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CJP and AIUFWP move Allahabad High Court to release illegally detained Adivasis Habeas Corpus Petition filed to protect Sukalo Gond and Kismatiya Gond

28, Jun 2018 | CJP Team

CJP is committed to upholding and defending the rights of all Indians, especially those belonging to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of society. With this in mind, we have been fighting shoulder to shoulder with Adivasis and forest workers in different parts of India, in our common quest for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006. In our latest endeavour to empower these forest working communities, we have moved Allahabad High Court for the immediate release of Sukalo Gond and Kismatiya Gond of Sonebhadra in Uttar Pradesh, who are being presently detained illegally by the police.

CJP has partnered with the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) for this purpose. Sukalo Gond (Treasurer of AIUFWP) and Kismatiya Gond (Secretary, Forest Rights Committee), were arrested in a clandestine manner from Chopan station, Sonbhadra, UP just as they were returning after a meeting with the state forest minister, Dara Singh Chauhan and Forest Secretary in Lucknow on June 8.
CJP has been closely following how Adivasi women of Sonbhadra, who are a part of a peaceful struggle for land rights, are being systematically bullied and harassed. Many of them face fake cases filed on false or trumped up charges. CJP stands with the AIUFWP in their demand for the immediate implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. To show your support for these brave women, who are determined to get their rights despite hailing from oppressed, vulnerable and marginalised communities, please donate now.
In order to uphold their right to life and liberty, CJP and AIUFWP have moved a Habeas Corpus petition demanding that they be produced before the court immediately and released from illegal captivity. You may read our full petition here:

Continued Institutional Violence

Many adivasis in Sonebhadra have faced institutional oppression in the form of false cases being foisted on them. In May 2018, the Muirpur police picked up around twelve villagers, ten of whom were women forest rights workers. It was alleged by the Station Officer (SO) PS Satyaprakash Singh that the people were involved in chopping trees that were a part of an afforestation project.

When the CJP team enquired about the details of the project, the police failed to provide any details. CJP team consistently called various authorities and kept track of the developments. After a day long ordeal, and not before the Adivasis were intimidated significantly, they were finally let off at Dudhi, about 30 kilometers away from their village Lilasi and had to cover the distance back home, barefoot.

However, incidents took a more serious turn when Uttar Pradesh police entered the Lilasi village just five days later and started forcefully entering the huts of Adivasis. Most women at this time were engaged in their household chores, some even feeding their new-born children. All this based on the false allegation that they had ‘cut trees and destroyed the forest’.

CJP gets NHRC to intervene

CJP worked together with Roma and other members of the AIUFWP to bring these grave human rights violations to light, and got the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene. The plight of these people was communicated to the NHRC in two letters dated May 30 and June 14, and later in a meeting with the NHRC Chairman. The appointment between NHRC and AIUFWP was made possible by CJP Secretary Teesta Setalvad’s intervention.The NHRC subsequently directed the District Magistrate (DM) to submit a report within three weeks. The NHRC’s order may be read here:

 

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