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llegal detention, arrest and fabricated charges on activists protesting illegal mining leases in Gadchiroli

Image Credit :- Sabrang India

Sainu Gota, Sheela Gota, Ramdas Jarate, Jaishree Velda, Nitin Pada, Amol Marakwar, Lalsu Nagoti, Prajwal Namulwar, Premila Kulyami



HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on December 22, 2021, regarding the illegal detention of human rights activists in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, who were protesting illegal mining in Surjagad, Gadchiroli.

Local Adivasi communities in Gadchiroli have been fiercely opposing the 25 government-sanctioned mines at Surjagad by demanding that the decision to grant mining licenses is illegal as the gram sabhas have not given any permission for the same. A peaceful morcha was carried out by 4,000 protestors from local Adivasi villages against the mining lease on October 25, 2021, which ended at Etapalli, where several protestors camped. 

After four days, a large police force, of around 300 police personnel, some in uniform and some in plain clothes, swooped down at the protest sites and detained all the HRDs and took them to the Aheri police camp without providing any arrest memo or on the detention. 

On October 29, an FIR was registered at the Etapalli police station against nine HRDs and 100 unnamed individuals under Indian Penal Code sections 188, 269 and Section 2 of Epidemics Act and the Maharashtra Police Act sections 37 (1), 37 (3), 135. On the same day, they were taken to the district court where they were granted bail but the police personnel took them back to the police camp despite being granted bail. After this, they were being issued a notice by the sub-divisional magistrate of Etapall under section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and then have released from the camp. 

This kind of activity clearly shows that the police target local leaders who have been active in the protests against illegal mining and land acquisition and violate the fundamental rights of humans.

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