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Stopped from visiting rape victim’s village, Soni Sori threatens fast to death #Vaw

Tribal activist and Chhattisgarh Aam Adami Party leader Soni Sori.— File photo

Tribal activist and Chhattisgarh Aam Adami Party leader Soni Sori.— File photo

Political parties in Chhattisgarh, except the ruling BJP, demand probe.

Tribal activist and Chhattisgarh Aam Adami Party leader Soni Sori on Friday threatened to go on a fast unto death after she was allegedly stopped — by the police and members of former Salwa Judum militia — from visiting the village of a tribal girl in Sukma district who was allegedly raped and killed by policemen.

“The police instigated members of the former Salwa Judum militia to stop me,” Ms. Sori told The Hindu. “They surrounded the rest house in Konta where I was staying with my party workers. They shouted slogans, calling me a criminal and a Maoist sympathiser. The attempt was to stop me from visiting Gumpad village and interacting with family members of [the victim] who was raped, killed and branded a Maoist by the police on June 13. The police told me the situation was spiralling out of hand and that I should not go to Gumpad. From the behaviour of the police, it was clear that [the victim] was raped and killed. Why would they stop me from visiting her village otherwise? We will take this fight to the end. I have decided not to eat anything until I am allowed to visit the village. If [the police] continue to resist, I will give up drinking water too and will go on a fast unto death.”

Demand for probe

All political parties in Chhattisgarh, except the ruling BJP, have demanded a probe into the alleged rape and murder.

“Chhattisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel has formed a 10-member team that will headed by Bastar MLA Lakheswar Baghel. The team will visit the village and submit its report within a week,” said Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi in a press statement.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also demanded a judicial probe into the alleged fake encounter and sexual assault on the tribal girl.

The AAP, meanwhile, filed a PIL in Bilaspur High Court demanding another post-mortem of the victim’s body. AAP Chhattisgarh convener Sanket Thakur told The Hindu , “We have requested the court that the post-mortem should be done by a doctor chosen by the victim’s family and not that of the police. We also requested for the formation of a Special Investigation Team headed by an IPS officer from outside Chhattisgarh and Rs. 20 lakh as compensation for the family of the victim.” The court is likely to hear the AAP leader’s plea on June 20.

Police denial

Sukma SP I. Kalyaan Elesela has denied that the police stopped Ms. Sori from visiting the village.

An officer part of the anti-Maoist operations in Bastar described Ms. Sori’s agitation as “an attempt to create a political base keeping in mind 2018 Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections”.http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/stopped-from-visiting-rape-victims-village-soni-sori-threatens-fast-to-death/article8744155.ece

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