Hidme Markam a Tribal Rights Activist Allegedly Abducted on International Working Women’s Day

Hidme Markam, is a well known outspoken voice against the setting up of paramilitary camps and an anti-displacement activist.

hidme markam
Hidme Markam

Hidme Markam, a 28 year old anti-mining and tribal rights activist, was allegedly abducted from an event marking the International Working Women’s Day in Sameli, Dantewada. The event was organised to commemorate Kawasi Nande and Pande, two young women who were physically and sexually assaulted by the Chhattisgarh police and the paramilitary while they were in the custody. Nande and Pande were forced to take their lives.

Hidme is a well known outspoken voice against the setting up of paramilitary camps and an anti-displacement activist. As the convener of the Jail Bandi Rihai Committee she even had met with the Governor, Chief Minister, Superintendent of Police, Collector and other officials, raising the issues of releasing wrongfully arrested and convicted Adivasis in jails and police camps. She was also fighting against the mining in sacred land.

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As a part of the movement to save Nandraj Pahad, a movement opposing the destruction of a sacred Adivasi hill by corporations like Adani Pvt. Ltd, Hidme has vociferously spoken against the mining projects. She also has spoken against the Bailadila Mine Deposit 13, a project that would entail the destruction of a hill considered as a local deity and of enormous significance to the people of Chhattisgarh. This particular project is noted to be a hindrance to the quality of land, water bodies and the felling of thousands of trees. Hidme had raised issues of the people of Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur.

In its statement condemning the ‘abduction’ of Hidme Markam, People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) has noted that the police now is claiming that she was arrested in relation to four cases. The statement observes that these four cases involve serious charges, including charges under UAPA. According to this statement Markam was dragged away in front of three hundred villagers and activists who had peacefully gathered there. Among the gathered were also the activists from the Jail Bandi Rihai Committee and Chhattisgarh Mahila Adhikar Manch.

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May 2024
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