Jayasree was one of the 33 founding members of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) along with K Balagopal.

Human rights activist and advocate Jayasree Kakumani By arrangement
news Death Sunday, August 01, 2021 - 14:42

Popular human rights activist and advocate Jayasree Kakumani passed away due to a cardiac arrest late on Saturday night in Hyderabad. Jayasree was 61 and is survived by her husband Akthab and son Anosh Raj. According to reliable sources, Jayasree was declared brought dead to a hospital in the Hyderabad. Her last rites are expected to be conducted in her native town Proddatur of Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh. The incident left civil rights activists and civil society groups in shock. A fierce rights activist, Jayasree was one of the 33 founding members of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) along with K Balagopal.

HRF members and other civil society organisations have expressed their shock over the demise of Jayasree. They recalled her contribution to the civil rights movement over the last four decades, as a lawyer and as an activist. Speaking to TNM, HRF Telangana and Andhra Pradesh coordinator VS Krishna said that they're in "utter shock" on learning of her death. Her associates and members of HRF said that her last rites will be conducted at Proddatur, her hometown.

Jayasree studied and based her activism in Proddatur and Kadapa district. Jayasree is remembered as a friend of people’s movements, student leaders and trade unions. She was known for taking up versatile issues from questioning factionism and murders that ruled the roost in Kadapa and the Rayalaseema region, atrocities on Dalits and tribals, to domestic violence and violence against women, along with environmental issues.

Gutta Rohith, an HRF member, while recollecting her contribution in taking up the case of the devastating effects of Uranium mining in Thummalapalle of Kadapa district said, "For the past decade, much of (her) energy has gone into initially building a mass movement to oppose uranium mining in Kadapa and later, constantly struggling to open the eyes of authorities to the havoc it is wrecking, so much so, that their Member of Parliament (MP) would constantly raise the question in the Parliament."

Read: Ground report: The lost livelihoods and displacement at AP’s Tummalapalle uranium mine

While stating that everyone approached her on any issue ranging from domestic violence to displacement and environmental pollution, he said, "Her work won her admirers even among the police, and they would invite her regularly to conduct sessions for the police force."

Earlier in 2020, she was named in a remand report with charges of provoking people against the government projects and thereby recruiting youth into Maoism in the Rayalaseema region. She was booked under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA, besides as many as eight sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In the same case, police named around 27 people, including several activists of rights groups, like VS Krishna of HRF and Andhra Pradesh State Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) General secretary Chiluka Chandrasekhar.

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