Chhatisgarh  tribal  encounter  fake  Markam Hidme  Soni Sori  AAP  High Court

Special Correspondent

Bhopal/Bilaspur: The Bilaspur High Court in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday directed fresh postmortem on the body of Madkam Hidme, the woman dubbed Maoist and killed in an ‘encounter’ by security personnel in Naxal-infested Sukma of Bastar region on June 13.

Activists have alleged that Hidme was abducted and gang-raped before being killed. The killing was then covered up as an encounter, they have charged.

The state convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Sanket Thakur had filed public interest litigation (PIL) in High Court seeking constitution of a special investigative team (SIT) to probe the matter and fresh postmortem.

Hearing the PIL on Tuesday, a division bench of Bilaspur High Court asked the state authorities to exhume the body of Hidme and conduct a fresh postmortem. The report of postmortem is to be submitted in High Court by Monday (June 27).

The postmortem, court has ordered, would be conducted in presence of lawyers, forensic team and kin of Hidme.

The ‘encounter’ had occurred in Sukma on June 13. The police had claimed that Hidme was a member of a platoon of Maoists and was killed in an encounter in the forests of Gompad.

Activists however said that the victim was picked up by security personnel who sexually assaulted her and later claimed that she was a Naxalite.

The local residents were angry and refused to conduct last rites. Activists said that the police were not allowing people including and activists to go to the area and meet villagers in order to ascertain the truth surrounding the ‘encounter’.

The matter was taken up forcefully by activists on social media, forcing mainstream media to follow. AAP leaer Soni Sori had started a protest to demand a fair probe in the issue.