Tribal activist and the Aam Adami Party leader Soni Sori has contested claims that a woman Maoist was killed in an encounter near Gumpad forest of Sukma district.
The Inspector General (IG) of Police of Bastar range in Chhattisgarh Mr. S.R.P. Kalluri had issued a statement claiming that a woman Maoist Madkam Hidme was killed in an encounter with a joint team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Special Task Force (STF) near Gumpad forest of Sukma district.
Mr.Kalluri had also claimed that Madkam Hidme was a member of Kistaram area platoon no.8 of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).
But Soni Sori has contested the claims and has alleged that Madkam Bhime, a resident of Gumpad village, was “picked up from her home, raped and killed before being branded as a Maoist”.
“Many villagers from Gumpad and nearby villages came to meet me and told me that Hidme was raped and killed. I also spoke to some of her relatives on phone who also confirmed that she was forcibly taken by the policemen from the village. Some villagers tried to resist but the policemen waved guns at them and scared them away,” Ms. Sori told The Hindu .
“She was taken to the nearby forest and raped. Her relatives also told me that some of her clothes and smashed ornaments were found at a place in the forest. The police then made a propaganda that there was an encounter and a Maoist was killed,” claimed the AAP leader.
Soni Sori also alleged that the police stopped her from visiting the village.
“I tried to visit the village along with my party workers on Wednesday but they (police) deployed their men on the road to stop me. My vehicle was stopped at Dornapal, Errabore and I was asked to go back from Injaram village,” informed the tribal activist who is currently sitting in front of the office of Superintendent of Police (SP), Sukma district.
Sukma SP Mr. I. Kalyaan Elesela, however, denied that the police stopped her from visiting the village.
“She is sitting in front of my office and protesting, but it is not correct that we did not allow her to go to the village. Neither did we deploy force to stop her. I asked her to wait for 20-30 minutes as our forces were moving that way,” informed Mr.Elesela, who was recently posted as Sukma SP.
When asked about the allegations of fake encounter and sexual assault on Madkam Bhime, the SP said, “Sexual assault is not something that you can hide. It will come out in the post-mortem report. If there was sexual assault, then there is no one to save the policemen (involved). We will also inquire into other allegations.”