INDIA: Attack on John P Abraham, and Adivasis Tribal People

Dear Friends,

INDIA: Attack on John P Abraham and Adivasis Tribal People

We need your help to prevent any further personal attack on John P Abraham, and to show solidarity with his cause to help the advisasis tribal people in India.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission

Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 11:06 AM

Subject: In solidarity with John

Let us introduce M. John P Abraham who is working with Tribal People of the Ahamednagar District of the Maharastra region and who is an active member of the Indian Network of Action Groups (INAG). John is also participating as a Core team member from Maharastra region.

Last year, a man who is a local politician, molested a tribal girl, and threatened her as well as other tribal people, and caused the deaths of two tribal people. However, this man was not arrested by the police.

Last week, this man attacked John, and physically assaulted him. John’s left hand has been fractured, he has numerous other injuries, and his life is under threat.

This was a shocking incident, and painful news for all of us.

We strongly condemn this incident and it should not happen again. We request all the movements to condemn this incident and express their solidarity with John – email to:> .

You can also publicise this issue locally in your country through the media and also by small group meetings, and you could release a statement against this incident and circulate it to the Human Rights Groups in Geneva and UN bodies, and in India as follows:

The President of India:

His Excellency, The President of India

Office of the President

Rashtrapati Bhawan

New Delhi 110004


Fax: 91 11 301 7290

Email: or

The Prime Minister of India:

Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Honorable Prime Minister of India

South Block

Raisina Hill

New Delhi



Fax: 91 11 301 6857

Email: or

We request your immediate response and action to this issue.

In solidarity,


Daisy Herman

Secretary General

For INAG (Indian Network of Action Groups)

Rony Joseph

National Co-ordinator

Personal letter from John P Abraham to Rony Joseph, the National Co-ordinator of INAG (Indian Network of Action Groups).

Below is an edited personal letter from John P Abraham to Rony Joseph, the National Co-ordinator of the Indian Network of Action Groups (INAG).

Dear Rony,

I do not know why your mail did not go. I am trying again. The rest of the letter was prepared a few days ago.

I do not think you read our previous message. Reena had sent a message about an assault on me.

I cant get sleep due to pain so I thought of writing to you again.

I have returned to Puntamba with no less determination to continue to live and to struggle. Suicidal it may be but I have to. I am extremely grateful to my neighbors who saved me. So I am here to share this letter with you. Of course I have to do this typing with one hand. Left hand can not be used. Shoulder bone is broken and other injuries. The other hand is safe as long the assailant does not fulfill his threat.

The attack was not unexpected but that day it was a surprise attack. I wonder why he was less aggressive than what I expected. He may have left a share for the more powerful of my enemies.

The hand pains me a lot. But there are more painful things.

First is that Reena has to bear the brunt of all these trauma. There is a social boycott of us in the village which makes things worse.

We do not expect sympathy from anyone. Neither a pat on our back. We are on a mission and such things and worse is likely to take place. What we expected was that the so-called socially concerned people did not raise up the matter with the authorities . Why this man is allowed to go scot-free despite the fact that he has been terrorising the adivasis for a long time. He molested the tribal girl, threatened her, other adivasis, caused the death of two of our leaders and now he has attacked me. Even before the medical report went to the police station, he was on bail. Not even arrested. This apathy of those who came to know about the incident raises a lot of questions in my mind. May be that our involvement and work is not appreciated. But why an apathy towards the poor adivasis who are continuously being threatened? Why is there such a lack of concern, when we expected solidarity?

Why many take a back seat when there is little publicity of the incident. I presume these people will be more active when more horrendous crimes will take place.

I am not writing these out of despair. I am just raising a few questions before it is too late. Many speak of our poor strategy. With given opportunities this is the best we could do.

I am grateful to you for your concern for the cause and therefore I thought of sharing these thoughts with you.

With love

John. P.Abraham

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-03-2003-01
Countries : India,
Issues : Threats and intimidation,