperating to conduct them and claiming they will follow the process of regaining control of the region followed by development measures. After many years of active destruction, relief camps have been set up by the government for displaced people. These are no more than temporary shelters with insufficient food, no source of livelihood, no education and health services and abysmal sanitation conditions. What is in abundance of course, is the presence of Special Police Officers (SPOs). Rehabilitation has been discouraged by the government, often violently. People are arrested/questioned/detained on charges as vague as ‘Naxalite ko rasta dikhaya’ (Gave the naxals directions). The judiciary too is biased. In such an environment all efforts to access justice are deeply complex, more so in cases of sexual violence. In Chattisgarh, six women have filed private complaints of rape against SPOs as their FIRs were not registered. Permission for prosecution is yet to come, while women and witnesses are being constantly intimidated.

In the context of Chhattisgarh, an urgent need was felt to expose the nexus between the interests of the corporations and the State. It is critical to address some of the complexities of the situation which is not simply a confrontation between the state and the Maoists as is being projected in the mainstream media. There was scepticism at the meeting about how much we could influence mainstream media, given the widespread corporatisation of the fourth estate. But it was also acknowledged that the voice of civil society organisations is very weak and limited to small circles of the ‘already converted’. Clearly, the need of the hour is to evolve a strong, independent voice and independent information networks that can communicate the issues to the middle classes in different regions.

The collective demand for justice and accountability should therefore be placed before the state and central governments of India, which have a commitment to abide by the Constitution to protect the weakest and most marginalised citizens. In the name of ‘protecting’ us from Left Wing Extremism, the state cannot perpetrate violence on the people, including sexual violence. The meeting also took cognisance of the fact that the Naxalites also wield guns and are indulging in violence, and stated that it does not subscribe to their ‘government’.

Cases from Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Jhansi, from Dalit Stree Shakti (Andhra Pradesh), outlined the situation in the state. During the past one and half years, they have handled about 460 cases of violence against Dalit women form various parts of A.P.. More than half of these cases were of rape including that of minors, gang rape and sexual relations through fraud, besides brutal attacks on women and mass rapes by the police in pursuit of Naxals. In one case, in Yelamanchili Mandal, the police, instead of registering complaint compounded the offense by raping the complainant, a minor.

Rinchin of Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch shared about the situation in Madhya Pradesh. In their experience it is very difficult to file cases in instances of sexual violence. Talking about a case of custodial rape in Betul district, she said the fact finding team of women’s organizations found many loopholes and procedural faults in investigation. Despite sustained efforts only one rapist was arrested and three others are declared ‘absconding’ even though they are moving freely around the city. The premises of the local station – the place of the crime, remained under the control of the same Station-in-Charge who is an accused of the crime but was not even made a part of the identification parade.

The discussions arising from the instances of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh raise several issues, especially with regard to Dalit women, namely, the reluctance or refusal of the police to file cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The regular demand is for ‘proof’ that the violence is caste-based and not ‘personal’. The cases of rape of Dalit women by non-Dalit men, it is most often the case that the police and administration further victimise the woman and her supporters, and in the bargain, either the guilty go unpunished or the process of justice is very delayed. At the same time, the community also hesitates to punish Dalit men guilty of rape, for their prime concern is to consolidate the community against caste-based oppression than take gender-based violence seriously. Such patriarchal attitudes and exhibition of masculine power continues within the police department too. The special police stations for SC/STs are as bad as the other ones. Women said that even personnel in special police stations for women do not necessarily empathise with the victims. Caste and class divides across all regions continue to manifest themselves in sexual assault on the poor, tribal and Dalit women living in villages as well as slums in the cities. In addition, bodies like the State Women’s Commissions and State Human Rights Commissions are also typically biased and non-responsive with respect to atrocities on Dalit women.

