On 4 May 2022, Mr. B. Tamilselvan was brutally assaulted by two men armed with iron rods. The assault happened at the HRD’s internet browsing centre in front of several customers and staff. The staff pleaded with the assaulters to leave Mr. Tamilselvan alone but both the assaulters continued to beat him with the rods until he locked himself inside a room. Before leaving, the assaulters shouted and threatened Mr. Tamilselvan that they will not rest until they eliminate him.
Mr. B. Tamilselvan is an environmental rights activist who has been working against illegal stone quarrying causing degradation to the environment in Ekkadampalayam, Chennimalai area. Three days prior to the assault, on May 1, the HRD had spoken about the illegal stone quarrying in the Ekkadampalayam grama sabha meeting and was instrumental in bringing a resolution to close the illegal quarries. The quarry owners who were also present in the meeting protested against the resolution and later a few of them threatened to kill the HRD.
The HRD was admitted at L.K.M hospital in Chennimalai from May 4 to May 7 and the hospital intimated the Chennimalai Police. On May 05, 2022, an FIR (No. 132 of 2022) was registered in Chennimalai Police Station, against unidentified people, under several sections of the IPC.
However till May 17, no action has been taken by the police in identifying or arresting the criminals who attacked Mr. Tamilselvan. Nor has any action been taken against the illegal quarry owners who threatened to kill him in the meeting. We believe that Mr. Tamilselvan’s life is in danger for carrying out one of his fundamental duties enshrined in Article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution which says “It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures”.
HRDA sent a petition to the National Human Rights Commission and urged it to direct the Director General of Police of Tamil Nadu to initiate and inquiry in the negligence by the local police in pursuing the case.