Kirity Roy Submitted by: Buddha Halder

‘One man in India has defied threats, arrests, raids and a bombing to carry on fighting against brutality and injustice.’- Amnesty International (can be cited at http://www.amnesty.org/en/50/inspirational-stories/kirity-roy)

Kirity Roy started out as a young political activist in West Bengal, India. He has since spent decades exposing human rights abuses and fighting injustice. His work has sometimes come at a great personal cost. But he has also won many battles.

His activism has come at a cost. In 1994, his house was bombed by the police, and his wife and son were threatened. Kirity has been arrested several times. He has been arrested for observing Human Rights Day, and in 2008 the police raided the offices of the human rights organization of which he is now Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM).

When the anti-terrorist police arrested him for campaigning against torture in 2010, the time had come for someone to speak out on Kirity’s behalf. Amnesty International issued a public statement in support of Mr. Kirity Roy.

Some examples of Kirity Roy’s work:

Kirity Roy has taken legal action against the authorities several times. In 1997, the police − backed by an influential building developer − ransacked a hospital established by marginal workers who were locked out of their factory. He took legal action against the police, the matter was referred to the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, and the police officers were found guilty.

Another case involved a casual worker at a jute mill who was abducted by the police, tortured and disappeared. “There was an outcry and, as a result of my enquiries, criminal proceedings were started against the police.” In 2008, he defended the rights of more than 6,000 scavengers living in extreme poverty on a municipal dump, who faced forced eviction without any compensation.

Kirity Roy is now the Secretary of Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) and working as the National Convenor of Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI). Recently MASUM exposed India’s Border Security Force (BSF) torture. As a result of that eight guards of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) have been suspended. However Mr. Kirity Roy believes that this is not a sign that human rights violations are being addressed. So, he continues his fighting against human rights violation in India.

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45 comments

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  2. Sourendranath Sen

    I think, he is a worthy leader who can strongly protest against any type of corruption. He also can legal fight alone against OC.He is one of the greatest humanist.He is actually worthy to get a reward.I earnestly request all others to give him the vote. v v v v v v v v v.
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    Sourendranath Sen
    (Swanirvar NGO)

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  7. Debashis Biswas

    I have been requested to make comments as well. Well..Mr. Kirity Roy has no comparison ..this person knows what is human rights..he knows the ways to protect human rights..he knows how to fight for human rights..I would like to see that the award goes to him..In Solidarity..

  8. Munna Seikh

    I love kirity roy’s work. He should be awarded this prize. This prize will help thousands of victims to get justice. I request all friends to vote for him..all the best.

  9. Munna Seikh

    I request all friends to vote for kirity roy. He needs to be awarded for his wonderful human rights activism. all the best. We are with you Mr. Roy.

  10. Tapan Singh

  11. Yasmin Khanam

    Joy Hooo..go Kirity go ..all the very best..

  12. jishan Mostofa

    voted, friends plz vote for him.

  13. Meu huaki

    I love MASUM and it’s work for human rights protection and promotion..all the best..he should receive this proze..because other people already received several awards..!! they do not need one more award..all the best for mr. roy

  14. Aslam Khandakar

    A real human rights activist..we proud of you Kirity roy!

  15. jayanta sen

    Go Kirity go…you should be awarded!!

  16. Anand Sharma

    He is the right person for this award.

  17. Sun Kim Chee

    He is the best candidate for this award because I know him personally. He is honest,loyal,hard worker and devoted towards human rights work. He has been working in the field of human rights although he is a victim of human rights violation…so he truely deserve this. All the very best.

  18. Anil Pant

    I know Kirity Roy and his work. He deserves such type of international recognition. I wish him all the best.
    Regards,
    AP

  19. jenny mathews

    Kirity roy and MASUM- both are great! All the best for Kirity Roy and Masum.
    Wish you good luck!

  20. Subash Mohapatra

    Please vote this honest and brave human rights defender.

  21. rajesh basnet

    Former CNN hero and president of maiti Nepal has not only fought for girls in Nepal,it is something that all women and men of this world should be proud of. I think she deserved to be the member of this prestigious award so that others can learn what a single individual can contribute to the society. I hope her best of luck.

  22. jishan

    all the best for Mr. Kirity Roy.

  23. anamika

    All the best for mr. Roy. I think he is the best for this award. Thanks,

  24. anamika

    All the best for mr. Roy. He should receive the award.

  25. jugal

    Voted

  26. Sachin

    I voted for Mr. Roy.. dear friend, please promote Mr. Roy. He is the right candidate for this award.

