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Surju Tekam

HRD, Vice-President
Sarva Adivasi Samaj

Surju Tekam is an indigenous human rights defender and the convenor of the Bastar Coordination Committee of Mass Movements (Bastar Jan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti) and the Vice-President of Sarva Adivasi Samaj, a collective of all Adivasi organizations in Chhattisgarh. He has led major protest movements of the Adivasi community in Chhattisgarh against corporatisation and militarisation, and has been vocal against human rights violations by security forces, including extrajudicial executions, arrests of community leaders, and forced evictions.

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.