Towards the National Level Campaign. It is evident that the challenges before us are many and complex. In the course of the two-day meeting, it was agreed to focus on building a campaign against state-supported sexual violence on women, for this has always been used as a tool of subordination and a method for intimidating communities and suppressing the voice of the people. In confronting sexual violence and state repression on women, we need to make the links with the larger political context of a region, be it struggles for control over land and resources, for political autonomy, or other issues. It is necessary to raise awareness through information campaigns that counter the misinformation or lack of information in the mainstream media. In this effort, it was agreed that groups from outside of affected areas should play a more effective role as voices from ‘the outside’ may be considered more ‘objective and balanced’. Pamphlets need to be drafted and distributed, videos films made and screened. In fact, media strategy needs to go beyond traditional print media, to electronic forms including web-based journals, magazines, blogs, Facebook, Youtube.

The law on sexual assault also needs to be reformed. The definition of rape in Section 375 of the IPC needs to be broadened beyond mere peno-vaginal penetration and several other definitional aspects of the law on sexual assault. Other concerns have been the socio-political context of the crimes, procedural and evidentiary issues, implementation of the law and such like. In the light of the fact that the government is also proposing a new bill on communal violence and proposing a review of the law on sexual assault. It is critical that the campaign engage with all these questions and processes and discuss our strategies. There is a lack of knowledge among activists and local people about what sections of the law can be used by them in their fight for justice. A strong need was felt to work with and support women who have faced violence to help them cope with the psychological, physical, emotional and social trauma as a result of such violence. In this context, we had also a discussion about how impactful fact-finding efforts can or have been.

Another grave concern shared was the trend of destruction of (forensic) evidence in order to evade investigation and identification. This is a pattern we have seen gaining ground by both, state and non-state actors. In Gujarat, some of the women who were raped were killed, their bodies burnt beyond identification; in Khairlanji, the bodies victims of rape, torture and murder were dumped in water to destroy forensic evidence; in Shopian, the destruction of forensic evidence was carried out during the investigative procedure; in one case of rape in Chhattisgarh, the woman was blindfolded and in the Amla rape case narrated by M.P. Mahilla Manch policemen used condoms.

When the state machinery becomes complicit in cover-ups, investigations make no headway and voices against such state brutality are crushed, then it is inevitable that fear will abound, and justice will not be done. Clearly, we need to strengthen our campaign for the repeal of the AFSPA and other special powers granted to the army and paramilitary forces which has led to rampant abuse of power, with impunity. There is obvious conflict of interest when the accused government agency is also the investigative agency. As part of the campaign, it is also imperative that we, as women’s groups resist the increasing militarisation of more and more parts of the country.

The State and National Commissions also have to be held accountable. Pressure needs to be brought to bear upon these bodies to work for the people they are meant to represent, rather than for the governments that have constituted them.

On all these fronts, our efforts need to be more effectively coordinated. Our current efforts are too scattered with everyone working in their own region. At the same time, the local community also needs to speak out against such crimes. Learning from the example of Shopian we know, that it possible for the people’s anger and protests sustained over the months to force an administration into action.

Our campaign needs to be specially strengthened in the more affected states, by organising meetings and events that are attended by women from other parts of the country, in order to build pressure on the local government and add to the strength of the local groups fighting such gendered violence. Hence, it was decided that the December meeting would take place in Chhattisgarh and the next one will be in Manipur.

The Second Meeting: Raipur, Chattisgarh

The meeting in Raipur was hosted by a joint platform of Chhattisgarh women’s groups under the banner Chhattisgarh Mahilla Adhikar Manch. Many new groups and organizations have joined the campaign since the Bhopal meeting so many new states were also represented here, including Orissa, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

Just prior to the meeting of the campaign scheduled at Raipur, a women’s fact finding team had gone to Narayanpatna, dist Koraput, Orrisa, to enquire into police firing on a peaceful agitation by adivasis of the region against a case of molestation of women during a combing operation by the police. The adivasis are involved in a struggle to get back their land that has been taken away unlawfully by non-tribals. Two leaders were killed in the firing. The movement has been declared ‘Maoist’ by the state. However, the fact finding team itself was attacked by mobs within the premises of the police station. The driver of their vehicle was beaten up and some members were also injured. The meeting demanded that the SP be removed.

