On January 24, 2022, around 60 - 70 men and women from a fishing community in Kasarkod Tonka were sitting on a protest against an illegal road being constructed. Around 8.30 am, nearly 600 police personnel arrived at their protest site and brutally evicted them. The protestors were pushed into tempos and detained. Of the 27 women detained, one was seven weeks pregnant, who lost her unborn child two days after this detention.
The work continued under heavy security. When a young boy asked as to why work was being carried out on January 26, a public holiday, he was lathi charged and detained. In March several villagers were asked to come to Honnavar police station and asked to sign a notice but refused to give them a copy.
The right to peaceful protest is enshrined in the article 19(b) of the Constitution and the local communities have a full right to protest the policies which will harm the ecological balance of the area and their livelihood. However, in contrast to the constitutional mandate, the State has resorted to illegal detention and intimidation against peaceful citizens acting in the interest of their livelihood and protecting their environment.
HRDA sent a petition to the National Human Rights Commission on May 6, 2022, urging it to direct its investigation division to independently assess the incident of police excesses on peacefully protesting citizens and assess if due processes were followed for the construction of the road as mandated by the laws.