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Intimidation, harassment, illegal detention and arrest under fabricated cases

Image Credit :- Mid Day

Various Adivasis & Human Rights Defenders



HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on November 29, 2019 regarding the intimidation, harassment, illegal detention and arrest under fabricated cases filed against human rights defenders and Adivasis in Kevadiya, Rajpipla, Narmada district, Gujarat. The HRDs who were subject to this Mr. Rohit Prajapati, the National Secretary of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, Mr. Krishnakant Chauhan, a member of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti and National Alliance of People's Movement,  Tribal Leader Dr. Praful Vasava, Mr. Ramkrishna Tadvi from Gora, Mr. Shailesh Tadvi from Wagadiya, Mr. Narendra Tadvi from Kevadiya, Mr. Jikubhai Tadvi, Mr. Naresh Tadvi from Kevadiya and Mr. Lakhanbhai Musafir, a local activist. Additionally, Mr. Sudhamshu Mitra, from Bangalore who was in Kevadiya to document the impacts of tourism development through the organisation he works for called the ‘Equitable Tourism Options’ was arrested along with seven Adivasis from Kevadiya who were Jayeshbhai Laxmanbhai Tadvi, Jigneshbhai Shantilal Tadvi, Ishwarbhai Jagubhai Tadvi, Nanubhai Rajubhai Tadvi,  Ratilal Bamanbhai Tadvi, Sachinbhai Balubhai Tadvi and Jyotindrabhai Shantilal Tadvi.

On October 30, 2019, Mr. Rohit Prajapati, reached Rajpipala around 11 am and went to the Rajpipla Social Service Society where he met Mr. Krishnakant after he reached Rajpipla at 1.15 pm. While they were having lunch, two police personnel came asking for Mr. Rohit, and stated that their senior officer wanted to meet him for which they went along with the officer, on whose jeep they were asked to switch off their phones and hand them over and were taken to  Jeetnagar (District Police Training Centre) where they were detained without any provided reasons or charges. At about 3 pm, Dr. Praful Vasava and Ramkrishna Tadvi were brought to this centre followed by Mr. Shailesh Tadvi, Mr. Narendra Tadvi and Mr. Jikubhai Tadvi at about 3.45 pm, and later Mr. Naresh Tadvi.

The following day, on October 31, 2019, the date of the function at Statue of Unity, around 12 noon, ten men and twenty two women were arbitrarily picked up and brought to the Jeetnagar centre and at about 3 pm, eighteen women were brought and kept here for the whole day and later released at Kevadiya. Eighteen HRDs and other Adivasis were, however taken to the Rajpipala Police Station, and were asked to deboard. The eight who were in detention from October 30, 2019, were taken to Amletha Police Station, and put up for the night there. The next day on November 1, 2019, at 3 pm, the activists arrested on October 30, 2019,were taken to the Mamlatdar (tehsildar) Office at Rajpipala and three of them  were released on a bond of Rs. 3000. They were then informed of their arrest under Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and were put in detention in police custody for about 48 hours. Their phones were handed over to them only before leaving the Amletha Police Station for Rajpipala Mamlatdar office.

At the Rajpipla Police Station, the PSI Mr. Parmar, explained that an FIR (I/0039/2019) is being filed and asked the nine men to sign sheets which had the sections written on it (Sections - 143, 147, 186, 353, 504, 506 (1) of the Indian Penal Code). They had to request multiple times to call a lawyer or a relative.

On November 1, 2019, and around 12 noon, the police produced them before a magistrate and were granted bail by around 2.30 pm, though the police sought a five-day remand. After the bail, around 3-4 pm, they were taken back to the Rajpipla Police Station without explaining the grounds for the same and were forced to sign sheets which said they are applying Sections 151 and 107 of the CrPc, and they were detained until the next day.

On November 1, 2019, until 7 pm, the police officials hadn't officially detained any bags and phones but there was harassment relating to this as well as confiscation of the phones of Mr. Lakhan and Mr. Mitra, which they both refused first to the constable, then the PSI. On November 2, 2019, around 12 noon, the nine arrested men were then taken to the Mamlatdar Office in Garudeshwar and an interim release for 15 days for CrPC Sections 151 and 107 was granted and they were asked to be present again on November 18, 2019.

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