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Politics Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Rajasthan: PUCL urges gov't to hold talks with Adivasi leaders

The civil society group demanded that the Superintendent of Udaipur withdraw the inflammatory letter regarding surveillance of leaders of the BTP and other Adivasi organisations

Sabrangindia 07 Sep 2021

PUCL

The Rajasthan chapter of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has advised the state government to withdraw a letter by the Superintendent of Police (SP) Udaipur calling for surveillance on Adivasi organisations. In a letter dated September 5, PUCL has advised the government to engage in a dialogue between political leaders and Adivasi groups.

Addressing State Chief Secretary Niranjan Arya, PUCL members said the DG Intelligence – whose words the SP reiterated on September 2 – must apologise for putting all Adivasi outfits under the scanner and trying to present them as a militant group.

circular

The official document claimed “that the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) and other Adivasi organisations are provoking the tribals to turn to violence and militancy, in order to get their legitimate and illegitimate demands accepted by the government.” As such, it directed all Circle Officers of Sarada, Rishabdev and Salumbar, and station house officers of police stations, to monitor activities of BTP leaders and other Adivasi organisations. It also called for the monitoring of social media posts affecting law and order.

Further, it instructed the administration to collect the name, phone number, mobile and other details of all adivasi leaders. The PUCL voiced concern about the upfront intentions to track and surveil the leaders at the end of the letter.

“You are well aware that the problem is not that of a law-and-order problem. There has been a constant demand for Government jobs in South Rajasthan, especially in Adivasi areas, when there are vacancies of the post of teachers. The demand was not unreasonable, that general seats, for which the board had failed to select candidates, should be converted to seats for Scheduled Tribes,” said PUCL State President PUCL Kavita Srivastava.

The DG’s letter claimed that on September 24, 2020, the prospective tribal youths hoping for recruitment as primary school teachers against vacant posts, had taken law into their hands. The group’s sit-in protest at Kakri Doongri, Kherwada, turned violent when the youths allegedly burnt vehicles on NH 8, attacked police personnel and looted trucks.

“This is highly objectionable as the PUCL had also gone into the facts of the provocation of violence, which speak otherwise. Instead, the role of the police in mercilessly assaulting, beating, and firing at the Adivasis is what stands out. The PUCL has amply documented this part of the September 24 violence,” said Srivastava.

After the incident, the Udaipur and Dungarpur police filed dozens of FIRs and booked thousands of Adivasis. Over 200 people were put in custody. Now, the administration warns that the community will “commemorate the first anniversary and indulge in wrongful actions, which needs to be brought to check.”

Srivastava said that the quoted line of the letter reflects the “fear” of the present regime towards the BTP, representing the Adivasi community. The political party produced two MLAs from Dungarpur district defeating Congress and the BJP candidates during Assembly elections, 2018 and in the Dungarpur local body elections. The BTP was short of one seat to take control of the municipal body.

“The letter tries to divide communities, when it says that apart from using these methods to pressurize the administration and the government to give in to their demands, this modality is also causing insecurity amongst other communities in society,” said Srivastava.

Rather than keeping an eye on tribal leaders, the PUCL asked that the police and bureaucracy urge Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to talk with all Adivasi organisations and political parties, including the BTP, and resolve their pressing issues of jobs, hunger, migration, implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and PESA, 1995.

Incidentally, no dialogue has taken place in this regard in the past year. The cases filed against the community members have not been withdrawn either. The civil society group said these measures are crucial to ensure a harmonious relationship with Adivasis.

The September 2020 incident also occurred after the meeting with Gehlot to discuss Adivasi demands was postponed for a second time. The uncertainty caused turmoil in the over two-week dharna at Kakri Doongri and protesters blocked the NH 8 highway for only that day.

“The aspiration of Adivasis need to be dealt with urgently by treating them as respectable citizens, ensuring that their constitutional rights are actualized, and not using language which shows scorn and hate for Adivasis,” said Srivastava.

