The criminal cases slapped against Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan members are all false cases filed to quell protests demanding: due wages and other legal rights under MGNREGA; action against negligence in maternity care along with demands for adequate health staff, drugs, etc and functional public health system; proper functioning of the PDS; stopping illegal mining; forest rights under the Forest Rights Act; honouring the rights of gram sabhas.
The fact that they have been harassed with these cases after peaceful protests for legitimate demands, is proof of the failure of governance not their “criminality”!
All protests were completely peaceful and legitimate.
Please join to protest this completely arbitrary and unconstitutional attack on our democratic rights.
I would like to bring to your notice some information about another member organization, the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), working for 14 years in the backward district of Barwani, Madhya Pradesh.
The JADS is a membership-based mass organization that campaigns on constitutional rights of adivasis, including Gram Sabhas, forest rights, PDS; and in the last few years, to promote the effective implementation of government schemes such as the NRHM and the NREGA (Khera, 2008*).
As a consequence of their awareness-raising and mobilizing, the Sangathan members have held many non-violent protests against corruption, lack of implementation and exploitation of tribals. This has led to criminal cases being filed against the JADS leaders; however they have been exonerated in all these cases (except one which is still pending). In one instance the Sangathan held a week-long Dharna for transparency and proper implementation of the NREGA (July 2006) following which 1500 members were awarded the Unemployment Allowance for the first time in the country; however local PRI leaders and politicians also submitted a petition against them to the administration.
A leader of the JADS, Ms Madhuri Krishnaswamy, has recently been served a show-cause notice by the district administration (attached) to begin proceedings for externment (Zila Badar) from Barwani and six adjoining districts. This is on the grounds that the JADS is a criminal and anti-social organization that is making the local officials insecure.
I believe that this Show Cause notice for externment is violation of constitutional rights and completely arbitrary. It is also unjustified as retalitation against the protests by impoverished and exploited tribals and Dalits who are struggling to access state provisions for food, livelihood and healthcare under government schemes, including the implementation of the NREGA.
I protest this completely arbitrary and unconstitutional attack on the democratic rights of the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan by the state authorities.
I demand that the Madhya Pradesh Government immediately stop harassing and slapping fabricated cases against the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan Members.