Report reveals massive human rights abuses before India’s Universal Periodic Review

Photo from the report “In the Name of Development – Indigenous Rights Violations and Shrinking Space in Chhattisgarh”, foto rights: Vijay Ramamurthy und Malini Subramaniam & Sakh

Berlin, 7 November 2022

Just ahead of India’s human rights review (UPR) before the United Nations Human Rights Council on 10 November, the newly released report “In the Name of Development – Indigenous Rights Violations and Shrinking Space in Chhattisgarh” by the India Justice Project and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) reveals massive human rights violations against indigenous Adivasis in the Northern Indian region of Chhattigarh.

In order to advance alleged development projects, including the mining of raw materials and minerals, corporations, in collusion with the Indian state, resort to large-scale land-grapping of Adivasi lands. To protect the exploitative corporations, the region is being militarized and policed. The report documents arbitrary killings and arrests, sexual violence and torture against the indigenous population. The systematic human rights violations are intended to nip in the bud any resistance to state and corporate abuses.

This case study of Chhattisgarh is representative of the dangerous trend of ever-closing civil society spaces in India. Prime Minister Modi’s ultra-right, Hindu-nationalist BJP party, with close ties to the openly fascist RSS organization, is increasingly dismantling democratic principles and cracking down ever more harshly on minorities and opponents.

The report shakes up the narrative that India continues to conform to the image of “the world’s largest democracy” and should, without reservations, be seen by the German federal government as a “partner with shared values.” The India Justice Project calls on the German government to take a clear stand at India’s upcoming UPR proceedings in Geneva on November 10. Germany is urged to ask critical questions about the situation in Chhattisgarh, but also about the systematic repression of minorities and resistance in India.

The report is a detailed account of the shadow report submitted by the India Justice Project, the London Mining Network and other civil society organizations as part of the UPR proceedings.