Pune: A delegation of Indian activists and academics presented papers and reports at the ongoing 38th session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission last week. The session has delegates from countries coming forward with human rights issues that they face back home and note them on the international stage.
Anil Sapkal, the Head of the Marathi Department in Mumbai University, presented the papers through the aid of the World Barua Organisation, an international organisation that works for the Buddhist community. The delegates presented 5 papers which document topics ranging from minority issues to atrocities on Dalits.
A paper was presented on the arrest of Chandrashekhar Azad, the activist from Uttar Pradesh, who founded the Bhim Army. He was arrested last year and remains in custody for alleged provocation of violence between the locally dominant Rajput community and the Dalits.
His assertion of the Dalit identity in a resistant manner irked the powerful communities and made him a national icon of Dalit resistance, according to the paper.
The Koregaon-Bhima violence was presented in a report before the commission. The delegates met the special repertoires of the commission and presented their view of the facts about the incident along with various other instances of violence against women and alleged human rights violations that took place in the north eastern parts of the country.
Sangharsh Apte, who is accompanying the delegation in Sweden, claimed that this creates pressure on the government to act for justice. “The delegation has presented a paper about the strike in Ajra village of Kolhapur district where social activists have been facing threats from Gram Panchayats for exposing a corruption scam in the Panchayat expenditure. These reports are recorded by the HRC and are taken up with the permanent mission of the country, which is answerable to the UNHRC,” Apte told Sakal Times on the phone.