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Fact Finding Missions on Protection Rights of Children:

(All names changed.  Presented as documented in those respective years)

Numerous fact finding missions were conducted by the PVCR members.  Only a few are given here to understand the violations of child rights.


Anantapur – Murder of a 4 year-old girl:

Mariyamma, along with her two children – Mahesh (son, 7 years) and Swarupa (daughter, 4 years) has been living separately from her husband since last four years due to family disputes.  She is living in Koduru Thopu village of Chilamathur Mandal of Anantapur district. On 4th of April 2012 her daughter Swarupa was murdered brutally by one Sairam.

The PVCR district committee members went for a fact finding mission to the village and found the following facts.  After separating from her husband, Mariyamma entered into an extra-marital relationship with Sairam who belong to nearby Boodili Thanda.  As per reports received Mariyamma was also habituated to liquor.  Since Swarupa stays at home, Sairam felt that she was a hindrance to his relationship with Mariyamma.  Hence took the extreme step of eliminating the child.  On 4th April, when Mariyamma was away from home, he entered the house, wrapped the girl in a bedsheet by force and severely beaten her to death.  By the time Mariyamma reached home, he fled the scene.

This incident sent shock-waves across the neighbouring villages and people demanded severe action against Sairam.  After verifying the facts with the family members and the police, the PVCR committee members made following specific demands to the government:

  • To arrest the culprit immediately and ensure stringent punishment.
  • To protect the life of Mahesh, the son of Mariyamma as Sairam may kill him also. 
  • PVCR committee also warned that if urgent measures are not taken by government to arrest the culprit and provide security to the family, the PVCR will take up dharna against such inaction.

Srikakulam – Killing of Dalits in land dispute:

Laxmipeta village is in Vangara Mandal of Srikakulam district.  There are 170 families in the village out of which 80 belong to SC and 90 belong to BC community.  Caste discrimination has been prevalent in the village and the BC community plays a dominant role in any matter pertaining to village.  Caste discrimination is there even in the school where SC children are seated separately.

20 years back government had acquired 220 acres of land from people for the construction of Madduvalasa Reservoir.  Majority of these land holdings belonged to BC community.  However, after the construction of the reservoir, there were certain portions of land which did not submerge.  Hence, those farmers which had sold those lands to government started cultivating again.  But, Dalits in the village claimed that since those are government lands, they too should get a share of those lands.  Even in 2010 Dalits from the village gave a memorandum to government requesting for allocation of those lands to them also.  When the Joint Collector of the district conducted meeting in the village, BC community expressed their objections to it and hence government officials said that until a decision is taken, none could cultivate those lands.

Since then, the tensions between these two communities rose high.  There were also some incidents of arguments and even quarreling between these two communities.  Recently there was a police picket installed at the village. Recently, an SC community person filed an atrocity case against BC community person.  Hence, BC community was very angry with SC community and was waiting for a chance to strike against SCs.  During the recent by-polls, the police force from the village was sent on election duty.  Taking that advantage, the BC community people attacked SC community with weapons and 5 Dalits were killed.  There was a scary situation in the village and the Dalit families with children fled the village fearing their life.  Only after the police came to the village, slowly Dalit families also came back to village.

All the people’s organizations, political parties and government condemned the incident.  The PVCR members from Vizianagarm went for a fact-finding mission to this village and got first hand information from the family members of the victims.  During this fact finding mission, the PVCR committee members took notice of the above facts and made the following specific demands to the government:

  • To protect the lives of Dalits and specifically children who were traumatized to a great extent.
  • To take stringent action on the culprits and ensure justice to Dalits.
  • To sanction ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakhs to each of the families that lost their members.
  • To ensure best treatment for those people who are undergoing treatment in hospital.
  • To allocate 5 acres of land to each of the Dalit families in the village.


Food poisoning at SC Boys’ hostel at Chennuru, Chennuru Mandal, Kadapa

There are 130 inmates at SC Boys’ hostel at Chennuru and they attend the local school.  On 26th October 2013, 46 of the inmates suffered food poisoning after eating the lunch at the hostel.  After going back to school after lunch, 10 children suffered with vomiting and lose motions and they were sent back to hostel.  The hostel Watchman took them to government hospital for treatment.  By that evening, another 36 children were affected with food poisoning and all of them were admitted in the local government hospital. 

