Pardhis in MP look | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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Pardhis in MP look to shed ‘criminal’ tag

Even 70 years after independence, the Pardhis, who were categorized as a criminal tribe by British, are not really free, activists and community members are alleging.

bhopal Updated: Aug 13, 2017 15:16 IST
A Pardhi woman pasting a poster asking police not to pick up people from their homes while they are sleeping.ht photo
A Pardhi woman pasting a poster asking police not to pick up people from their homes while they are sleeping.ht photo

Even 70 years after independence, the Pardhis, who were categorized as a criminal tribe by British, are not really free, activists and community members are alleging.

Pardhi is the only community in Madhya Pradesh which comes under various categories, while other tribes are included in one category.

According to the 2001 census, they have been categorised as scheduled tribes, scheduled caste, nomad and even under the general category, depending on the districts they live in.

Now however, members of the community are looking to shed it’s ‘criminal’ tag which they say leaves them open to harassment from the authorities.

“Whenever police want, they come to our house without any warrant and take us to the police station. Police misbehave with women and children and if we object it, they even beat us. According to cops, we are a burden for society and if that is so, they should kill us,” said Ismail Panwar, 50, a Pardi community member.

Shibani, an activist working for the upliftment of the tribe said, “The Criminal Tribes Act had been scrapped in 1950 by the government but even after 67 years, the administration, police and people are not ready to accept the fact.”

Giving an instance of harassment, Shivani Taneja said, “A week ago, a man was going to donate blood for his hospitalised sister-in-law, but the police picked him up and started questioning him. The man repeatedly request the police to let him go but they didn’t listen and his sister-in-law’s condition deteriorated due to delay in blood transfusion.”

Members of the community also rue the lack of government facilities they face.

“In three district including Bhopal, we come in general category so we don’t receive any scholarships and subsidy like other tribes . My son is a graduate but he doesn’t have any government job ,” said Nahar Singh, a member of the community.

Activists say they will not let up in their efforts .

Activist Pallav Thudgar said, “Now, we will take their voice forward... Even after complaining to senior police officers against the atrocities of police officials of different police stations, no action is being taken against them.”