Monday, October 20, 2014

immediate action regarding threat and intimidation of human rights defender Harim Markam

 immediate action regarding threat and intimidation of human rights defender Harim Markam

The Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission         
New Delhi

Subject: Appeal for immediate action regarding threat and intimidation of human rights defender Harim Markam

Respected Sir

It may be noted that on 1st October, Harim Markam, S/o Hunga, Aged about 43 years, R/o Village Burgum (Nandapara), Tehsil Kuakonda, District Dantewada, Chhattisgarh;  also being the Deputy Sarpanch of Vill. Burgum, led a delegation of fellow villagers to the Collector’s Office in Dantewada to report that fellow villagers Joga Mandavi (30), Rajaram Sori (19) and Pandu Mandavi (21) who were arrested in early August were innocent and that the case against them is based on false testimonies. The letter submitted to the Collector is annexed hereto as Annexure A. Mr. Markam also submitted an affidavit to the collector, a copy of which is attached alongwith as Annexure B. The matter was also well reported in local newspapers.  On the same day they had also earlier submitted a letter to the Station House Officer of Police Station Aranpur, where the offence had been registered against the three villagers, stating that they had relevant facts to submit and that they wanted to co-operate in the investigation. The letter to the SHO, PS Aranpur is annexed hereto as Annexure C.

After this, on 5th October, a force of about 400-500 uniformed men (Cr.P.F. and police) camped in the village. On 6th October, they started looting houses in the village and beating people. The details of those who were beaten or their goods were looted have been attached alongwith as Annexure D. Specifically, in Nangapara, Bargum, where Mr. Markam resides, the forces started searching for the Deputy Sarpanch who went into hiding because of fear. The forces abused the villagers for going to the Collector and talking to the press. They also threatened that they would take the Deputy Sarpanch to the ‘camp’ and torture him. The beatings continued on 7th  of October and the force eventually returned on 8th of October. Ever since then Mr. Mandavi is scared about his life and liberty. The villagers of Burgum were beaten again on 16.10.2014 after human rights defender and social activist Soni Sori visited the village to do a fact finding into the incident.

Hence, it is prayed that the NHRC should take cognizance of the matter and swift and urgent action should be taken to safeguard the life and liberty of Mr. Hiram Markam. It should also be ensured that other villagers are also not further threatened, beaten or intimidated.

We would be obliged to receive early acknowledgment of this request.


Sudha Bharadwaj,
General Secretary,
People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Chhattisgarh Branch.

Mobile Number:        09926603877
Postal Address:     C/o Janit People’s Legal Resource Centre,  Near Indu Medical Chemist, Ring Road No. 2, Maharana Pratap Chowk, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh – 495001.

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