Please endorse the statement.
We strongly condemn the brazen act of intimidation directed at Bela Bhatia at her house in Parpa village, Jagdalpur. Clearly, this middle of the night attack is aimed at making Bela abandon her human rights work in the area and quit Parpa.
Many other journalists, lawyers and activists who have dared to highlight the issue of state’s excesses have similarly been forced out of the district. Malicious violence and acts threatening life and liberty have been carried out by an out of order executive, with the active assistance of state sanctioned private militias. This has led to a complete ceassation of the activities of civil society in this Naxalite affected part of Chhattisgarh. It is imperative that the district administration upholds the rule of law in these areas and provides prompt redress to all those who have faced the recent spate of attacks. We demand that the state government takes responsibility of securing the fundamental rights of Bela Bhatia to reside at a place of her choice and discharge her professional responsibilities as an activist, lawyer and academic without fear. This is the least that the country can do on Republic Day 2017, to uphold constitutional promises.
Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh and MKSS
Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Village Devdungri, Post Barar
District Rajsamand 313341
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