PVCHR CONDEMNS POLICE VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION IN SONEBHADRA, UTTAR PRADESH
Calls on Government to Negotiate in Good Faith and On Basis of Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
People's Vigilance Committee on Human rights (PVCHR), is deeply concerned at recent reports of escalating police violence and state repression in Sonebhadra, Uttar Pradesh. The Campaign condemns such actions and calls on the government of Uttar Pradesh to settle the issue through negotiations, founded on the principle of respecting the rights of forest communities to their lands and livelihoods.
For several years now Sonebhadra district has been the site of a struggle between the Forest Department and the Kaimoor Kshetra Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (a member of the National Forum for Forest Peoples and Forest Workers). The Samiti has been fighting for the return of land that the local community claims as their traditional gram samaj land, which has been illegally taken over by the Forest Department. Repeated protests and clashes have ensued, while the Forest Department has reportedly refused to negotiate the issue or recognize the rights of local communities.
Over the past two weeks these clashes have escalated with the arrest of four activists – Roma, Shanta, Lalita Devi and Shyamlal Paswan – and a police assault on the Dalit village of Chanduli this last Friday (August 10th), in which a reported 15 women were beaten up and a number of houses demolished (with threats of further demolition). Recent rumours in the local press point to the imminent application of the National Security Act against the arrested activists.
The use of police forces and draconian laws against activists and people's organizations is highly condemnable. It is the duty of the State government to respond to a democratic agitation in a democratic manner, not by resorting to brutal repression. Moreover, with the passage of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, it is now legally clear that the Forest Department can no longer simply evict people or deny their rights on the basis of executive fiat, especially given that the said legislation provides both for rights over land under current occupation and for rights in case of past illegal evictions and denial of access to community resources. The UP government must allow this Act to be implemented locally and the rights of local communities to be settled as per its provisions, instead of engaging in actions that would subvert the purpose of the legislation.
PVCHR therefore demands the following:
· The release of arrested activists and a withdrawal of cases filed against them, as well as an immediate halt to efforts to apply the draconian National Security Act against the activists;
· Negotiation in good faith with the local community to settle the matter, in full recognition of the rights of forest dwellers and the procedure for settling them under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
|Date:||Sun, 3 Dec 2006 19:53:10 +0100|
|From:||"Parul Sharma" <firstname.lastname@example.org> View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert |
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Dear Parul,It was really nice chatting to you. I again thought that i must provide more info to u regarding Lenin's activites. Just recently his action aid project was withdrawn for maybe misusing of the funds and not showinng results relating to hunger project. The project coordinator of this project in action aid was restigated this year. You can get more info directly from the Action Aid India director Babu Matthew. His cell no. is 9810606988. If u want u can give my reference also. but it is better if u collect info urself. secondly Lenin is doing European commission project with Henri, the National coordintor Sunila was working in one another organinzation NCAS in new delhi. NCAS rule is that if u want to leave a three month notice is required. She gave notice but she took salary from both NCAS and EU. The whole group is quite badnaam in India. Thirdly You can also find out from CRY about his dealings. Apart from this there are no. of other proofs that we possess. That we can provide u confidentially. He should not be aware that the info is being collected.I know what kind of woman u r. I donot want that u should earn bad reputation in India. I am concerned. I am not either doing this to build up some programmatic relationship with u, there is no compulsion. But I certainly want to caution u as he has betrayed various movements for money. I will campaing against him everywhere.with love
Dr. Lenin (Ashoka Fellow)