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NAPM condemns "false cases" against tribal rights leader Ashok Choudhary, others

Ashok Choudary at a forest rights meeting
By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), India’s top civil rights network, led by social activist Medha Patkar, in a statement has condemned “false cases” against All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUWFP) activists and “continued incarceration” of Adivasi activists since June 8, adding, the latest in the series is an arrest warrant was issued against AIUWFP leader Ashok Choudhary.
Chaudhary has been booked under several sections, including 147, 148, 149, 307, 323, 504, 332, 333, 336, 353, 427, 120-B of Indian Penal Code 1860 and 3/5 of 7 the Criminal Law Act, 1932 and 5/26 of Indian Forests Act 1927.
Earlier, on June 8, 2018, AIUFWP activists Sukalo Gond, Kismatiya Gond and Sukhdev Gond were arrested on their way back from Lucknow. They had gone to meet state forest minister Dara Singh Chauhan and forest secretary Sanjay Singh to lodge complaints against police brutalities and the forest officials who had falsely accused them.
“They are still being held in jail, even though in the ongoing hearing in the High Court, on a Habeas Corpus appeal, the state at one point claimed that they were never arrested. There is no clarity on their arrest and the UP government continues to play delay tactics”, statement said, adding, their only crime is they are struggling to gain their rights under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
“These are clearly an intimidation tactics, following which support for the movement poured in from Rahul Gandhi, Congress president, and Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, who showed solidarity with the jailed Adivasi women and their struggle through their messages”, it noted.

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