Skip to main content

Inquire into attack on Gujarat tribal rights activist in government office: National Human Rights Commision told

Henri Tiphagne
By Our Representative
India’s top network of advocacy groups, Human Rights Defenders Alert (HRDA), has sought National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) intervention for action against those responsible for the assault on Gujarat tribal rights activist Romel Sutariya during his visit to the office of Tapi district, Vyara on February 2 . He had gone to there inquire about his RTI pleas regarding illegal lease to sand and black stone mining mafia.
In a letter to AK Parashar, National Focal Point, Human Rights Defenders, and Joint Registrar, NHRC, Delhi, Henri Tiphagne of HRDA has said that the attackers have not been booked because they are close to the ruling party, and Sutariya was “targeted for filling several RTI pleas exposing illegal mining activities.”
The letter said, things began on November 30, 2015, when Sutariya sent a complaint letter to Gujarat governor OP Kohli regarding mining activities in the Tapi area. It named politicians and government officials’ involvement. Sutariya presented his case to the district collector on January 12. He was again asked to reach the office on February 2.
The letter said, before the hearing, at 11.45 am, Sutariya met the mining officer, who sits on the first floor, and began inquiring about the status of his pending RTI pleas. On reaching the office, he found 30-40 people outside the mining officer’s cabin, yet began talking to the officer about details of stone crushing units, which have been served with notice.
“Romel produced a notice served to a stone-crushing unit, which was located within 200 meters of the national highway. He asked the mining officer why such notices were not served to those units, which are located nearby villages? He also questioned about grazing land being shown as government land and was given to stone crushing units in Pokran village”, the letter said.
“Meanwhile”, the letter said, “the group of people standing outside also came almost inside the cabin. Sutariya asked the mining officer to come to collector office to discuss further. When he came out, he was caught by the group, which started beating him. He moved to the staircase, where he was pushed. He fell down from the stairs and suffered fracture on his left leg and also had internal injuries.”
The letter said, “Sutariya complained to the collector who asked him to call the police. Police came and was taken to Janak Hospital in Vyara, district Tapi for medical treatment. The police have filed an FIR against two persons along with other unidentified persons under sections 143 and 323 of Indian Penal Code. No arrest has been made so far.”
Asking the NHRC to order “an immediate, thorough, transparent, effective, independent and impartial investigation into the physical assault” on Sutariya, the letter insisted, the perpetrators should be booked, and Sutariya be protected as he is “under risk of further reprisals from the perpetrators.”

Comments

TRENDING

'Draconian' Kerala health law follows WHO diktat: Govt readies to take harsh measures

By Dr Maya Valecha*  The Governor of Kerala has signed the Kerala Public Health Bill, which essentially reverses the people’s campaign in healthcare services in Kerala for decentralisation. The campaign had led to relinquishing of state powers in 1996, resulting in improvement of health parameters in Kerala. Instead, now, enforcement of law through the exercise of power, fines, etc., and the implementation of protocol during the pandemic, are considered of prime importance.

Reject WHO's 'draconian' amendments on pandemic: Citizens to Union Health Minister

By Our Representative  Several concerned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister to reject amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA75) in May 2022, apprehending this will make the signatories surrender their autonomy to the “unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’.”

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Bihar rural women entrepreneurs witness 50% surge in awareness about renewal energy

By Mignonne Dsouza*  An endline survey conducted under the Bolega Bihar initiative revealed a significant increase in awareness of renewable energy among women, rising from 25% to 76% in Nalanda and Gaya. Renu Kumari, a 34-year-old entrepreneur from Nalanda, Bihar, operates a village eatery that serves as the primary source of income for her family, including her husband and five children. However, a significant portion of her profits was being directed toward covering monthly electricity expenses that usually reach Rs 2,000. 

Work with Rajasthan's camel herders: German scientist wins World Cookbook Award 2023

By Rosamma Thomas*  Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are the only awards for international food culture. This year, German scientist  Ilse Kohler Rollefson , founder of Camel Charisma, the first of India’s camel dairies, in Pali district of Rajasthan, won the award for her work with camel herders in Rajasthan, and for preparing for the UN International Year of Camelids, 2024. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why is electricity tariff going up in India? Who is the beneficiary? A random reflection

By Thomas Franco*  Union Ministry of Power has used its power under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003 to force States to import coal which has led to an increase in the cost of electricity production and every consumer is paying a higher tariff. In India, almost everybody from farmers to MSMEs are consumers of electricity.

'Pro-corporate agenda': Odisha crackdown on tribal slum dwellers fighting for land rights

By Our Representative  The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), even as condemning what it calls “brutal repression” on the Adivasi slum dwellers of Salia Sahi in Bhubaneshwar by the Odisha police, has said that the crackdown was against the tribals struggling for land rights in order to “stop the attempts at land-grab by the government.”

Deplorable, influential sections 'still believe' burning coal is essential indefinitely

By Shankar Sharma*  Some of the recent developments in the power sector, as some  recent news items show, should be of massive relevance/ interest to our policy makers in India. Assuming that our authorities are officially mandated/ committed to maintain a holistic approach to the overall welfare of all sections of our society, including the flora, fauna and general environment, these developments/ experiences from different parts of the globe should be clear pointers to the sustainable energy pathways for our people.

Hazrat Aisha’s age was 16, not 6: 'Weak' Hadith responsible for controversy

Sacred chamber where Prophet and Aisha used to live By Dr Mike Ghouse* Muslims must take the responsibility to end the age-old controversy about Hazrat Aisha’s age at the time of her marriage to the Prophet (pbuh) – it was 16, not 6 (minimum was 16, Max 23 per different calculations). The Hadiths published were in good faith, but no one ever checked their authenticity, and they kept passing on from scholar to scholar and book to book.  Thanks to 9/11, Muslims have started questioning and correcting the Hadiths, Seerah, and mistranslations of the Quran. Now, the Ulema have to issue an opinion, also known as Fatwa, to end it and remove those Hadith entries. Mustafa Akyol, a scholar of Islam, implores Muslims to stop deifying “the received traditions” and critically study their religious past, shedding rigid legalism and close-mindedness. Someone else used the phrase “copycat Muslims” to identify scholars who copied what was given to them and passed it on without researching or questioni