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Bastar locals, cops spar on tribal attending funeral

Many locals and Soni Sori, tribal activist and Aam Aadmi Party leader, however, refuted the police version.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Raipur |
May 18, 2016 3:45:33 am

Two days after a tribal woman in a Bastar village died, reportedly after contracting a disease while travelling back and forth to meet her arrested husband in Dantewada in her eighth and ninth months of pregnancy, more controversy was in store for Tuesday. While the district court had approved his visit to their village — Badegudre — to attend his wife Hurre’s last rites, the police claimed there was a Maoist ambush while they were coming back with the husband, Hunga.

Many locals and Soni Sori, tribal activist and Aam Aadmi Party leader, however, refuted the police version. Claiming that there was no firing, they alleged that the police did not allow Hunga to attend the last rites and instead allowed him only a few minutes in the village before whisking him away.

Sori said: “A big police force took Hunga to the village but he was not allowed to even touch his wife’s body. He met the children, but since he was bound he couldn’t touch them either. They whisked him away in half-an-hour.” She claimed the police had “violated” the court’s order because “he was not allowed to stay for the cremation”.

Kamlochan Kashyap, SP, Dantewada, told The Indian Express: “Hunga met his family in the village. There was an ambush when they (policemen) were bringing him back to Dantewada jail.”

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Sori alleged: “Many activists, journalists, villagers and I have used the same route since morning. There was no firing. The police are making up a story of an encounter since they willingly violated court’s order.”

Hunga, along with seven others, were arrested on April 13 for alleged involvement in the IED blast at Malewada that left seven CRPF personnel dead on March 30.

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