Fourth Day of Hunger Fast, Soni Sori to Continue Protest in Raipur

Chhatisgarh High Court is hearing a PIL filed by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) against the alleged brute encounter killing of Madkam Hidme from Gompad

On the fourth day of her fast unto death in protest against the brutal killing of an Adivasi young woman, Madkam Hidme (falsely termed Maoist by the authorities), Soni Sori has resolved to carry the protest to Raipur, the Chhatisgarh state capital tomorrow. Meanwhile the sheer brutality of the ‘encounter’ of the young Adivasi woman has caused widespread outrage and unrest in the village of Gompad and around. Speaking to Sabrangindia, Soni Sori said that the sheer brutality of the killing –chopping of the girls nose and ears and other bodily parts—was worse than or matched the Nirbhaya rape and killing taht shook the nationwhen and after it took place on December 16, 2012.
Soni’s protest fast started on June 15 is against the police and administration for not allowing her to visit the village. Meanwhile she has collected photographs of the gruesome killing that will be available shortly.  Sabrangindia had initially reported on this killing on June 15.”How many more deaths will it take before we accept that too many people have died: Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile, the Aam Admi Party has filed a petition in tge Chhatisgarh High Courtseeking a SIT and judicial probe into Madkam Hidme encounter. The Aam Aadmi Party has filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court seeking the formation of an SIT, consisting of officers from outside the state, and a judicial inquiry into the death of Madkam Hidme, who was allegedly killed in an encounter in Sukma on June 13.

Soni Sori has maintained over the past three days that they have been prevented “from visiting Gombad village on one pretext or another which shows that the state government has something to hide”. Sori said Friday that she and other members of the AAP team that had sought to go to Gompad were forced to return after the “administration engineered a protest”.“For the past three days, they have been doing one thing after another to prevent us from going. Around noon, a group of people, at least a hundred, came to the circuit house where we were waiting and started raising slogans. Instead of controlling the crowds, the police told us that they would not be able to handle it and the best thing for us was to leave Konta. It is clear that the government is hiding what has happened in Gompad. I will now take this fight to Raipur and hold a demonstration there after speaking to other AAP members. I have been on a fast and I will not break it,” Sori said.

In the petition to the High Court, AAP state convenor Sanket Thakur, who is the petitioner, has taken note of a photograph of Hidme’s body, raising doubts over the seeming contradiction of the police claim that she was killed in an encounter as her uniform was “nearly spotless”. Thakur has filed a petition in court demanding that it call for all case-related documents. He has also demanded that a case of murder and rape be registered.

“We have also asked for setting up of an SIT of officers from outside Chhattisgarh and a judicial inquiry into the matter,” Thakur said.

When contacted by The Indian Express, D M Awasthi, Special DG (Anti-Naxal Operations), said, “I have spoken to the Sukma SP and have told him to go to the spot. It is his moral duty to inquire into what happened. As far as Soni Sori or anyone else who wants to go, I have conveyed that nobody can be stopped as far as the Indian Constitution is concerned. They can go and visit the spot. If everything is right, there is no harm in people visiting.”
 On June 15 we had reported:
Soni Sori, Adicasi woman leader and other members of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) party are right now on dharna outside the Sukma collectorate against the recent incident of Rape and Fake Encounter of Madkam Hidme, a young girl from Gompad village. Speaking to Sabrangindia at 11.30 p.m. Sonio Sori said that they would sleep out there and not leave the spot until the team is allowed to go in.
On June 13, the Sukma police announced a successful encounter where a woman Maoist, Madkam Hidme, was killed in an encounter close to village Gompad, Konta Tehsil, Sukma district. Villagers called up Soni Sori and her lawyers yesterday complaning that the 'official' account was incorrect and that Madkam Hidme was not a Naxalite, but a villager, picked up from her home, gang raped by the police and then killed, with the body then callously returned to the villagers. Today, June 15, a fact-finding team on behalf of the AAP, led by Soni Sori tried to visit the village to investigate the allegations. 
On a legitimate citizen's mission, the team was stopped and harassed at four different camps on the way, finally they were stopped and held for almost hours at the Injeram Camp on various excuses, just 10 km short of the village.  Soni Sori and others thereafter returned back to Sukma in the evening to meet the collector and SP. But no one was available at their office. ASP, Sukma Mr. Santosh Singh met the team and told them that they cannot be allowed inside without personnel from the security forces. The team then asked them to send some personnel's with them, ASP said no one was available and so they can;t be allowed to visit the village. 
While the police is reluctant to afford even a basic degree of transparency to a leader like Soni Sori and her team, villagers on the other hand are willing to talk and are waiting with the body of the girl for the team or journalists to come and talk to them and see for themselves. In protest, Soni Sori and others have decided to camp/do a dharna at the collectorate itself until they are allowed to go in.  That is where they are, past midnight, waiting and protesting.



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