PVCR members got this information from the hostel inmates and visited the hostel and the hospital.  They immediately called up the Deputy Director of Social Welfare and informed him of the incident.  By that evening, the Deputy Director visited the hospital and enquired about the incident.  This was shown in all the regional television channels.  The hostel Warden who stays at Kadapa reached the place that same night.

PVCR submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Director of Social Welfare and demanded that action be taken on the persons responsible for the incident and to improvise facilities in the hostel.  PVCR also demanded that the Warden should stay locally so that better care of the inmates could be ensured.  The doctor at the hospital said that there is a possibility of lizard falling in food while the food is being cooked and that is the reason for food poisoning.  Next day morning, the district Collector also visited the hostel and hospital and issued severe warning to the hostel staff to see that such incidents are not repeated.


Chittoor – Kotha Indlu Colony, Madanapalle Rural Mandal - Child abuse of 3 year old girl

On 26-09-2014, the local media persons at Madanapalle received a call from one of the community members of Kotha Indlu Colony, Madanapalle Rural and were informed that one old person was being heavily beaten by community people for abusing a 3 year old girl.  This was informed by community people to the local police also.  Immediately, the media persons also informed about this incident to the State General Secretary of PVCR-AP - Lalithamma.

Immediately, Lalithamma informed this to some PVCR members who stay close-by to Kotha Indlu Colony and asked them to go to the spot immediately and find out what was happening.  District Vice-President and 3 Executive Committee members of PVCR formed as a fact finding committee and went to Kotha Indlu Colony to enquire into the incident.  The following observations / facts were presented by the fact finding committee:

  • One Narasaiah, aged about 60 years had migrated to Kotha Indlu Colony some 10 years back and had taken on lease a portion of the house of Ramana, the father of Laxmi.  He was a widower and was working as a Watchman at construction sites.  Laxmi’s father was a Mason and in that connection, they developed friendship and were going to work spots together.  In fact, when Narasaiah went to Kotha Indlu Colony first, Ramana was unmarried.
  • In the meantime, Ramana got married to Bhagya and they had a girl baby Laxmi.  Narasaiah was staying in the first floor of the house and used to take Laxmi to his house and play with her.  Recently, Bhagya became pregnant again and they also admitted Laxmi in the local ICDS centre.  Since Laxmi was mingling well with Narasaiah, Bhagya sometimes used to ask him to drop Laxmi at ICDS centre or bring her back from ICDS centre.
  • On 26-09-2014, Narasaiah went home around 2 P.M. fully drunk and took Laxmi to his house saying that Laxmi would play with him for some time.  Bhagya’s brother also used to stay with the family and was pursuing his Intermediate second year.  Shortly after Narasaiah took Laxmi with him, Bhagya’s brother wanted to study on top and went upto the first floor.  He found Narasaiah misbehaving with the child and found that Narasaiah had completely removed his dress as well as Laxmi’s dress.  Upon seeing that, the boy got scared and screamed loudly.  Even Laxmi had started screaming that time.  Upon hearing the screams, Bhagya and neighbours rushed to the first floor and were shocked to see the child being abused by Narasaiah.
  • Bhagya and two other women immediately took Laxmi to the hospital for a check-up.  Hospital staff confirmed that though there was attempt to sexually abuse the child, nothing serious had happened.
  • In the meantime, the local people caught Narasaiah and tied him to a pole on the street and started beating him indiscriminately.  They also poured kerosene on Narasaiah and situation was getting worst.  Just at that time, the police and the media got the news from one of the community members and reached the spot.  Police arrested Narasaiah and admitted him in the hospital.

The PVCR members immediately went to the hospital and met with the mother of the child and enquired about what exactly happened.  They also spoke to the doctor at the hospital and found that nothing serious had happened to the child.   From there, PVCR members took the parents of Laxmi to police station and made them to lodge a police complaint against Narasaiah.  Initially police refused to receive the complaint saying that no sexual assault had happened on the child.  Immediately, the General Secretary of PVCR spoke with the Circle Inspector of Police and made the police receive the complaint from parents, though no FIR was filed.

