The alleged illegal detention of tribal protesters in Barwani by district administration for more than 24 hours and the attempt by local ruling party MLA and MP to stall the peaceful protest would be taken up with the United Nations (UN) forums soon.
Representative of Hong Kong based voluntary organisation Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Avinash Pandey Samar, on Saturday said that formal complaints regarding violation of rights of tribal people and human rights workers would be lodged with the special rapporteurs of UN. Also a complaint would be lodged with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Not only this, the Barwani issues would be taken up under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of UN, which takes up the most serious human rights violation issues across the world.
Samar was in Barwani from October 2 to 5 during the protest Samar also alleged that during the protest of tribal women on October 3 at Barwani, he and his videographer were assaulted by a section of local people. He filed a complaint with the local police station, but didn’t pursue the matter because he feared loss of evidence in his camera. “However now I would send a formal complaint to the director general of police (DGP) and demand filing of an FIR against the assaulters,” Samar said. of tribal women against delayed payments under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) and came to Bhopal on Saturday.
He said that the AHRC, which is empanelled with the UN, had sent him particularly to Barwani in view of numerous complaints about irregularities and delayed wages payment under MNREGS. Also information that some of the leaders of the Jagrit Adiwasi Dalit Sangathan spearheading tribal protest in Barwani, might be facing danger of life was considered by the AHRC. “I have now witnessed the entire situation in Barwani and also recorded the happenings there. The next step would be to lodge the complaints with appropriate forums internationally and in India,” Samar said.
He said that the most serious issues related to Barwani were the gross irregularities in MNREGS implementation including fake work and workforce entries, delayed payments of more than a year, something which the district administration also concedes. The delayed payment also leads to violation of livelihood and food rights of the people and number of preventable deaths are already being reported in the areas, he said.