India: Indigenous HRD arrested
April 1, 2019, 8:22 am

Mr.Lingaraj Azad, is anindigenous tribal activist from the Kalahandi District of Odisha and has been struggling against bauxite mining in Niyamgiri area of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts in Odisha, where Dongria Kondh(indigenous tribal commuity) are to be displaced forcibly from the thirty villages due to bauxite mining. Mr. Lingaraj Azadis a fierce fighter for the rights of the adivasis. He is the National Vice-President of Samajwadi Jan Parishad and National Convener of National Alliance ofPeoples Movement (NAPM)under which he has successfully led the peoples movement and fought the valiant struggle against Vedanta Corporation. In nearly three decades of his activism, Mr. Lingaraj has faced physical attacks, arrests, judicial harassmentsfrom the State in connivance with corporates duehis struggle against the systemic oppression and corporate loot of the natural resources in theregion.

As per the sources, on March 6, 2019, while Mr.Azad was in his village, one police personnel from the Kesinga Police Stationcame to his house and asked him come along with him to meet Mr.Gupteswar Bhoi, who isthe SDPO.Mr.Azad refused to go along with him and told him that he would go on his own to meet the SDPO.Accordingly, he went to the Kesinga police station in his bikefrom his village and at the police station, he met the SDPO. The SDPO informed Mr. Azadthat the reason to summon him to the police station was to question him in an old case registered with the Lanjigarh police station and therefore personnel from the said police station had come to meet him.After a few hours, Mr. Lingaraj wastold that he is now being arrested for two old cases bearing Case No.28dated26/04/2017 under Sections143,147,148,188,149,of the ndian Penal Code (IPC) 7 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)along with 341,120 B of the IPCand another case bearing Case No. 1 of 2019 dated18/2/2019 under Sections147,148,294,506,149 IPC and 27 of the ArmsAct.Aftermedicalcheckup, he was forwarded to Bhawanipatna district courtand remanded to custody. It is pointed out here that arrest and brazen attack of Mr. Lingaraj by the Odisha government just before general elections is aplanned action and is done just to stop him from continuing the anti-displacement activismso as to discontinue him from carryingforward his struggle for theindigenouspeople.