Narasaiah was in hospital for two days for treatment.  During that time, Narasaiah’s two sons got the news and went to Kotha Indlu Colony from Hyderabad.  They directly approached community members and asked them to withdraw the case and assured them that they would take their father immediately from the village.  The community people asked them to pay compensation of Rs. 50,000/- to the family.  But, Narasaiah’s sons negotiated for Rs. 20,000/- and that was agreed by the community members.  All these negotiations happened without the presence of Laxmi’s parents.  Due to community pressure, Laxmi’s parents had to accept the compensation and withdraw the case from the police station.  Parents also did not return Rs. 50,000/- house lease amount that was paid by Narasaiah.  All these happenings were not known to PVCR members.  When PVCR members followed up with police, they were informed about what had happened.  Though PVCR members had given fact finding report to the Circle Inspector of Police, as parents withdrew the case, there was nothing further done in this case.

Anantapur - Nayanakota Thanda, O.D. Cheruvu Mandal - killing of 3 year old boy;

On 04-08-2014 the Secretary of PVCR – Anantapur received a phone call from one Kumar from Nayanakota Thanda and was informed that a 3 year old boy was killed by his mother (Varalakshmi) and her paramour on 03-08-2014.  Upon knowing this, the Secretary of PVCR, Narasimhulu discussed it with some other PVCR members in the district and they wanted to go on a fact finding mission into this incident.  A seven-member fact finding committee was formed which comprised of Narasimhulu, Vasuramma, Gangaraju, P.S. Reddy, T. Chenna Krishnamma, G. Manjunatha Reddy, B. Ramanjaneyulu and Hanumanthu. 

The fact finding committee visited the house of the boy at Nayanakota Thanda and interacted with the father of the deceased boy, some village elders including Ex-Sarpanch and the Sub Inspector at O.D. Cheruvu.  Upon detailed enquiries with different people, the committee came out with the following observations and facts:

  • The child’s mother had an extra-marital relationship with one Sudhakar from the same village and that had been continuing for the past 2 years.
  • On 30th of July 2014, child’s mother and her paramour eloped from the village and reached Bagepally.  They took the child also with them.
  • After spending 3 days in a lodge, the couple started to feel that the child was a hindrance to them.  On 3rd of August, under the influence of alcohol, the couple wanted to eliminate the child and strangled the child to death.  Even the child was given liquor before his death.
  • After killing the child, the mother phoned to her elder brother and informed him that they left the child in a particular lodge and asked him to take care of the child.  When her brother reached the lodge, he found only the dead body of the child.
  • The matter was reported to the police by her brother and immediately police swung into action and arrested the mother while they were going to Kolar.  Sudhakar Naik is still at large.
  • Though the post-mortem was conducted at Bagepally, the report was never out.

The PVCR members prepared a fact finding report and submitted it to the District Collector, District Superintendent of Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Revenue Divisional Officer – Kadiri, CDPO-ICDS – Kadiri, Tahsildar – O.D. Cheruvu and Human Rights Commission – Hyderabad.  The fact finding committee demanded to enquire into the incident and severely punish the culprits. 

It is now reported that the husband of Varalakshmi has taken Rs. 50,000/- from Sudhakar for not filing the case against him and hence there is no written case in the police station now.  It was evident that the brother of the mother too negotiated for compromise and ensured Rs. 50,000/- from Sudhakar to his brother-in-law.

PVCR members met with the Superintendent of Police and requested him to reopen the case and punish the culprits.

a)    Visakhapatnam - Kollaputtu, Dumriguda Mandal - suicide of 6th class boy due to constant harassment by teachers for the AADHAR card;

On 26-08-2014 there was a news item in the vernacular newspapers that a 6th class boy (Balaiah) studying at Killoguda government high school committed suicide.  The reason mentioned was that the school teachers were harassing the boy constantly for submission of AADHAR card.  Though this boy had tried to apply for AADHAR card, he could not complete the process as it was not possible to take his finger prints as he had some deformity in both the palms.  His point-finger and middle finger were enjoined and the gap between his other fingers was more.  He tried to apply in four different centres but nowhere the attempt was successful.  As the harassment by Head Master became more, the boy got scared and committed suicide on 26th August by hanging himself at his residence.

