Tag Archives: JAGLAG

The Blackhole called Bastar: Aritra Bhattacharya

This is a guest post by Aritra Bhattacharya

Unidentified persons attacked tribal leader Soni Sori on February 21, hours after she bid farewell to Shalini Gera and Isha Khandelwal, lawyers at the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group and journalist Malini Subramaniam, when they hurriedly packed their belongings and left Jagdalpur. Over the last few months, they had withstood all forms of harassment and hostility from police officials and pro-police ‘civil society’ organisations in war-torn Bastar. They had been heckled, threatened with dire consequences and targeted via a sustained vilification campaign calling for their ouster from the region on grounds that they were stalling Bastar’s ‘development’.

Beginning 8 February, the pressure intensified. Police first landed at Malini’s house and then JagLag’s residence; they intimidated their landlord and domestic help, kept them in jail for hours together over several days and threatened to implicate them in false cases. Within ten days, Malini and JagLag lawyers had to leave Jagdalpur due to relentless pressure and harassment from the police.

Continue reading The Blackhole called Bastar: Aritra Bhattacharya

Support and stand for Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group: Mohammad Zafar

This is a guest post by MOHAMMAD ZAFAR

We are going into a dangerous situation now. It is that time when we all should come together to work against autocracy, state led atrocities, bullying, dictatorship and authoritarianism and any other form of injustice. We all know about JNU case, role of Lawyers & MLA O. P. Sharma in the shameful acts of abuse and warnings to people who take initiative to speak against atrocities and injustice all-over the country. Now Raman Singh’s model of development has also showed us two shameful cases in Chhattisgarh. One is attack on Tribal activist and AAP’s leader Soni Sori who has faced a lot of humiliation, atrocities and pain but always stood steadfast on her path and is still fighting. And one more case of state-led dictatorship is related to Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group, which is a legal aid group to support tribal people who are facing problems in that region in terms of false cases, fake encounters, etc. for details about its existence see this link of the Hindu’s article (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-group-of-lawyers-trying-bring-law-to-lawless-bastar-region/article7735079.ece) They worked for people facing false charges of Naxalism, against controversial encounters and other issues where there is a need to work hard for giving support to the voice of justice among tribes.

This has become problematic for state and police. They first started annoying them, throwing false allegations against their degrees and eligibility to fight case. When they fought and won against those charges now some organizations (with the support of state officials & police) also warned them to leave that place and said that they are Maoist sympathizers. And now finally they left their landlord’s rented home in Jagdalpur when police pressurized their landlord who (according to one member of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JAGLAG) in an interaction to a reporter) is very good for them and they don’t want to be a problem for him. For further details and mail of a member of JAGLAG see the article in this link.

            We should think again, is it development where state itself making people speechless and generating more mistrust among people for government, where they do violence by their own way and more than that they are even silencing voices of resistance. These officers will get awards by government like Ankit Garg who shamelessly ordered humiliation and sexual abuse of Soni Sori. They want to silence voices like JAGLAG so that they will punish more innocents in the name of Naxalism as they did with Kartam Joga, who because of lot of efforts of Lawyers and activists found a new life after 3 years’ Jail and pain of brutality of Police. They don’t want any voices of resistance because they know their reality will emerge; so they beat people without any reason as they did with Lakhan Lal and broke his legs just for replying “Laal Salaam” in the dead of the night; their shameful act of humiliating Soni Sori in jail in the name of police inquiries is also for the same reasons. In the name of Anti-Naxalism/Maoism they are trying to silence all voices and justifying all their acts as their friends are trying to do in the name of nationalism in other parts of country. We should support now all members of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group and raise this issue on all platforms.