Shalini Gera, after speaking to Soni Sori on phone
1. Her face is swelling up now, and she is still in pain and unable to open her eyes because of the swelling etc. Her voice is also very muffled.
2. The Maharani District Hospital in Jagdalpur has been converted into a “catonement” – according to the Hindi daily Patrika. Apparently, 150 security men are now guarding the hospital. No one is being allowed to meet Soni – even her close AAP party colleagues are being kept out and she is very upset about it.
3. Her police statement has not been taken yet, she says, which means that an FIR must not have been filed yet? Some tehsildar came to take her statement, but she is not happy about that since she could not open her eyes to read what he has written, and doesn’t trust him to have written it down correctly.
4. She says that when the attackers attacked her, they told her to “stop complaining against the IG, stop raising the issue of Mardum, and if you don’t behave yourself, we will do this to your daughter as well.” She has been trying to register an FIR against the IG of Bastar Range, SRP Kalluri, under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, but has been unsuccessful so far.
Recently, Soni was raising the issue of the fake encounter in Mardum thana in Bastar district, in which Hidma was killed. While the police claim that Hidma was a high-ranking Naxalite (“1 lakh ka inami naxali”) whom they killed after a fierce encounter in the jungles, the entire village claims otherwise and the family of Hidmais witness to the fact that police came late at night to pick him up, and the wife even recalls the name of the police officer who had come to the house. Soni had taken these villagers for a press conference in Raipur, and has been trying to register an FIR in this case as well. Due to this she had been receiving several threats.
5. The same Bastar police force which is accused in the Mardum encounter is now providing her “security” in Jagdalpur. We should ask for her immediate referral to a Raipur hospital. It is also important to note that the same police which failed to provide security to her despite her demands for protection has now cordonned off the the hospital under the garb of security.
She presently needs urgent medical attention and is also fearing for her family and demanding for them to be relocated. Please build pressure on the authorities to refer her to Raipur for medical attention and safeguard her family.
Amit Kataria , Bastar collector, 09425580306
RN Dash, SP, Bastar, +91 9479194003