  27. sujon

    Kirity roy is the best. Hope he will receive the award!

  28. Abu Ahmed Faijul Kabir Farid

    I know Kirity Roy very well, I think he is real activist, all the best,,,,,

  29. KIM Soo A

    When I visited Kirity’s office, Kirity said, “I always tell my fellow activists not to wait for the victims inside the office room, but to welcome them like our famiily members at the MASUM’s door, no matter which social caste or status they belong to.” — Kirity fully understands the basic principle of human rights work. It begins with letting the victims know they are also entilted to be treated by others with dignity.

    I took local train with Kirity one day from his home to the office. He was dangerously hanging at the opened train carriage door with his two hands. His half body was outside the door. I called him, “Kirity, come inside!” “No, I can’t. I was a torture victim. I suffer from claustrophobia since the incident. I need fresh air. If I go inside, I feel suffocated.” — Kirity has been struggling to overcome his trauma every day. His face looked pale at that time. BUT Kirity is one of the most brave person whom I ever met fighting against torture by police, army soldiers of India.

    Frustration is the fate you have to ensure, if you’re a real human rights activist. If you’re really helping the people, you’ll always face frustration which makes you turn down. It can be threats, bombing your house or arresting your friends or even yourself… While doing human rights work, Kirity often looked frustrated, but he never gave up fighting back. He understands how to turn deep frustration to hope and solidarity among us, through his several decade work experiences.

    These are only a few reasons I can give you at the moment why I respect and love Kirity Roy so much!

  30. Danilo Reyes

    Kirity is one of the many people whom i draw inspiration from. His compassion, dedication and tireless fight to protect other people’s rights, even to the extent of sacrificing his, is truly a life lived beyond irrelevance. it is my great honor that our lives have crossed, and he’s been part of my own journey like he had in his life. I’m proud of him.

  31. zia khan

    Long time ago, Mr. Kirity Roy was one of the directors of Amnesty International India. No other human rights activists in eastern India work hard like him to protect and promote human rights. He really deserves a great honour from all of us who support for human rights.
    I pray for him!

  32. sadhan das

    I love the work MASUM does. Kirity roy should be awarded..good luck Kirity Roy!

  33. Soham Das

    Go Kirity Roy Go!!! We are with you! All the best.

  34. Bijoya Bangladesh

    Just yesterday I came to know about MASUM. One of my colleagues introduced MASUM and Kirity Roy to me! MASUM is doing extremely good job in the region. I will vote for him because I found he is enagged in wide range of activities including protecting and promoting human rights violation along Bangladesh-India border line (http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2013/06/05/check-bsf-bengal-rights-group). I wish him all the best.

  35. suzann

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  36. Milli Sai

    I wish Mr. Roy to won the award. He is a very good human rights activist.

  37. Biplab Mukherjee

    to support concerted effort to minimise custodial torture and end of extra judicial killings by state actors; support Mr. Kirity Roy

  38. Umesh Manjhi

    I and Mr. Krity Roy mitually know each other. He is fighting for voiceless people in west Bengal especially in border area where Para military forces have been harassing the common people. He is the most suitable person for this Award.

  39. didar

    Respect and support

  40. Mohit Ranadip

    Mr. Kirity Roy is a commited and dedicated human rights activists.

  41. Dipyaman Adhikary

    Friends

    One of our friends, Mr. Buddhadeb Haldar from Italy; Europe, nominated Mr. Kirity Roy for the prestigious Human Dignity Award 2013- 14, which will be confer by Human Dignity Forum; Germany.

    As you know better, that Mr. Roy is a leading protagonist of human rights movement of this part of the globe. He and his organisation; MASUM has definite focus on custodial torture, extra judicial killings, and continuance of violence at the Indo- Bangladesh bordering area.

    I am providing a short description of his life and work and requesting you to support his candidature by visiting the link and make comment on his work and persona.

