South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

An open letter, countersigned by 125 nationally recognized human rights defenders such as economist A.K. Shiva Kumar, writer Arundhati Roy, lyricist Javed Akhtar and several other journalists, editors, has been released to media demanding the restoration of law and order in Bastar as per Indian constitution.

The letter seeks to facilitate the free movement of human rights activists in the Maoist-infested area of Bastar, where activist Dr Bela Bhatia was recently assaulted and asked to vacate her room by a group of goons.


A belligerent group comprising 30 miscreants had barged into her house in Parpa village (outside Jagdalpur), threatened to burn it, and asked her to leave within 24 hours or face the consequences. The letter highlighted these issues so that the violators could be dealt with.

Dr Bhatia helped a team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate local women’s complaints of sexual violence and record their statement, which didn’t go down well with her alleged attackers.

The attack on Scroll journalist Malini Subramaniam compelled BBC Journalist Alok Putul and JAGLaG Lawyers to leave Bastar. Former CPI MLA Manish Kunjam office whose press conference was disrupted and was tagged as a Naxal supporter and threatened of life consequences.

Tribal Journalist Lingaram Kodapi who was tortured in prison and numerous other such cases were highlighted in the open letter demanding such brutality and oppression be stopped in Bastar immediately.

Updated On: January 31, 2017