“No matter which party is in power, they support big companies and do not care for us common Adivasis,” Markam told the conference. “Villagers who protest against the government handing over these lands to corporations are being jailed. We have lost faith in the government but will continue to fight to save our sacred lands and our forests.”
On 9 March 2021, woman human rights defender Hidme Markam was arrested by Chhattisgarh police on several charges, including charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) anti-terrorism law in relation to her alleged involvement in Maoist activities. The woman human rights defender was arrested during an event in Dantewada in the State of Chhattisharh to mark International Working Women’s Day, and to protest the custodial torture and sexual violence by police against Adivasi women in the State. Later that day, following her arrest, Hidme Markam appeared before a Magistrate and was remanded for 14 days in Jagadalapur prison. Hidme Markam is an Adivasi woman human rights defender advocating for indigenous rights, against police and state violence, and the impact of mining in the State of Chhattisgarh. She is the convenor of the Jail Bandi Rihai Committee, a platform which advocates for the release of thousands of Adivasi persons, particularly youths, criminalized and branded as Naxals and held in pre-trial detention. Hidme Markam is an anti-mining campaigner, focusing on projects led by large corporations such as Adani Pvt Ltd., which threaten to destroy a sacred Adivasi hill, considered a local deity by the community. She also campaigns against the detrimental ecological impact of mining for the local area, resulting in the degradation of land and large bodies of water, and the destruction of forests in the region. The woman human rights defender has also criticised the expanding presence of military, police and para-military in the State. In 2019, she participated in a public campaign against the establishment of a police camp in Potali by the Special Task Force and District Reserve Guards. Advocating for the promotion of women’s rights and against physical and sexual violence against women by police and military officers is central to Hidme Markam’s work. Women in the State, especially from Adivasi communities, have been disproportionately affected by violence and discrimination by officials.
More information: https://www.survivalinternational.org/articles/adani-kiss-factory-school