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

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

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.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

'Bird, take me flying with you too!' Being Devangana Kalita

By Ashley Tellis*  I first met Devangana Kalita in a first year English Honours classroom in which I entered to teach Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in Miranda House, Delhi University, in 2008. She was one of the smartest students in the class – Devangana smiled the most and had the brightest twinkle in her eyes of the girls in the class. A middle class girl – Kalita comes from a family in upper Assam, the Kalitas along with the Brahmins dominate Assam (the Bamon-Kolita nexus as it is called) – in an elite all women’s institution known for a feminist, rebellious history. Like all institutions, it was repressive; like all all-women institutions, particularly so. But Miranda House had met its match in Devangana. She organised, protested, all within the democratic tradition resisted. The seeds of Pinjra Tod, the group Devangana was to eventually co-found, and which now finds her jailed for as absurd a reason as inciting a ‘riot’ were already sown in that first year. By the third year, they

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.

Ahmedabad slum dwellers lathicharged: Demand for basic amenities for settlements

By Our Representative  Ahmedabad police allegedly used brute force to break up an assembly of migrant workers demanding decent housing. Hundreds of workers had gathered before the district collector’s office, Ahmedabad, to submit a memorandum to the district collector demanding that their settlement be enumerated as slums and basic services like light and drinking water be provided.