Narada News Impact: HC asks UP govt to probe atrocities on Dalits in Dudhwa National Park
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to conduct a thorough inquiry into the atrocities unleashed by the state forest department on Adivasis and other traditional forest-dwellers in Dudhwa national park and submit a report within 3 months.
The atrocities were brought to light by NaradaNews.com’s four-part investigative series in June and July this year. The HC took up the public interest litigation filed by Nagma, a member of the Lakhimpur Kheri district panchayat.
The division bench comprising Justices Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Sanjay Harkauli took up the PIL which details the massive corruption in the forest department.
Instances of encounter killings, custodial torture and deaths, raising and deploying Adivasi vigilante group against Adivasis, illegal felling of trees, the operation of liquor dens inside forests were among other topics raised in the PIL.
The NaradaNews investigative series was presented as important evidence. “It is further pertinent to mention here that the incidents detailed and described above were duly covered in the various news reports, and also formed the basis of a detailed and thorough analysis and an investigative report by the Narada News , an online news portal of national repute, whose team made a visit to the Dudhwa National Park and directly met the aggrieved families and while recording their statements , did come up with a story which was published in 4 parts, dated 28.06.2016, 02.07.2016, 07.07.2016 and 17.07.2016 respectively, a perusal of which in itself sends shivers down the spines of those who read it. The report details out the illegalities and improprieties of the staff of the Dudhwa National Park, who have indulged in the acts of illegality and willful, intentional and deliberate violation of human rights,” the PIL pointed out.