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Public official suspended from service due to participation in a peaceful protest

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Nitesh Alawa

Mr. Nitesh Alawa is a human rights defender who works as a patwari (revenue officer) in Alirajpur district in Madhya Pradesh. He has been active in the fight for rights of Adivasis in the region and has in the past raised his voice against atrocities committed against the communities. Mr. Alawa is the district president, Alirajpur of the Madhya Pradesh Patwari Union and is the district vice president of the Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribe Officer Employee Organization. 

He was suspended for participating in a protest against the brutal attack on an adivasi woman in Guna district in Madhya Pradesh, who was burnt alive by men in the middle of a field. The protest was peaceful and did not involve any speeches calling for violence and only demanded justice for victims of a heinous crime. There have been no reports to suggest that peace was disturbed as a result of the peaceful citizen’s protests. Mr. Alawa had also formally taken leave, which had been approved by his seniors. 

Despite this he was served a show cause notice and was subsequently suspended on August 25, 2022. This is not the first time Mr. Alawa has faced departmental action for participating in a protest. In 2021, he faced a similar action again for participating in protest against a horrific mass murder of an adivasi family. 

Human Rights Defenders Alert - India issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission to highlight the reprisal faced by Mr. Alawa in the form of departmental action. 

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