By Tusha Mittal
WHY DID they kill my husband? He was a farmer not a Naxal.” — This is what Madvi Hurre, a tribal widow from Chhattisgarh told TEHELKA when she arrived in Delhi seeking justice. That was October 2009, two weeks after her husband Madvi Deva was shot by the security forces as he returned to his hut in Singanmadu village. After hearing gunshots in the distance, Hurre went looking for him. She found his smashed bicycle. Three villagers later told her they saw the CRPF’s Cobra battalion fire gunshots that pierced his body. “I want them punished,” Hurre told TEHELKA, clutching one of her three children close. She was in Delhi to register herself as a petitioner in a Supreme Court writ petition against the Chhattisgarh government. A document with her fingerprint exists. So does the testimony she gave TEHELKA. So does the testimony she gave several human rights activists when they met her at a Dantewada ashram the next month. But according to the Solicitor General of India, Madvi Hurre is fictitious; she has never existed. “Petitioner Number 9 is a non-entity,” he argued before the Supreme Court on April 19. Earlier, the SC had directed the state to ensure that all 16 petitioners — survivors and victims of Operation Green Hunt, eyewitnesses of police brutality; the family of a blind man who had been stabbed, of a 70-year-old handicapped woman whose breasts had been cut off — reach the apex court safely. The state had alleged that they are untraceable. “What is happening in Chhattisgarh? We are shocked,” Justice Sudharshan Reddy had said, visibly outraged. If he were to see this picture, there may be reason for outrage once again.