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Illegal detention, torture, assault and intimidation of HRDs by Chhattisgarh police and paramilitary personnel in the Rowghat Hills

Nohrit Mandavi, Keshav Shori, Shalini Gera, Somnath Usendi, Lakhan Nureti and Narsingh Mandavi

Land and environment activists

Chattisgarh

Mr. Nohrit Mandavi, Mr. Keshav Shori and Ms. Shalini Gera are members of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, an alliance of people’s movements and individuals in Chhattisgarh. Mr. Mandavi is a young activist based in Kondagaon district.

Mr. Somnath Usendi, Mr. Lakhan Nureti and Mr. Narsingh Mandavi are members of the Rowghat Sangharsh Samiti, a committee of local villagers opposed to the Rowghat iron-ore mines situated at the border of Kanker and Narayanpur districts in the Bastar Division of Chhattisgarh. Mr. Usendi is the president of the Samiti and all three activists are from affected villages. They have been educating fellow villagers about the Forest Rights Act and the PESA Act, and how these have been violated in awarding the various clearances to the mines

Human Rights Defenders Alert issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission urging it to take action on the illegal detention, assault and intimidation of HRDs by police and paramilitary personnel. The incident occurred on September 16, 2022, when the above mentioned HRDs along with a few journalist visited Khodgaon village to understand the views of local villagers regarding mining in the area. The police have also threatened one the HRDs, who was tortured, of implicating him in false cases of being a Naxalite.

We appealed to the Hon’ble Commission to direct the investigation wing of the NHRC to initiate an immediate, independent, thorough, transparent, effective, and impartial investigation into the threats, attacks, and torture of the HRDs and also direct the DGP of Chhattisgarh to initiate an urgent and transparent inquiry into the actions of the Superintendent of Police, Narayanpur, who dismissed the acts of torture and illegal detention.

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