Related:

Rajasthan: Women’s organisations condemn Tehsildar’s attempt to deny women property rights

Cheated of Constitution, Adivasis have been savaged and ravaged by people claiming to be civilized

Rajasthan: PUCL urges gov't to hold talks with Adivasi leaders

The civil society group demanded that the Superintendent of Udaipur withdraw the inflammatory letter regarding surveillance of leaders of the BTP and other Adivasi organisations

PUCL

The Rajasthan chapter of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has advised the state government to withdraw a letter by the Superintendent of Police (SP) Udaipur calling for surveillance on Adivasi organisations. In a letter dated September 5, PUCL has advised the government to engage in a dialogue between political leaders and Adivasi groups.

Addressing State Chief Secretary Niranjan Arya, PUCL members said the DG Intelligence – whose words the SP reiterated on September 2 – must apologise for putting all Adivasi outfits under the scanner and trying to present them as a militant group.

circular

The official document claimed “that the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) and other Adivasi organisations are provoking the tribals to turn to violence and militancy, in order to get their legitimate and illegitimate demands accepted by the government.” As such, it directed all Circle Officers of Sarada, Rishabdev and Salumbar, and station house officers of police stations, to monitor activities of BTP leaders and other Adivasi organisations. It also called for the monitoring of social media posts affecting law and order.

Further, it instructed the administration to collect the name, phone number, mobile and other details of all adivasi leaders. The PUCL voiced concern about the upfront intentions to track and surveil the leaders at the end of the letter.

“You are well aware that the problem is not that of a law-and-order problem. There has been a constant demand for Government jobs in South Rajasthan, especially in Adivasi areas, when there are vacancies of the post of teachers. The demand was not unreasonable, that general seats, for which the board had failed to select candidates, should be converted to seats for Scheduled Tribes,” said PUCL State President PUCL Kavita Srivastava.

The DG’s letter claimed that on September 24, 2020, the prospective tribal youths hoping for recruitment as primary school teachers against vacant posts, had taken law into their hands. The group’s sit-in protest at Kakri Doongri, Kherwada, turned violent when the youths allegedly burnt vehicles on NH 8, attacked police personnel and looted trucks.

“This is highly objectionable as the PUCL had also gone into the facts of the provocation of violence, which speak otherwise. Instead, the role of the police in mercilessly assaulting, beating, and firing at the Adivasis is what stands out. The PUCL has amply documented this part of the September 24 violence,” said Srivastava.

After the incident, the Udaipur and Dungarpur police filed dozens of FIRs and booked thousands of Adivasis. Over 200 people were put in custody. Now, the administration warns that the community will “commemorate the first anniversary and indulge in wrongful actions, which needs to be brought to check.”

Srivastava said that the quoted line of the letter reflects the “fear” of the present regime towards the BTP, representing the Adivasi community. The political party produced two MLAs from Dungarpur district defeating Congress and the BJP candidates during Assembly elections, 2018 and in the Dungarpur local body elections. The BTP was short of one seat to take control of the municipal body.

“The letter tries to divide communities, when it says that apart from using these methods to pressurize the administration and the government to give in to their demands, this modality is also causing insecurity amongst other communities in society,” said Srivastava.

Rather than keeping an eye on tribal leaders, the PUCL asked that the police and bureaucracy urge Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to talk with all Adivasi organisations and political parties, including the BTP, and resolve their pressing issues of jobs, hunger, migration, implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and PESA, 1995.

Incidentally, no dialogue has taken place in this regard in the past year. The cases filed against the community members have not been withdrawn either. The civil society group said these measures are crucial to ensure a harmonious relationship with Adivasis.

The September 2020 incident also occurred after the meeting with Gehlot to discuss Adivasi demands was postponed for a second time. The uncertainty caused turmoil in the over two-week dharna at Kakri Doongri and protesters blocked the NH 8 highway for only that day.

“The aspiration of Adivasis need to be dealt with urgently by treating them as respectable citizens, ensuring that their constitutional rights are actualized, and not using language which shows scorn and hate for Adivasis,” said Srivastava.

Related:

Rajasthan: Women’s organisations condemn Tehsildar’s attempt to deny women property rights

Cheated of Constitution, Adivasis have been savaged and ravaged by people claiming to be civilized

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