On 24th January, 2017 a demonstration and Hall meeting was organized by the INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE’S LAWYERS (IAPL) in Mumbai to mark the “International Day of the Endangered Lawyer”. A fact finding report by IAPL (see attachment) “on the attack of Lawyers in Chhattisgarh” was released by Advocate Mihir Desai. While releasing the report, Advocate Desai mentioned that though the other speakers would speak on the situation in Chhattisgarh, such attacks were also happening in other places in the country like Kashmir. Advocate Shalini Gera from the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JagLAG) spoke extensively on the way lawyers in Bastar have been targeted and threatened by the Police and its agents. She highlighted the recent attack on social activist and researcher Bela Bhatia. The JagLAG has been representing tribals in numerous fabricated criminal cases and has also been taking up cases of fake encounters and rapes committed by the para-militiary forces. It has been for these reasons that they continuously targeted by the police administration in Bastar. Advocate Raghunath from Telangana spoke about the arrest of lawyers and other democratic rights activists in December 2016. They remain incarcerated in Sukma Chhattisgarh) prison.
The fact finding report is reproduced below for our readers –