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Vachathi Verdict: Historic Justice for Survivors of State



  Oct 05, 2023

Triumph of Justice: Vachathis Struggle Against State Violence


The Madras High Court's recent verdict on the Vachathi case, Tamil Nadu, is a historic milestone. It exposed the dark reality that large-scale state-sponsored repression cannot occur without complicity from higher government levels. In 1992, Vachathi witnessed brutality as around 300 uniformed officials descended on the village under the pretext of finding smuggled sandalwood. Shockingly, this led to the rape of eighteen women, illegal confinement of 90 women, 28 children, and 15 men, and other atrocities. One significant issue was the absence of "command responsibility" in India's criminal justice system, resulting in a lengthy trial process.
 
Despite facing a hostile state and an outdated criminal justice system, the survivors of Vachathi showcased resilience by pursuing education and becoming active participants in their community. This case highlights the need for legal reforms, including holding superiors accountable for state-sponsored violence, to ensure justice and accountability prevail.


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