Reporting from Chhattisgarh

The groups who participated were from Chappa district, Mahasamund District, Jajpur District, Raipur district (Rajim Block), Dhamtari district, and Bhilai. The participants talked about a whole range of violence and violations being meted out to women in different parts of the state in differing contexts. They spoke of the situation at the site of many new power plants for which MOUs have been signed between the government and NTPC which have resulted in forced acquisition of the land. In response to the attempt to resist such land grab, men were picked up and women were attacked brutally when they demanded their release. There has also been displacement of people from 32 villages by NTPC thermal plant with the promise of giving jobs to sons and husbands and that never materialized. When a delegation of women went to NTPC demanding employment they were tear-gassed.

Women also reported sexual violence on young girls working as agricultural labourers. They also spoke of increasing instances of sex work and trafficking of young adivasi and dalit girls. They mentioned incidents of women being refused mid-day meals under Right to Food facility as per Supreme Court orders when they refused sexual favours to officials.

The two new wildlife sanctuaries that are coming up in the state will encompass 390 villages spread across three districts. Women also reported of incidents when adivasi women being kidnapped by forest guards and sexually assaulted for days. Local panchayats usually do not want to report such cases since it is a matter of shame. Harassment is a routine by the forest officials who pull the sari-like garment of the tribal women apart under the pretext of making sure that they are not men.

Witch-hunting, especially of propertied single women or women activists is also a major problem. Women in leadership are charged with many false cases and sometimes put in jail for months without charges. In some areas, the BJP government is pressurizing the tribal people to become ‘Hindus’ through the ‘ghar vapsi’ program. Muslim women face more problems and the community does not encourage them to talk about it. The major factors identified as leading to increased sexual assault on adivasi women were industrialisation, land mafia, liquor mafia, militarization and powerful landlords who have acquired land in Chhattisgarh.

Statewise reporting. Activists from different regions reported on how state repression is manifesting itself. The arrests of people demanding the land they have been allotted by the court in Khandwa; the murderous attack on eminent activist and member of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Shamim Modi in Mumbai, the continuous harassment of the Pardhi people on grounds of their tribal identity are examples of repression within the state of Madhya Pradesh. In West Bengal after 33 years of CPI (M) rule sexual exploitation of women is becoming part of electoral violence and any human rights activism is clubbed as being Naxalite. Lalgarh is the West Bengal government’s new laboratory on how areas should be evacuated for corporate profit to be accrued from the mining of rare minerals. Tools used everyday by adivasis, including axes, bows and arrows are now considered a ‘threat to the nation’.

Reiterating the strategies agreed upon at the Bhopal meeting, participants at this meeting also added that the campaign should have a rapid response team at the zonal or national level that can respond to situations, constitute a legal team, organise some common programmes; to focus on state violence/state sponsored violence, and also caste/communal violence. The meeting also felt the need to take responsibility to respond to crisis situations, manage and sustain relationships with other democratic movements, to lobby with statutory authorities and to also look into the possibilities of international alliances for the campaign.

Extending the network and activities of the campaign

At Raipur, participants also looked back at the journey from Bhopal to Raipur to see the factors that led to this continuity and strategise on how to go forward to other parts of the country.

After the Bhopal meeting many groups were approached for endorsing and joining the campaign. New groups did not just endorse but also came for the Raipur meeting. As stated before new Chhattisgarh groups had not only joined the campaign but also hosted the meeting. The members from Manipur ‘Women In Governance’, represent a network of eight women organisations. The Gujarat group have coordinated with 30 NGOs in the state and a platform called the “Mahila adhikar aandolan” has come into being. In Uttar Pradesh, the issue of sexual violence by state actors was raised by Vanangana in a women’s conference by Sangharshsheel Mahila Sammelan. In Madhya Pradesh, the Bhopal statement has been reproduced as pamphlets for wider distribution. The issue was also discussed in the meetings held to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. A public demonstration was also held on the start of the tenth year of Irom Sharmila’s fast in collaboration with Yuva Samvad, and the issue was discussed there too.

The immediate future plan includes a signature campaign demanding that the government prosecute security forces personnel accused of sexual violence against women in Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, and to organise local programmes with common demands, if possible on the same day and to also put together the summary of the campaign in the form of a booklet. The next meeting of the campaign is expected to take place in Manipur in May.

