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Pitted against corporatization of mineral rich area, Chhattisgarh Adivasi leader arrested

By Our Representative 

Chhattisgarh Adivasi leader Sarju Tekam has been arrested following a security forces' raid on his house in Kalwar village of Manpur Mohalla District in Bastar region on 2nd April 2024 . Ahead of his arrest, the security forces who raided his house conducted several seizures, being described as violation of "all norms and laws".
Condemning the arrest, the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), called it "yet another attempt to silence the voice of Adivasis."
Tekam was produced in a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Bilaspur and charged under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Arms Act, alleging that the police seized Naxalite literature, banners and explosives.
"It is a clear case of fabrication by planting the said materials illegally in his house while stage-managing a supposed raid and search operation. He was also arrested in false cases in October last year", CASR said.
Acording to CASR, Tekam is "a well-known Adivasi leader who has been speaking against the violations of Adivasi rights and leading Adivasis in Chhattisgarh against the militarization and corporatization in the mineral rich area."
Tekam is the convener of Bastar Jan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti (Coordination Committee for Bastar Prople’s Struggle) and Vice-President of Sarva Adivasi Samaj, a collective of all Adivasi organisations in Chhattisgarh.
Said CASR, "Tekam has been fighting against fake encounter killings of Adivasis in the recent period, particularly after BJP came to power last year in Chhattisgarh. His attempts to mobilise Adivasi people against fake encounter killings is the main reason for this fabricated case."
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the "false case fabricated against Tekam", it sought his and release unconditionally, even as appealing "all democratic organisations to condemn Takam’s arrest."

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