Police visited the residence of freelancer Malini Subramaniam over her writings on issues concerning tribals.

A freelance journalist, Malini Subramaniam, who earlier headed the humanitarian organisation International Committee of The Red Cross [ICRC] in Chhattisgarh, was questioned by the local police for writing on issues concerning the tribals from south Chattisgarh.

Sources told The Hindu that police officers reached her Jagdalpur residence late on Sunday night to ask her “why she visits the forest” and writes on tribal issues. Ms. Subramaniam asked the officials to get in touch with her during regular office hours.

Earlier, a local organisation, floated allegedly by the police in south Chhattisgarh— Samajik Ekta Manch—also asked her to refrain from writing articles on human rights violations in the region.

“About 20 members of the Samajik Ekta Manch reached her place to ask her why she writes against the [atrocities committed by] the police and not against the Maoists,” sources close to Ms. Subramanium told The Hindu.

Ms. Subramanium had recently written a series of articles in a digital news portal questioning the routine arrests of the journalists in Bastar Division in south Chhattisgarh.

She has also extensively reported on alleged fake surrenders and use of “rape” as an strategy to overpower the tribals in the area. Her and other journalists’ investigation led to a probe by National Human Rights Commission [NHRC].

Earlier as the chief of ICRC in south Chhattisgarh, she set up two of the best medical clinics deep inside the Maoist-dominated villages of Bijapur and Sukma district. The Hindu visited one of the clinics which were known for “comprehensive health care support” to the villagers. The project was lauded by the officials of the State’s Health Department.

The work of ICRC was even commended by Chief Minister Raman Singh.

Later, however, the humanitarian organisation was asked to leave south Chhattisgarh. As the ICRC was asked to leave the State, the Government of India officials told The Hindu that the presence of ICRC in south Chhattisgarh “could have turned the [Naxal] conflict into an international conflict.” Ms. Subramanium left ICRC to settle in Jagdalpur to work among the tribals. Later she started reporting from the area.

The district police could not be reached on phone for comments.