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Arul Arumugam


Arul Arumugam is a human rights defender from Tamil Nadu State and a vocal advocate on the rights of farmers and local communities impacted by develoment related displacement - especially the violation of rights to land and livelihood.  Since 2 July 2023, local farmers have been engaged in a peaceful protest against the acquisition of 3,174 acres of wetlands by SIPCOT for an industrial park. The land to be acquired by SIPCOT stretches over nine agricultural villages, meaning its dispossession could severely impact the livelihood of the farmers who use the land for crop cultivation. Instead of engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the farmers regarding their concerns, the government of Tamil Nadu has responded with a crackdown on their peaceful protest and the criminalisaton of human rights defenders and leaders associated with it.

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.