ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Harassment and Arrest of Human Rights Defenders

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We are shocked at the brazen and illegal manner in which Hidme Markam, a 28-year-old anti-mining and tribal rights activist, was abducted from the programme marking the International Working Women’s Day in Sameli, Dantewada, held to commemorate  Nande and Kawasi Pande, two young women forced to take their lives after custodial physical and sexual violence by the Chhattisgarh police and paramilitary forces. Markam (daughter of Podiyam Markam, Burgum village, Dantewada district) was later shown as arrested in four cases involving serious charges, including charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The irony of forcibly taking a young woman activist from a Women’s Day programme, trampling on all her fundamental rights and the Code of Criminal Procedure guidelines of lawful arrest, and that too in the immediate presence of the subdivisional magistrate, beggars belief. She was dragged away in front of 300 villagers and activists who had peacefully gathered there, including activists from the Jail Bandi Rihai Committee and Chhattisgarh Mahila Adhikar Manch. Despite their strong opposition to her arrest, Soni Sori and others were violently pushed aside by police personnel. We demand her immediate release in no uncertain terms, and an end to this endless saga of baseless arrests of tribal activists under charges related to Naxalism.

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Updated On : 15th Mar, 2021

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