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Ranu Podyam


Ranu Podyam is a human rights defender associated with the Orcha Jan Andolan, which involves over 100 villages near the Tular Hills. Corporate companies have proposed mining projects in the Tular Hills, including the construction of roads and paramilitary camps in the region. Ranu Podyam's work centres on advocating for the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 and the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act 1996, which mandate public consultation with the local community before sanctioning mining projects in Adivasi lands, resisting iron ore mining, and the construction of paramilitary camps in the region.

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.