Pardhis invite attention towards harassment

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Aug 2017 11:10:18


Staff Reporter,

Police brutality against Pardhi community living in Bhopal is calling for attention. On Friday, women, youth and men of Pardhi community staying in Bhopal organised a press conference under Shahari Mazdoor Sangthan in which they shared photographs and evidences to showcase that how women and men in their families are being allegedly harassed by police with no basic evidence.

Pardhi women residents of Gandhi Nagar said when they were child, they did not know what chapati or rice was. They would just hunt and eat animals or raw fruits and honey that get from the jungle. But it has been over 30 years we have moved to city and still the criminal tag against the tribe is haunting.
‘Criminal tag’ makes us easy target and with no evidence against us false cases are framed by police personnel and we are subjected to third degree torture.

The Pardhi population in Bhopal is mainly confined to Gandhi Nagar, Kotra, Kolar area, Sanjay Nagar. There are around 115 families approximately residing in city who are mainly involved in construction work.

Describing one such incident a youngster said that we are living in city doing labour work to get daily wages but police arrest without any prior notice usually in night which also affects our reputation and we are not taken back in work place. We often lose job as well because of this. Pardhi community representatives from sangh includes Tasveer, Udit, Ayal Bai, Pappy Singh etc. Pallav representative from the sangthan said out of 100 cases framed against them, 60 per cent are false. Ayal Bai says that the students from Pardhi community who are studying in schools also face problem if they wear new T-shirt or seen eating non-veg from street hawkers, they are being questioned for petty thefts by police personnel. They have approached authorities and submitted memorandum during public hearing sessions but no substantial development is seen in this regard.

There is a historical background to the atrocities meted out to the Pardhis. During British era, over 400 tribes in India were labelled as ‘criminal tribes’ through a legislation called the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA). The idea was to bring several tribes living on the fringes of the society and who were perceived to be rebellious by nature under their direct control. Pardhis are one such denotified tribe.