Back to top

Damkondawahi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti

The Damkondawahi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti is a protest movement led by Madia-Gond Adivasis — a people recognised by the Indian government as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). The protest movement advocates against corporate mining in the Etapalli Subdivision of the Gadchiroli District. In 2007, Lloyds Metals and Energy Private Limited (LMEL) was given clearance to begin iron ore mining in an area of over 348.09 hectares of land in the village of Surjagarh in Gadchiroli. This decision was taken without any public consultation with the local community, namely the gram sabhas (village councils), as is mandated by the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 and the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act 1996. On 10 March 2023, LMEL was granted environmental clearance to expand its excavation from 3 to 10 million metric tonnes per annum. The area being excavated by LMEL for iron ore mining encroaches on lands granted to Adivasis as part of their community forest rights under the Forest Rights Act 2006.

Human rights defenders in India face a diverse range of attacks and harassment from state and non-state actors alike, including killing, physical assault, arbitrary detention, threats and judicial harassment. Police officials are often the perpetrators of violence against HRDs, which is usually carried out with impunity. Armed groups and private companies also target HRDs for work related to economic development projects and their impact on the local communities or the environment. HRDs are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by radical nationalists.