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Threats, intimidation, misuse of law and fabricated charges against Muralidhar Sahoo, Bibekananda Swain and other environmental activists.

Image Credit :- Sabrang India

Muralidhar Sahoo and Bibekananda Swain

HRD

Odisha

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 6th December 2021 regarding the threats, intimidation, misuse of law, and fabricated charges against HRDs and other land and environment HRDs and villagers in Odisha by police and administrative.

Under Dhinkia Panchayat in Erasama block of Jagatsinghpur district, Mahala and Patana were accorded as revenue villages as per the Odisha government in April 2020 and August 2020 respectively. The villagers feared the decision was taken to facilitate the JSW project and fracture the movement. The fears came true when revenue officials along with 14 platoons of police personnel visited the two villages to undertake demarcation work on November 30 and December 1, 2021, respectively. On December 1st 2021, an FIR was registered at the Abhayachandpur Police Station against 34 HRDs including Mr. Muralidhar Sahoo and Mr. Bibekananda Swain, and 300 other unnamed villagers for blocking the entry of officials into Mahala under sections 143, 341, 294, 506,353, 186, and 149 on the complaint of Tahsildar Mr. Choudhury Pranjyananda Das, who alleged that around 200 women and 100 men including HRDs and others obstructed revenue officials from carrying out their work. 

Though no one has been arrested in the case yet, they fear that they might be detained and arrested. The actions taken by the police personnel’s and the administrative officials is nothing but the gross violation of the HRDs’ fundamental right to life and personal liberty granted by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution as well as a complete violation of their human rights as guaranteed by national and international laws.

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