Stopped from visiting victim’s village, Soni Sori threatens to fast unto death

June 17, 2016 08:38 pm | Updated October 18, 2016 02:23 pm IST - NAGPUR:

Adivasi activist and AAP leader Soni Sori

Adivasi activist and AAP leader Soni Sori

Tribal activist and the Aam Adami Party (AAP) leader in Chhattisgarh Soni Sori threatened to go on fast unto death on Friday after she was allegedly stopped by the police and members of former Salwa Judum militia from visiting the village of a >tribal girl in Sukma district who was allegedly raped and killed by the policemen.

“Members of former Salwa Judum militia were instigated by the police to stop me. They surrounded the rest house in Konta where I was staying with my party workers. They were shouting slogans calling me a criminal and a Maoist sympathiser. The attempt was to stop me from visiting Gumpad village and interact with the family members of Madkam Hidme who was raped, killed and branded as a Maoist by the police on June 13,” Ms.Sori told The Hindu .

“The police then told me that the situation was getting out of hand and that I should not go to Gumpad village. From the behaviour of the police, it is clear that Hidme was raped and killed. Why would they stop me from visiting her village otherwise? But we will take this fight to the end. I have decided not to eat anything until I am allowed to visit Hidme’s village. If they (police) continue to resist, I will give up water also and would go on fast unto death,” stated the Tribal activist.

All political parties in Chhattisgarh, except the ruling BJP, have demanded probe into Hidme’s alleged rape and murder. The Congress party formed a 10-member team, including four MLAs, which will go to Gompad village to meet the grieving villagers.

“Chhattisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel has formed a 10-member team to be headed by Bastar MLA Lakheswar Baghel. The team will visit the village and submit its report within a week,” said Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi in a press statement.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also demanded judicial probe of the alleged fake encounter and sexual assault on the tribal girl. sThe AAP on Friday filed a PIL in Bilaspur high court demanding repeat post-mortem of the victim's dead body.

“We have requested the court that the post-mortem should be done by a doctor chosen by the victim’s family and not that of the police. We also requested for the formation of a Special Investigation Team headed by an IPS officer from outside Chhattisgarh and Rs.20 lakh compensation for the family of the victim,” the AAP Chhattisgarh convener Mr.Sanket Thakur told The Hindu . The court is likely to hear the AAP leader’s plea on June 20.

Sukma SP I.Kalyaan Elesela has denied that the police stopped Ms.Sori from visiting the village.

An officer involved in anti-Maoist operations in Bastar called Soni Sori’s agitation as “an attempt to create a political base keeping in mind 2018 Chhattisgarh assembly election”.

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