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Bastar officials tell Soni Sori that her house could be demolished

A day after a legal aid group of lawyers and a freelance journalist were asked to vacate their houses in Jagdalpur district headquarters of restive Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, two more human rights activists were allegedly hounded by the police on Friday.

Tribal activist and Aam Admi Party leader Soni Sori was “informed” by the Dantewada district civic authorities that her house in Geedam town of the district could be demolished.

“They came to my house and told me that my house is on an encroached land and it could be demolished in an encroachment clearing drive,” Ms. Sori told The Hindu.

The police also visited the residence of Bela Bhatia, a researcher who had been a part of many fact-finding teams which investigated recent cases of excesses by the security forces in Bastar.

Ms. Bhatia could not be reached for her comment but Isha Khandelwal, a lawyer from Jagadalpur legal aid group, said that the police questioned her landlord.

Malini Subramanium, a freelance journalist and former head of the International Committee of Red Cross in Chhattisgarh, left Bastar on Friday.

Asked about the happenings, Bastar police head S.R.P. Kalluri told a press conference in Raipur:“I personally went to Ms. Subramaniuam’s place after the alleged attack on her house. About the legal aid group, the local bar association has got some issues with them that the people from outside are coming to Bastar and working here, when the locals are unemployed.”

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Printable version | Feb 16, 2020 9:08:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bastar-officials-tell-soni-sori-that-her-house-could-be-demolished/article8258652.ece

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