Upon knowing about the incident, the PVCR Visakhapatnam district decided to conduct a fact finding mission into this incident.  3 members formed a fact finding committee and they are – Vijayalaxmi, Chittibabu and Y. Satyanarayana.  This committee visited the home of the deceased at Kollaputtu and interacted with Balakrishna’s father and 2 villagers.  Committee members also visited the school and wanted to talk to Head Master but he was not present in the school.  There was one teacher in the school but he did not give proper answers to the questions posed by the committee members.

Balaiah’s father shared with the committee members that the Head Master of the school harassed a lot his son and hence only he committed suicide.  Though Balaiah did not leave any suicide note, for atleast since two weeks prior to committing suicide, he had shared with many people in the village that school Head Master was harassing him a lot for not submitting the AADHAR card.  Committee members also felt that there were no particular issues at family level.  The two villagers with whom the committee members interacted also shared that Balakrishna had shared with them too about the harassment by school Head Master. 

The schools in that area come under Integrated Tribal Development Authority and hence the committee members met with the Deputy Director of ITDA and discussed with him about the incident.  Later, the committee members prepared a memorandum that contained some demands too and submitted it to the Deputy Director of ITDA.  The committee members also discussed with the District Education Officer and asked him to take action against the Head Master.  The main contents of the memorandum are as follows:

  • The PVCR fact finding committee is of the opinion that the school Head Master is the reason behind the death of Balakrishna. 
  • Severe action needs to be taken on the Head Master for causing the death of the child.
  • The parents of the child should be paid a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs by ITDA / Govt.

The Education Minister gave a press statement on the following day and instructed education department authorities to conduct an enquiry into the incident, take disciplinary action on the culprits and provide for compensation for the parents who lost the child.

b)    East Godavari – severe corporal punishment of two blind students at school for the Blind – Kakinada Rural Mandal

At S. Achuthapuram village, there is a school for the blind which also has hostel facility and run by a private organization. The hostel correspondent is working as a teacher in a government blind school at Visakhapatnam and runs this hostel on voluntary basis. Initially the hostel had limited funds but slowly the funds increased with voluntary donations. The hostel is looked after by the principal. There are 52 inmates in the hostel who are physically challenged.

One day, as two boys were behaving mischievously, the Principal took them to the school Correspondent in order to scare them.  The Correspondent was so irritated that he started beating the boys. Since both the children and correspondent were blind, the Principal helped Correspondent in reaching out to the children. The Correspondent physically punished children with a strong cane and with hands. The beating was so severe that children had to be admitted into the hospital. This was telecast in all the leading news channels in Andhra Pradesh (including some national news channels).

Upon knowing the incident, the PVCR-AP members of East Godavari District  - Mr. Seshagiri Rao (secretary dist and state), Ramana (Treasurer), Pola Raju (EC member) Ms. Sarojini (EC Member) Mr. Surya Prakash (EC member), Mr. Satyanarayana (EC member), Mr. K. Bhim Sankar (Advocate) and Mr. Sridhar (Civil Society Organization) visited the hostel on the following day.

The team did interview some staff enquiring about the incident. They learnt that severe corporal punishments are common in the hostel.  Since the children are blind they do lot of noise and that is causing teachers to punish them. The organization hired both special teachers to teach the blind children as well as normal teachers. The hostel has sufficient facilities including the right equipment for the children. On the day of this incident, the Correspondent was irritated over something and at that time only these two boys were taken to him. The Correspondent could not control his anger and beat them severely. This was recorded by the one of the staff member of the organization and it was released to media after two days of the incident. The children were treated within the hostel but were taken to the hospital only after the incident was broad casted in the electronic media.

When PVCR fact finding team had discussions with the parents of the children, they expressed that they were unaware of the inside situation and the children also never shared anything negative about the punishments they were subjected to in the hostel. Team held discussions with local people belonging to the physically challenged union and they expressed shock over the incident and demanded immediate action on the incident.

