Tuesday, April 30, 2013

India: Attempted killing of human rights defender Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi

India: Attempted killing of human rights defender Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi

Dr Lenin RaghuvanshiDr Lenin Raghuvanshi

On 24 April 2013, at approximately 8pm, three unidentified assailants made an attempt on the life of human rights defender Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi. The attack took place at the human rights defender's home in the city of Lucknow, the capital of the Uttar Pradesh province in northern India.

Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi is a founding member of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), which works for marginalised sections of the Indian population. An Ayurvedic physician by profession, he has been working for the rights of bonded and child labourers and other marginalised people in Varanasi and the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. He was the recipient of theGwangju Human Rights Award in 2007, the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA) Star Peace Award in 2008, and the 2010 International Human Rights Prize of the city of Weimar.

The human rights defender was at home on the evening of 24 April 2013 when three unknown assailants knocked on his door and called him outside. When he came out, he was fired upon with a pistol. The bullet missed, but as it did, another of the assailants produced a knife and attacked him. All three assailants then fled down the lane outside Lenin Raghuvanshi's home. The human rights defender tried to chase them on his scooter, but there was a JCB construction machine blocking his way at the end of the lane. The driver of the JCB also tried to attack the human rights defender before fleeing himself.

The human rights defender called the police and they arrived within ten minutes from the Paharia police outpost. However, no First Information Report was filed, and no steps were taken to increase Lenin Raghuvanshi's personal security. This is despite the fact that the human rights defender has been the victim of death threats before, and there is a persistent threat to his life as a result of his peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights. Front Line Defenders has previously issued an urgent appeal on his behalf on 2 December 2011.

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