Skip to main content

Harassment of Sonebhadra adivasis continues: UP cops detain activists after they meet minister, secretary

AIUFWP leader Roma Mallick
By Our Representative
In a clear example of continued harassment, following last month's controversial clampdown on 12 adivasis, including 10 women, of Lilasi Kala village of Sonebhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, according to reports, the police detained several All-India Union of Forest Working Peoples (AIUFWP) activists Sukalo Gond, Kismati Gond and Sukhdev Gond, when they were on the way back from Lucknow where they had a meeting with state forest minister Dara Singh Chauhan and forest secretary Sanjay Singh.
The activists met the minister and the secretary to lodge a complaint against "police brutality" of forest officials. They were picked up from Chopan station and were held for over 24 hours, during which time they were not allowed to contact their families, lawyers or anyone for for help.
Commenting on the detention last week, AIUFWP leader Roma Mallick said in an email alert, "They were not allowed to inform their family members neither the lawyer. They were abducted by the police and sent to judicial custody. The administrative authority in Sonbhadra is acting against the tribal rights, forest rights and protecting the human rights of the tribal in the district."
In last month's clampdown, around 30 to 40 Uttar Pradesh's police officers barged into tribal women's homes in Lilasi Kala village, which has a population of 1,160, with sticks and a revolver gun, and assaulted them, did not even sparing children as young as 10-years old. One woman was hit on the head so aggressively that she started bleeding profusely.
An AIUFWP statement, protesting against the harassment of activists and adivasis, said, "They did not commit any crime; they filed community resource rights claim along with 16 gram sabhas on March 23, 2018 at the district magistrate's (DM’s) office in Roberstganj."
"One of the claims that were made was that the adivasis of that village had been cutting down trees in a particular area despite forest officials asking them not to. Not only was this refuted by the villagers, they said they were being framed for accessing their own means of survival and livelihood", AIUFWP added.
According to AIUFWP, "These series of arrests and harassment against adivasi women is a retaliation of the state against its people empowering themselves under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006. Despite the law, the state refuses to acknowledge their rights and has targeted adivasi women again and again, assuming them to be soft targets."
It added, "Even though formal complaints were lodged with multiple State authorities, the police continued to visit the village and bully the villagers, harass the women and threaten their lives. Similar to other adivasi inhabited regions, this seems to be another ploy to stop adivasi communities from acquiring land legally under FRA, 2006."
The harassment has continued, even though, taking cognizance of complaint by AIUFWP leader Roma Mallick, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the district magistrate and the superintendent of police of Sonebhadra, calling for a detailed report on activities on tribals within four weeks. The report, it said, should include action taken by the administration following the incident.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".