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Nitin Varghese

HRD, member
Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan

Nitin Varghese is a core member of the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), a collective which has been working for over 20 years to advocate for the rights of Dalit and Indigenous communities in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. These communities face systemic violations of their right to land, livelihood, access to resources and the right to live with dignity. Nitin Varghese is a vocal advocate on issues such as illegal deforestation, forced eviction of local communities, and the denial of access to land and forests. The human rights defender Nitin Varghese  and other defenders associated with the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan have been repeatedly targeted in reprisal for their peaceful campaigns in support of the land and environmental rights of the Adivasi community in the Burhanpur District, Madhya Pradesh.

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.