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‘Exploited’ residents move rights panel

india Updated: May 27, 2009 01:22 IST
Vignesh Iyer
Vignesh Iyer
Hindustan Times
‘Exploited’ residents move rights panel

Twenty-four families living in the tribal hamlet inside the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) camp in Goregaon have alleged harassment by SRPF personnel.

They have alleged that ‘they are being treated like slaves by the officials and are being harassed by them’.

They have moved the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission over the ‘harassment.’

In an application, the tribals staying in Futkathalachya Pada have said that the place was given to the SRPF in 1972 by the Aarey administration without any intimation to the tribals staying there.

“At that time the entire village was shifted to a corner,” the application said.

The application also alleges that though the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation are ready to provide electricity, roads and water connection to the hamlet, the SRPF is not allowing the government to provide these facilities.

The tribals have further alleged that the SRPF had once sent a truck back that was sent by the municipal corporation for construction of roads in the area.

The application also states that the SRPF have also allegedly told the civic body not to provide water connection.

“Despite paying money to Reliance Energy for electricity connection in the hamlet, the SRPF have told them not to provide it,” alleges the application. “Reliance Energy has given us back the money we paid.”

“The SRPF personnel have misbehaved with the women when they had gone to fetch water from the tank located deep inside the jungles.”

“The nursery school started (in the hamlet) was closed down by the SRPF,” said the application. “When civic body’s education department asked a reply from SRPF, they (SRPF) did not even reply.”

“When the tribals plant vegetables in the area, the SRPF destroy it.”

The commission on Monday has asked the commandant of the SRPF to be present on the next date of hearing, which is likely to be after four weeks.

“The civic body and state government are asking for an no-objection certificate from the SRPF for providing water, electricity connection and roads. But they (SRPF) are not giving it,” said activist Sunil Kumre, who works for the tribals’ uplift.