India: Fear for safety: T Puroshotham and other human rights defenders in Andhra Pradesh

On 27 May 1997 Mr T Puroshotham, joint secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCL) and a lawyer, was attacked from behind by four men who hit him with an iron rod. A group called the “Green Tigers” claimed responsibility for the attack which took place in front of a police station. Human rights activists in Andhra Pradesh allege that the “Green Tigers” were deliberately set up by the Andhra Pradesh government with the help of police, to counter the activities of human rights defenders. Mr Puroshotham is currently recovering in hospital from serious head injuries, and has made a statement to police that he was attacked by police in plain clothes. There remains grave concern for the safety of all human rights defenders in the state.

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