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

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

NTPC's "poor" track record on workers' safety, whether permanent or on contract

Counterview Desk
A recent report, “The Dark Side of NTPC: A Critical Look at the Social and Environmental Footprints of NTPC”, traces the performance of one of the four Navaratnas which also happens to be a Fortune 500 company, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), pointing out that, while it has played, for over four decades, “pivotal role” in India’s quest for development, this development was energy intensive and has caused “a plethora of negative impacts to people, environment and sustainability over the years.”