Fact finding team organized a press meet and demanded the following:

  • Team condemned all forms of corporal punishment especially in the light of the Right to Education Act.
  • The accused should be arrested immediately.
  • All such special schools should be run by the government.
  • Local Panchayat should have access to monitor the schools.
  • All the medical costs should born by the government
  • Children should be provided with ex-gratia to come out of the trauma
  • SC/ST PoA, Act should also be filed on the accused

Team also submitted a memorandum to Mandal Revenue Officer and Mandal Development Officer.

c)    East Godavari – Death of 8 children due to GAIL gas pipeline leakage – Mamidikuduru Mandal

Nagaram village is situated adjacent to River Godavari Basin which has high reserves of Petroleum and other related products. There were many gas drilling sites both by the private and government companies. Prominent among them are CAIRN energy and Reliance in private sector and ONGC and GAIL in the government sector.  Both have offshore and onshore activities. Instead of having their refinery plants here, they have them at Gujarat (Reliance) and Visakhapatnam (GAIL) and the crude oil / gas is transported through underground pipe lines to these places. These underground pipe lines lack proper maintenance and leakages are common.  Several incidents happened in the past in these places with the leakage of these high pressure pipe lines as they catch fire within no time.  Generally such accidents are termed as ‘blow outs’ and it takes some time to control them. The pipeline which leaked and burst into flames on 27th June 2014 around 5 A.M. was right under the village at a depth of about 10-15 feet below.

In fact, people had noticed the gas leakage the previous day itself and had complained to the maintenance wing of the company but their complaint was ignored by the company.  The gas was leaking overnight and it slowly spread over the entire village by the early hours.  On 27th morning, at about 5 in the early morning, some pilgrims on their way to a nearby temple halted at a roadside tea shop to have tea.  The moment the tea shop owner light the match stick, the leaked petroleum gas immediately caught fire and within split second spread to the entire village with a big blast. The impact of the blast was such that it threw people about 50 feet away.  40 people were burnt alive including 8 children and several others were severely burnt. 

PVCR-AP District members of East Godavari - Sarojini, Seshgiri rao, Santosh Kumari, G. Narasimha Murthy, N. Surya Prakash, D. Rajendra Prasad, K Rama Krishna, P. Ravi Kumar visited the place immediately upon knowing the incident.  First they visited the children who were admitted in the hospitals at Kakinada and Rajahmundry and spoke to parents of the affected children. Then they went and visited the place of blow out and enquired about the incident. The local people shared that many are burnt alive as there was no chance of escape.  The blast broke the window panes of houses and ripped through the bodies of people.  Around 100 houses were completely / partially damaged in the incident. The local people also shared that it was lucky that the blast happened in the early hours and if it was daytime around 2000 children might have lost their lives as there are two big private schools and one government school in the immediate vicinity.  In fact, one private school is built right above the underground pipeline.

The fact finding team organized a press meet and demanded the following:

  • The GAIL company and government should take primary responsibility for the incident.
  • All the medical expenses should be borne by the government and best possible medical treatment should be provided to the hospitalized children and adults.
  • All educational expenses upto graduation or equivalent be provided by GAIL / government for the children of the affected families.
  • Compensation should be paid to all the affected people, damaged buildings should be repaired and crop-loss compensation should be provided.
  • Pipelines should be thoroughly maintained as per norms and should be re-laid by keeping away from the households.

As a result of the advocacy done by PVCR-AP, better treatment was provided to children who received burn injuries.  It may be noted that government announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakhs and GAIL Rs. 25 lakhs per family that lost its member.  A compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs was also announced for the severely injured.

d)    Sexual abuse of a minor girl at Kadiri, Anantapur District, A.P.

On the 6th of November 2014 evening, when the mother of TS (hereafter referred to as TSM) came back home after work, she was horrified to see her younger daughter being filmed in nude, with hands and mouth tied up.  She saw it through the window and when tried to enter the house, it was locked from inside.  Immediately she raised an alarm and the neighbours gathered and force-opened the door.  Then, the person who was filming the girl with his camera-phone came out and started beating the mother too.  He left the place after verbally abusing TSM.  The neighbours could not intervene much as the culprit, Surya was a dominant person in the area.

