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HRD & Member
Civil Society Forum on Human Rights (CSFHR)

Akhand is a human rights defender and an independent grassroots journalist working in Odisha state, in Eastern India. Since 2011, he has been associated with the Civil Society Forum on Human Rights (CSFHR), a human rights defenders platform in Odisha. Akhand has filed a number of complaints before various human rights institutions in India regarding violations of human rights in the state of Odisha. He is involved in campaigns which denounce gross human rights violations  by state actors and has been subjected to previous threats and attacks for his human rights work.

Human rights defenders in India face a diverse range of attacks and harassment for their wor defending the rights of others, including killings, torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, smear campaigns, and judicial harassment. People defending the rights of marginalised communities are targeted by state and non-state actors alike. Armed groups and private companies also target HRDs and community leaders for work related to economic development projects and their impact on the local communities or the environment. HRDs have also been labelled as "insurgents" or “Naxalites” (Maoists), in an attempt to discredit their work and justify their targeting.