Justice to the Tribal Persons and Activists of Shramik Adivasi Sanghathana, Madhya Pradesh sign now

Dear Concerned Citizens,

The Shramik Adivasi Sanghathana has been working for the rights of disadvantaged groups of the society, especially the tribal people for the past 13years. During this time it was able to, through the efforts of 3 fulltime activists and in later years, through the assistance of part-time activists and village level activists to take the Sanghathana from a few villages of a block to hundreds of villages in 10 Blocks of 3 districts, namely, Betul, Harda and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. The journey has been through frightened, scared Adivasis to ones who are able to question the District head to organizing various agitations on their own. and entering into active politics through Samajwadi Jan Parishad (SJP) at local and national levels. The SJP is a National body of like minded people who feel that to serve the people it has become essential to be vocal and expressive and to fight/put forth views of the people in just and peaceful manner, without allowing the entrance of corruption and favouritism that characterizes politics in India today.

Participation in SAS and the SJP that was initially limited to the men folk has now extended to women; youth and childrens involvement has increased. The Sanghathana process in the last 12 years and the experience of other mass based organisations have seen that visible, tangible, instrumental empowerment within a life span is possible only through the electoral process. So the Shramik Adivasi Sanghathana has in the past three years entered into electoral politics too and has had an impact on the peoples empowerment process. It aims to bring in a new kind of political culture in the country which is based on principles and controlled by people themselves.
The tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh is mostly made up of Korkus, Gonds, Bhils, Baigas, Sahiras and. There are other tribes also. Betul has predominantly Korku and Gond tribes, making up about 45\% of the population. The dynamics of the region has to do with the officials/bureaucrats, the landlords, and banias exploiting the poor and the tribals. Harda District has tribal people Korkus, Gonds, OBCs, Dalits. The upper caste is made up of Jats, Rajputs, Gujars, Bishnois, Banias and Brahmins. The caste dynamics and the exploitation has many layers. Khandwa has mainly Korku tribe with a small percentage of Gond, Bhil Varkunda (Banjara), Banjara , Pardhi the de-notified tribes and other upper castes and dalits. The Sanghathana has been in operation for the past 12 years in Betul, for the past 6 years in Harda and in the last three years in Khandwa.

THE CURRENT ISSUE: Activist and members associated with the Shramik Adivasi Sanghathana are facing severe repression at the hands of administration of Betul and Harda district. Recently two of it senior activists Shamim and Anurag are facing externment notice served by Harda District Magistrate (Collector). Harda Collector, under political pressure from State Revenue Minister Kamal Patel, and Parliamentarian of the area Vijay Khandelwal issued Show cause notices to Shamim and Anurag under section 5 (b) of State Security Act 1990 which says that why shouldnt they be extern from Harda, Khandwa, Hoshangabad, Dewas, Sihore and Betul districts for the period of one year. Other then this they are facing many criminal cases and hundreds of tribals are also falsely implicated in many cases. Ever day tribals are arrested on the pretext of some case and put behind bars.

Recently on 11/7/07 in forest village Dhega in Harda district 4 tribals including two women were badly beaten by Ranger of Temagaon range. He also fired 4 round from his personal 12 bore rifle one of the bullet brushed Ramharos. He assaulted Ramdas and his wife Munni with Rifle butt and broken Ramdass Jaw and Munniвs hand. Rambhaross wife is also injured. Finally inself defense tribals over powered Ranger and made him captive only to hand him over to police on 12th morning. The same ranger has been charging the tribals under section 3,4 of destruction of Public Property Act 1984 where as it has got no power to impose the section. Forest officers are empowered to register an offence under forest acts only. It was even ruled by Session judge Harda on 12/6/07 of Sukhdev s/o Vishram vs State of MP. Sukhdev was arrested on 1/6/07 and could have been released on the same day since if offence was registered against him under section 26 of Indian forest act only since it is bailable. Similarly many other tribals like Brijlal of village Unchabarari, Gangaram of Dhega were in jail for 15 days.

The matter pertaining to SAS and its activists is of grave concern and the State authorities need to take cognizance and act towards providing a life of dignity and accord the basic human rights due to every citizen of this country. This also includes the right to raise issues of public and environmental interest that SAS members have been doing and to fight elections at all levels in a fair manner. We appeal to you to take cognizance and to direct the concerned authorities to take action in favour of the disadvantaged tribal people of the land which is enshrined and is accorded special privilege in the Constitution of the country.

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    Attack on Tribals is an attack on democracy and freedom that we achived at the cost of number of lives. Attack on Tribals by the State is an attack on children by their own parents. It reflects barbarism which has no place in any civilised society. Please
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Edna SpearsBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Honourable Prime Minister of India, Honourable President and Honourable Chief Minister of MP,

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