After the visit the team was accused of spreading dissent against security agencies and supporting the ’Maoists’. The statement by the state home minister Ram Sewak Paikra in the Times of India reportedly calling the three reputed Delhi based academicians ‘anti-nationals’ and ‘Maoist’ is part of a recent and explicit trend to stifle the freedom of expression and movement through a state crackdown on political dissent. The threat of an FIR and further harassment looms large. The local contacts, escorts and villagers who hosted the team are being harassed and intimidated by the Police in order to fabricate evidence and ensure that they help no other study team in the future.
The Press Release by the team clearly indicts both the Chhattisgarh state and Maoist violence and reveals how ordinary Adivasis, struggling for a dignified existence and protesting against the violation of basic rights have little space to voice genuine grievances.
This is the latest in a long line of actions to criminalize dissent, free expression and movement, and stifle fair reportage of events which have become hallmarks of the Chhattisgarh government.
We appeal to all democrats to condemn this brazen attempt at intimidation by the State and its Security Agencies.
Bishnupriya Dutt, (JNU)
Ranjani Mazumdar, (JNU)
Surinder Jodhka, JNU)
Neeladri Bhattacharyya, (JNU)
Jaivir Singh, (JNU)
Vivek Kumar, (JNU)
Sachidanand Sinha, (JNU)
Continue reading Sahmat statement on intimidation and threats to scholars and activists