TSM discussed this incident with some family friends and wanted to file a case but none of them could guide her properly.  Then she met one of her relatives who works for Lok Satta party at Kadiri.  After hearing the whole story, he advised her to get in touch with PVCR members.  And, that’s how PVCR members came to know about the case and immediately met with the District Superintendent of Police and complained the matter.  PVCR members also conducted a fact-finding and helped the family in proceeding with the case.

The sorrowful saga of TS:

The family of TS lives in Kadiri town of Anantapur district.  The parents have three daughters and TS is the youngest.  Elder daughter is married and settled at Hyderabad. The second daughter is studying in Hyderabad.  TS’s father is physically challenged and runs a petty shop in Kadiri town while her mother works as a labourer.  TS is studying 10th standard.

It is reported that the culprit Surya had an extra-marital relationship with TSM and they both belong to same community.  This has been going on since past a few years and Surya had promised to marry her.  Surya is already married and has three children.  He is the district President of a political party.  TSM was never aware of his ill-intentions.  It is only after this incident came to light that some other crimes committed by Surya came out.  He had sexually abused TSM’s second daughter several times whenever she had come home for vacation.  He had threatened to kill her mother if that was revealed.  Because of that, the second daughter stopped coming to Kadiri.  Even TSM was never aware of that.

About 4 months back, TS complained to her mother that one boy was harassing her in the school for the past several days.  Strangely, when TS complained that to the Head Master, he advised her to approach religious heads to deal with the matter.  After TSM came to know about that, she approached Surya and complained to him as he was politically powerful.  In fact, he had contested as MLA in the recent elections and lost.  Surya immediately summoned the boy who was harassing TS and gave severe warning to him and after that the girl did not have any problem from that boy.

TS was so grateful to Surya for helping her.  Taking that as an advantage, one day Surya called her to a place and by force showed an Adult film and raped her.  Even as she was in a state of shock, he threatened her that if she revealed that to anyone, he would kill her entire family including her two sisters who are in Hyderabad.  Surya used to call her to that place whenever he wanted.  At one point of time, the girl decided that she would not go to that place and did not turn up when Surya called her next time.

Surya was so angry as TS did not turn up and straight went to her house on 6th November.  Both the parents were not at home at that time.  Surya disrobed her, tied her hands, stuffed a cloth into her mouth and started filming her in his camera-phone.  His intention was to black-mail the girl with that video in order to continue his acts.  It was also reported that Surya had filmed her when he sexually abused her in the past too.

Filing of the case by PVCR members:

Upon knowing the case, keeping in view the influence that Surya has locally, PVCR members directly took the victim and her mother to the District Superintendent of Police and lodged a complained.  The SP called up Deputy Superintendent of Police at Kadiri and instructed him to file the case.  When Surya came to know about this he absconded from the town.  Through some of his confidants, Surya started sending threats to the family as well as PVCR members to withdraw the case.  The police nabbed him on 13th November and took him into custody.  He was produced at the court at Anantapur on 14th November and was remanded to 90 days police custody.

This incident was widely covered by all major Telugu newspapers and TV channels.  The girl was sent to the government medical college hospital at Anantapur for medical examination and some media reported that she was pregnant.  The medical reports are yet to come.  Currently TS is at government Seva Sadan at Anantapur and she will be sent home on 21-11-2014.  PVCR engaged with district ICPS and WCD authorities and pursued the matter seriously, inspite of so many threatening calls they received. 

TS’s parents are thinking of admitting the girl at a home run by Prajwala organization at Hyderabad.  Prajwala staff also visited the girl while she was at Seva Sadan, Anantapur and assured of free education for her.  PVCR is also helping the girl’s family in applying for the compensation of Rs. 25,000/- from government.  So far, Surya has been booked on the charges of sexually abusing TS only.  Though TSM shared with the District SP about what happened to her and her second daughter by Surya, they did not like to publicize about it now.

Meanwhile, Surya is negotiating for a deal of Rs. 7 Lakhs to the family to withdraw the case against him.  The family did not accept that proposal.  The girl was later admitted at the Prajwala Home, Mahabubnagar where she is continuing her studies.