Mumbai, 23 February 2016
Around a 100 students, teachers, writers, lawyers and activists demonstrated outside CST railway station in Mumbai to protest
1. The strong wave of discrimination-cum-hounding faced by students
(because of their political views of dissent) on campuses across the
country, and the repression that has followed.
2. The recent spate of attacks on activists, journalists and legal aid
workers in Chhattisgarh, the physical attack on Soni Sori being the latest
and most grotesque.
The demonstration expressed solidarity with the rally held in New Delhi as part of the nationwide protest against the killing of Rohit Vemula and other state supported attacks on progressive voices.
Increasing accounts of fake encounters, arrest and unlawful detention of adivasi villagers and increasing militarization in the districts of Bastar have created a climate of state led terror.
22nd February 2016, Chhattisgarh Bhawan, New Delhi: Diverse groups, individuals and organisations have assembled to protest the attack on Soni Sori, tribal activist and AAP leader that have taken place as part of the State oppression that has become commonplace in Chhattisgarh.
With the BJP coming into power at the Centre, Bastar has witnessed a sustained escalation in state violence against the local adivasis through increasing militarization and violence ostensibly to counter Maoism. Along with this, developmental works such as iron ore mining, steel production, railway expansion to ferry goods and raw material is being planned. Multiple security camps have come up to facilitate this work there have also been reports of cancellation of forest rights given to tribals, which is unconstitutional. Continue reading
Sh. Raman Singh,
The Chief Minister,
(Through the Resident Commissioner of Chhattisgarh Bhawan, New Delhi)
Dt. 22nd February, 2016
The attack on Soni Sori is part of a larger campaign of State violence in Bastar; Under the guise of anti-Naxal operations, the security forces are indulging in rape and plunder. Teams of women activists have documented three cases of mass sexual violence in the past three months, where security forces have entered villages in Sukma and Bijapur- stripping women, conducting gangrapes, looting their food supplies, and destroying their homes and granaries. The number of “encounters” is increasing, people are “disappearing” from villages, only to show up in the list of “surrendered” or “arrested” Naxalites several days later as press clippings and testimonies recount. The local police and administration are talking in one voice of “clearing” the area within one year. Continue reading
Delhi, 22 February 2016
There were around 70 people at the protest from WSS, Delhi Support Group, NAPM, human rights groups, women’s organsations, students, teachers, media people and lawyers and members of the Insaf network.
Even as we gathered on the pavement outside Chhattisgarh Bhavan, which was heavily barricaded, the police (CRPF and Delhi Police) began pushing and herding us into a small section of the lane beside the building, using the barricades to cage us in on three sides. A police bus was brought in and parked so as to block off the mouth of the lane. Police and IB people were taking videos and photos.
रायपुर, 21 फरबरी 2016
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Raipur, 21 February 2016
State repression on everyone speaking out against the
atrocities on the adivasis in Chhattisgarh has been
increasing day by day. Journalists, lawyers providing
legal aid and activists who are highlighting issues
like the killing of adivasis in Bastar, fake encounters,
sexual assault and rapes on women are being targeted
and attacked. Last night Soni Sori was attacked with
some acid-like chemical. Lawyers of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group
and a woman journalist have been hounded out of Bastar.
15 organisations along with Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan
came together to protest against such attacks on human
rights defenders in Raipur on the 21st of February, and
took out a rally from Ambedkar Chowk to Jaistambh Chowk.