Human Rights Defender
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 12 April over the illegal arrest of Promod Rath by the Odisha Police. Mr. Promod Rath is the state president of a national front, All Indian Krantikari Krusak Sabha (AKKKS) which works for the rights and welfare of unorganised labour.
On February 23 and 24, 2018, a state-level convention was organised regarding the corruption in projects under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) at Polasara. During the state convention, Mr. Rath and other office bearers of AKKKS came to know about fake MGNREGA labour cards issued to labourers at a cost of Rs. 1000/- by private agencies. Mr. Rath, along with others, had lodged a FIR in Polasara police station on the fake labour cards.
Later, two persons have been arrested in connection with this case and they were released after 8 days. Mr. Rath, along with other trade unions, organised joint protests on this issue and created pressure on the police and officials to act on the issue. Meanwhile, on 30 March, 2018, midnight, Mr. Rath was forcefully picked up by personnel from Polasara police station and he was illegally detained in the police station the entire night.