Other States

Call to free Hidme Markam

Over 1,000 activists, academics and concerned citizens from across the globe have petitioned Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel demanding that Hidme Markam, an adivasi human rights defender and environmental activist, be freed and all charges against her, including UAPA, be dropped.

Hidme Markam, in jail for over 40 days, was arrested on March 9 by police and paramilitary forces from Dantewada's Sameli village, where a programme was under way to remember and mourn the rapes and murders of adivasi women. Markam, along with other advisasis, also organised the Nandraj Pahad Bachao Andolan, to protest the mining of a sacred indigenous hill by corporations like Adani Pvt Ltd.

“Like many others, Hidme is clearly being targeted for her political work in defence of adivasi lands and lives and standing up against the might of the State and profit-making corporations. Not only was the manner of the arrest illegal and highly objectionable, but the charges were obviously concocted post-facto; as time passes, they suddenly seem to have found more cases against her,” says the letter signed by adivasi rights activists like Aloka Kujur, Elina Horo, Lingram Kodopi, feminist activists such as Syeda Hamid, Aruna Roy, Meera Sanghamitra, and groups like National Alliance for People's Movement, Saheli, People's Union for Civil Liberties, Adivasi Ekta Manch, Adani Watch and Stop Adani.

The signatories have demanded that the Chhattisgarh government also stop the clamp down on environmental, adivasi and other human rights activists, as well as adivasi villagers in Chhattisgarh, in particular women, in the garb of ‘combating Naxalism’. They have sought an independent and high-level inquiry into rapes and murder of young women in Bastar allegedly by the police.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 5:37:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/call-to-free-hidme-markam/article34380693.ece

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