After the meeting: Harassment by the police and local goons

At the end of the meeting forty members left for Dantewada in a solidarity visit to women who were fighting rape cases. En route, they were repeatedly harassed by the police and police-supported goons. At Charama Thana, Kanker at the border of the Bastar division, they were detained for over an hour, their identity checked and papers of the vehicles and drivers scrutinized and then they were refused permission to go further. The women were forced to return the private vehicles and use public transport buses from Makditola to proceed towards Dantewara. The buses which they boarded were stopped again, and they were again questioned by the police and the driver and conductor were threatened. After another stretch, the bus was stopped once more and the bus driver was threatened not to carry forward with the women’s team members, so they were forced to get down. They were finally not able to reach Dantewada. Even on their return journey to Raipur, the bus was stopped and the tyres punctured by sponsored protestors shouting slogans against the team. The DGP Chhatisgarh knew of the incidents as and when they were taking place, and made no efforts to disperse the mob. Later, when the team held a press conference in Raipur, the police and the local goons continuously interfered in the proceedings.

There is a complete breakdown of democracy in the state. Not allowing citizens and women’s groups to go to the area, gather information, understand the situation and meet the women who are strongly resisting the state’s high-handedness and their sexual exploitation is a clear illustration of how the state is trying to hide the reality in Chhattisgarh.

Things got even worse by the time the participants returned from Raipur. The SPOs went to Samsetti village and intimidated four rape complainants and their families into signing blank papers. Then, during a Jan Sunwai organised by Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey and others, villagers were threatened and the police stood mute witness as activists were attacked by goons. And then, of course is the case of Sodi Sambo. A 28 year old Adivasi woman from village Gompad, who is a key witness to the attack by security forces on 1 Oct, 2009 in which 9 adivasis were killed. Sodi herself was also shot in her leg. Yet the police prevented her from getting medical attention, and ironically, held her in custody at a secret location! And it was only early this year, that the Supreme Court finally granted ‘permission’ for her lawyer and other activists to meet her, and issued a directive to the Chhattisgarh government seeking an explanation on the location and status of other key witnesses. Clearly, the situation in Chhattisgarh is getting more and more repressive.

Box 1:

SAHELI CONDEMNS MAOIST VIOLENCE

We are alarmed at the spate of killings and violence on the poor and tribal people of this country both, at the hands of the Maoists and the State police and armed forces.

We strongly condemn the massacre of 12 people, including women and children, and wounding of 50 others on 17 February, 2010 in Phulwaria-Korasi village of Jamui district of Bihar allegedly by the CPI (Maoist). The massacre is reported to be in retaliation for the killing of eight Maoist cadres on 1 February, who were allegedly taken into custody and then killed by the police. However, such an assault is nothing but an attack on the very people who the Maoists claim to be working for.

We also condemn the killing of 24 personnel attached with the Eastern Frontier Rifles on 6th February 2010 at Silda camp of district Paschim Midnapur. This so-called retaliation from the Maoists is inhuman and will lead to a more violent response from the state. Already the state has engaged in numerous procedural violations, extra judicial killings and utmost torture upon the populace of the area though these have not ever received front page coverage. We believe that in the process the already dispossessed and displaced poor tribal people are the worst sufferers who are badly caught between terror and violence unleashed by the State and Maoists.

Such conflicts can be resolved with a political dialogue alone and not by the use of force. We believe that all these incidents of violence are responsible for shrinking democratic space for every citizen. Genuine social movements and activists taking up the causes of the poor and the marginalized have been facing harassment, intimidation and violence. Now even Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and Peoples’ Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) known for their relentless struggle for upholding democratic rights have been called ‘front organisations of the Maoists’ in the chargesheet filed by the government against Kobad Ghandy, a senior Maoist leader arrested recently in Delhi.

In the interest of the people, Maoists and the state have to make genuine efforts to start a dialogue without any pre-conditionalities.

Box 2:

DECLARATION OF THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION,

ADOPTED AT THE RANCHI MEETING.

