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Abduction, illegal detention and custodial torture of Adivasi activists

Kailash Jamre and Pyarsing Vaskale 

Human Right Defenders

Madhya Pradesh

 

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on October 2,2020 regarding the kidnapping, illegal detention and custodial torture of adivasi human rights defenders Mr. Kailash Jamre and Mr. Pyarsing Vaskale by forest department officials in Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Jamre and Mr. Vaskale are members of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan in Madhya Pradesh and work for the education of adivasis and forest Rights.

On August 30, 2020, Mr. Jamre and Mr. Vaskale went to the Burhanpur District Court to attend the hearing of Mr. Vaskale and Mr. Ajnare, who were illegally arrested by the forest range office under false allegations. At around 5.30 PM, Mr. Jamre and Mr. Vaskale were forcibly abducted from the court premises by Forest Range Officer Mr. Abhay Singh Tomar. They were handcuffed and taken in a jeep to Khaknar range office, where they were detained throughout the night and brutally tortured by around 20 personnel from the Khanknar and Bordali range offices. 

Khaknar police station in-charge Mr. Roop Singh Chauhan and Head Constable Mr Pagare refused to file a complaint from villagers who reached the police station after hearing of the illegal detention. They also threatened to arrest the villagers if they continued to press on their demands. While the villagers were present at the police station from around 9 PM to 3 AM the following day, Tehsildar Mr. Sukhram Golkar assured that the HRDs would not be ill-treated, but he also made insulting comments about adivasi women being out late at night.

Mr. Jamre and Mr. Vaskale were not sent for proper medical examination by the Khanar PHC. On August 31, a handcuffed Mr. Jamre fainted while he was being produced at the Burhanpur court. His family took him to a private hospital where they found blunt trauma injuries on his body. He was also unable to eat anything for six days in the hospital due to severe injuries on the lower half of his body and had problems in walking.

The HRDs were charged under Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act, Section 2 (16) and (15) and Section 51 of the Wild Life Protection Act, and Sections 3, 4, 7 and 55 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

On August 31, 2020 Mr. Vaskale was denied bail and sent to Khandwa Jail. He was granted bail on September 3, 2020 by the Sessions Court after his counsel submitted an MLC application. 

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