B Bhatia has worked for several years in Bastar, Chhattisgarh that is affected by Maoist violence.
BASTAR: An activist was threatened in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar today by some 30 men who allegedly barged into her home and gave her 24 hours to leave. Bela Bhatia, a researcher and social activist, was allegedly told by the goons that she would be killed and her home would be burnt down if she didn’t leave immediately.
According to whats app message from her-.’I have been attacked by a mob of 30 or so men who came in a white bolero-type vehicle and mobikes. This was the beginning. Later it became big and ugly. They threatened their way inside the house. They said I would have to leave the house immediately or they would burn the place. Somehow I persuaded them to allow me to change and that I would leave the house right then. I managed to call the collector and alert him to what was happening. I locked the house and came out. They had got the landlady to come out and were threatening her that she must see to it that I move out immediately. I kept reassuring them that I would asap. That my landlord and his sons had been called to the thana yesterday. And that they have already communicated to me that I must leave. They were very belligerent and kept threatening to break the lock and burn. The sarpanch had come by then and was watching. After about half hour police arrived from Parpa than a including the thanedar. The belligerence of the mob continued.’
“Bela agreed to leave and pleaded for time – a few days. They refused and wanted her to leave immediately. Eventually they agreed to give her 24 hours to leave.
Ms Bhatia has worked for several years in Bastar, a part of Chhattisgarh that is severely affected by Maoist violence. She has alleged threats ever since she helped tribal women allegedly raped by security personnel file police cases in 2015.