We, the undersigned representatives of women’s organizations, human rights organisations and individuals have gathered at Raipur on 12 and 13 of December 2009 to raise our voice against the sexual violence on women that has emerged as a continuous feature of state repression. Coming together as the Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression we declare:-

Areas of the North East and Kashmir where army has been deployed have long witnessed many instances of custodial rape, sexual violence, indiscriminate arrest, torture and killings. The offensive launched by the Government of India in the name of curbing ‘Maoism’ and spreading ‘development’ in the adivasi inhabited areas of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra has also been accompanied by rampant sexual violence by armed forces as well as by other state-protected vigilante groups and private armies. Reports indicate that this offensive is even spreading to other states. Sexual violence has been a feature of combing operations everywhere, and encounter killings, arbitrary arrests of activists and intimidation of fact finding teams are becoming the order of the day.

While the offensive is ostensibly aimed at combating insurgency and left-wing extremism, we believe that the entire offensive is aimed at facilitating corporate grab of land and other resources, as well as at suppressing democratic movements for land, livelihood and democratic rights. Women have been at the forefront of these struggles – and have borne the brunt of the repression.

We are also concerned with the fact that security forces routinely enjoy impunity for their crimes. In the rape and murder of Manorama in Manipur, and Nilofer and Asiya Jan at Shopian, justice has been mocked in spite of remarkable mass movements. Mass protests against sexual violence during police raids have met with severe repression – and even police firing at Narayanpatna. Even fact finding groups of women seeking to investigate these incidents have not been spared. While the Indian government justifies its offensive in the name of restoring democracy we find that women are denied even the minimum democratic right to lodge complaints in cases of rape by state protected forces.

It must be remembered in this context that more than half a century of use of force has not resulted in bringing peace or development in North East or Kashmir and armed offensive is no solution to any unrest.

We demand:

    • Withdrawal of the army and paramilitary forces from all these areas of the country with immediate effect and no future deployment of the army by the government on its own people

    • Restoration of land and rehabilitation of the displaced people of Chhatisgarh as per the Supreme Court directives

    • Disbanding of Salwa Judum and other such outfits like the Special Protection Officers and other private militia

    • To give immediate approval for prosecution of cases registered in states under the AFSPA rule

    • Filing and investigation of the rape complaints made before the NHRC from Chhattisgarh

    • Land for land rehabilitation in projects already underway and the scraping of all MOUs which give rights of land and other resources to corporates from India and outside.

    • Replace armed offensive with political initiatives and peace dialogue with activists and representatives in places which have been termed disturbed areas.

    • Release political prisoners and activists.

    • Scrap the SEZ Act and hold public enquiry in transfer of land carried out so far.

    • Repeal draconian laws like CSPSA, UAPA, NIA,NSA etc.

The Campaign against Sexual Violence and State Repression comprises: All India Progressive Women’s Association, All India Students Association (Delhi), Alternate Law Forum (Bengaluru), Association For Protection of Democratic Rights (West Bengal), Baiga Mahapanchayat Lorbhi (Bilaspur), Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (Madhya Pradesh), Campaign for Justice and Peace (Karnataka), Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (Mumbai), Committee Against Violence on Women (CAVOW), Chhatisgarh Mukti Morcha (Chhatisgarh), Chattisgarh Mahila Adhikar Manch (Raipur), Dalit Stree Shakti (Hyderabad), Hengasara Hakkina Sangha (Mysore), Human Rights Law Network (Madhya Pradesh), Human Rights Alert (Manipur), Humane (Koraput, Orissa), Initiatives: Women in Development (Bhopal), Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (Badwani), Kashipur Solidarity (Delhi), Lalgarh Morcha (West Bengal), Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, Namma Manasa (Bengaluru), Nari Mukti Sanstha (Delhi), Navsarjan (Ahmedabad), Narmada Bachao Andolan (Madhya Pradesh), Pratidhwani (Delhi), Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (Karnataka), Rachna Manch (Raipur), Rohidas Mahila Kalian Samiti, (Raipur), Saheli (Delhi), Sahmat (Kesla, Madhya Pradesh), Samajwadi Jan Parishad (Madhya Pradesh), Samata Vedike (Mysore), Sangini (Bhopal), Stree Adhikar Sanghatan (Uttar Pradesh), Stree Jagruti Samiti (Mysore), The Other Media (Delhi), Vanangana (Chitrakut, Uttar Pradesh), Vidyarthi Yuvjan Sabha, WE Forum (Raipur), Women’s Right Resource Center (Madhya Pradesh), Yuva Samvaad (Bhopal).