    He was born in a lower middle class family of urban Kolkata, West Bengal. He lived with his parents and other siblings in an urban slum but had access to regular school education. His economic background did not cause any hindrance to his quest for society.
    He got involved with the left wing politics of that time. The reason was quite simple: from 1965 to 1975 the whole sub continent was in turmoil, the society itself was questing for a just and egalitarian society. In the course of his political life he dreamt for an exploitation free and egalitarian society. During that time he lost many near and dear ones who were his political companions in extra-judicial killings. His family also faced harassment from the State because of his political involvement and sacrificed its normal life.
    As a political activist he spent time with marginalised agrarian people of rural Bengal and he worked with people of urban slums. During a major part of his political life, he had to live underground. He learnt a lot about the societal realities. He came to know about the woes of agrarian poor and the misery of working people. This was instrumental for him to became a human rights activist.
    With friends, he established Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) in 1998, on the eve of 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to form a platform for human rights activists based in Calcutta, West Bengal and to strengthen the human rights movement. The work of MASUM now mainly focuses on custodial violence and atrocities by the police and Border Security Force (BSF).
    Since 2006 Masum associated itself with a national programme on preventing torture in India and implemented the programme in West Bengal, directly intervening in six districts of the state. MASUM are mainly documenting police torture and specifically torture inflicted by BSF, on the Indo – Bangladesh Border. He conducted awareness interaction with BSF personnel and district police of Murshidabad, a bordering district with continuous violations of human rights by BSF. Where, extra judicial killings and grievous physical assaults are rule of the day.
    He has highlighted these human rights violations with the National Human Rights Commission, other authorities and BSF officials, while meeting them on various occasions. He also regularly speaks about the issue in front of students, activists, lawyers, human rights communities, social institutions, and governmental departments. He has also raised these concerns during his visits to United Nations head quarters; for example, before the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination – CERD in 2007 and during the Universal Periodic Review of India in 2008, representing Indian NGOs. He also participated on various high level fact findings on human rights violations in all over India.
    Mr. Kirity Roy also facilitated medical, psychological, social and legal assistance to victims of torture and for this, he is organizing regular medical camps at the affected areas assisted by doctors and psychiatrists; providing psychological and medical support to the victims of torture, their families and other affected persons; providing shelter to the victims, their family members and witnesses intermittently depending on the situation; providing social support to the victims, their family member and other affected persons. He started human rights education course in schools in remotest parts of West Bengal in 2005. He moved a petition at Calcutta High Court in 1997 against the attacks on Sramajibi Hospital; a health initiative by workers of closed factory. By the order of the court, the initiative and hospital reestablished.
    Apart from intimidation and constant threats upon him, here is an account of interference that he faced: MASUM had organized a public hearing, “the Public Tribunal on Torture” on 9-10 June 2008. The event was under European Union funded programe; National Project on Preventing Torture in India. Hundreds of victims of torture deposed before the panelists, comprising eminent legal, medical, psychological professionals and civil society activists, he was the secretary of that tribunal. After the successful completion of the public hearing, the Anti-terrorist cell of Kolkata Police lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against him and others as Taltolla PS Case No. 134/2008. Later on 12 June 2008 the police raided MASUM’s office with a search warrant from Chief Metropolitan Magistrate- Kolkata and on 7th April 2010, he was arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Cell of Kolkata Police and detained in police custody for the day and produced before the judicial magistrate and obtained bail. The case is still pending against him and other activists of MASUM. Earlier, his house was attacked and bombed in 1994 and he was arrested twice on 9th December 2005 at Darang in Assam. The whole act was not only prompted to come up with criminal charges against the activists of MASUM, rather it was a definite challenge posed by the state to squash civil society participation to hear the woes and pathos of victims of torture. The very act of the state stands as a proof that anyone raising voice against torture by the state will be crushed, and that the perpetrators in uniform will continue to enjoy complete immunity.
    The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) applauded his work in 2012 while observing Human Rights Day. They identified 10 defenders on that event and in 2011, Amnesty International identify 50 human rights activists to commemorate 50th anniversary and he was one among them.

    Sincerely Yours
    Dipyaman Adhikary

  42. Philip Setunga

    A fearless stand taken in favour of the victims of torture, illegal arrest, detention needs our appreciation. Has highlighted the serious nature of all the post-mortems conducted in West Bengal causing denial of justice to victims and the members of their families. Has been steadfast in his support for the Samarjibi hospital which has proved to be quite unique in providing health services to the needy at a nominal rate. A warm hearted man always at ease with those that suffer injustice.

  43. biplab mukherjee

    Mr. Kirity Roy is a leading human rights protagonist, addressing custodial torture, extra judicial killings and flaws in criminal justice system. He faced wrath of the police and implicated in false charges for organizing a peoples tribunal on torture, where hundreds victims deposed

  44. Buddhadeb Halder

    I am familiar with Mr. Kirity Roy’s struggle for the protection and promotion of Human Rights- not only in India but in the South Asian region. He has spent decades exposing human rights abuses and fighting injustice. I request you all to vote for Mr. Kirity Roy to uphold human rights in India and beyond. Please also promote Mr. Kirity Roy among your friends and colleagues and request them to vote for Mr. Roy.

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