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'Genocidal violence in Bastar': Civil society groups ask UNHRC to intervene

By Our Representative 
The civil rights network Forum Against Corporatisation and Militarisation (FACAM), along with the Foundation The London Story, Netherlands, International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India, India Justice Project, Germany and London Mining Network, UK, in a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has complained of "genocidal violence" allegedly being unleashed on the Adivasi peasants in Bastar.
Stating that the violence has intensified in 2024 since the Indian state launched the draconian Surajkund Scheme, the representation said, as of now, close to 200 individuals have been killed in Bastar. Along with this, multiple human rights defenders, ground activists and peasant leaders such as Surju Tekam, and Suneeta Pottem, have been arrested in Chhattisgarh based on falsified charges of being associated with the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) under anti-terror and sedition law, it added.
Seeking periodic review of the obligations of India under the UNHRC's International Political Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which assures the basic civil and political rights of all as elaborated citizens within the states that have ratified the convention, FACAM said, Indian citizens have these basic civil and political rights since India is a party to this covenant, yet Indian state is violating several provisions of the ICCPR. 
Article 6 of the ICCPR states that every person has an inherent right to life protected by the law and no one can be arbitrarily deprived of this right. Article 4 states that this right cannot be taken away, even when it is a public emergency threatening the life of the nation. Similarly, Article 2(3), states that any person whose rights under the ICCPR have been violated will have a right to remedy, even if the individual violating these rights were working in an official capacity, it said.
The arrests of human rights defenders, activists, and Adivasi peasantry, are in violation of Article 9(1) of the ICCPR. The Indian state is also in violation of Article 9(3) of the ICCPR, which states that individuals have the right against any undue delays to a proper trial after they are arrested by the state, FACAM noted.
Many of the individuals have been arrested under bailable provisions but bail is not granted to them for several years, leading to them being in jail for several years as undertrials, it underlined, adding, the Indian state is perpetrating this genocidal violence against its own people in order to ensure corporate loot at gunpoint. The state is trying to grab the land of the peasantry and displace them through this war on people. 
Insisting that the state must put an end to this violence immediately and create an atmosphere of pea this anti-people model of development and urges all to read its submission to the UN and stand for a pro-people model of development.

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