The Rape & Murder of Madkam Hidme: Fact-finding Report
On 13th of June 2016, Madkam Hidme, aged 16, was killed under questionable circumstances in war-torn Chattisgarh. The Inspector General of Police, SRP Kalluri claimed that she was a Maoist and was killed in an encounter. However, a fact-finding team comprising of the Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) – Telangana and A.P. along with the Organization for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR), visited Gompad Village in Chattisgarh on the 18 of June 2016 to ascertain the facts relating to the ‘encounter’. However, it was discovered, among other things, that all these claims were false and that before she was pumped with bullets Madkam Hidme was brutally raped by the Chattisgarh armed forces.
On June 13th 2016 approximately 200 members of Paramilitary forces along with Koya Commandoes entered Gompad Village and began to beat adivasi villagers indiscriminately. Later, on the advice of the Koya Commandoes, they came to the home of Madkam Hidme (16) and began physically assaulting her father Madkam Kossa aged 50 and her mother Madkam Lakshmi aged 45. They also attacked her two younger brothers Madkam Joga aged 8 and Madkam Bhima aged 6, who were already sick with severe fever and were therefore resting at home. Eventually the armed forces dragged Hidme out of the house and beat her up severely in front of all the villagers. They then proceeded to take Hidme, a minor, along with them to the paramilitary camp at Chinthagoppa.
This happened despite the villagers pleading with them not to harass and take her to the forest camp. When people tried to follow them, the armed forces prevented them from doing so at gun point. The parents and villagers told the Committee that they brutally raped her before murdering her in the ‘encounter’. In order to cover the brutal sexual assault, they burnt her clothes and to cover the murder branded her as a Maoist. They also dressed her in olive green fatigues and even went to the extent of placing a gun in her hands. The slippers shown beside her did not even belong to her.
The body of Madkam Hidme was handed over to her parents after post mortem at Mucharlaguda Police Camp. The parents and villagers told the Committee that bruises were seen on her body indicating severe torture and rape. They also said that her throat had been cut, that her left hand was fractured and that knife cut marks were seen on both of her thighs.
Tribal Activist Soni Sori led an Aad Aadmi Party team to visit Gompad village on 16th June, but was prevented from doing so by the police. She fasted for 7 days in protest of this blatant attempt by the government to cover up the incident. The AAP has filed a petition in Chhattisgarh High Court seeking the formation of an SIT to carry out an official judicial probe into this case. Soni Sori herself is a survivor of rape, torture and illegal detention by the police.
Article by Jennifer Fatogun & edited by Manisha.