So-called “white collar naxalites” speak out

At the public meeting in Delhi’s Constitution Club on the evening of 30 January 2017 four people spoke in chilling detail to their picture of daily life in Bastar, their calm voices and unruffled demeanour belying the terrifying scenes they were describing.

The speakers – Bela Bhatia, Soni Sori, Manish Kunjam and Isha Khandelwal – painted a picture of a war zone – a place where ordinary citizens live in terror of being picked up and “disappeared”, or thrown into jail on vague and unspecified charges; where search and combing operations are occasions for pillaging, looting and brutal sexual violence against women and girls; where cold-blooded killings of unarmed villagers are re-packaged as “encounters”…. Those who raise their voices against this reign of terror and seek to bring the perpetrators to justice are targeted by vigilante groups that operate with the support and encouragement of the police, and claim to be acting in the national interest.  Read more

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