Much of the recent news from the state of Chhattisgarh has been sinister. Journalists, lawyers and activists are being hounded out of the state, and on February 20, two men attacked local human rights activist Soni Sori with an acid-like substance.
Released from the hospital, Sori spoke in public at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, averring her face was the face of the fight in Bastar.
In an interview to Communalism Combat and Newsclick.in (video above), Sori says, “If I wasn’t fighting against what the government is doing in Chattisgarh, my face wouldn't be like this now.”
She speaks about the escalation in violence in the state, about Inspector General Kalluri – who, she says has been provoking attacks and hate against her – and about Mardum, a man accused of being a Maoist and killed by the police despite the entire village contesting that claim.
The real fight in Bastar, Sori says, is for grabbing the land of the adivasis. Since the state can't do so constitutionally, it is labelling adivasis as Naxals and killing them.
“We support the fight against Naxals. Naxalism should end, but that doesn't mean innocent adivasis should be killed for the state to claim we are solving the problem... this is wrong... we are fighting for the cause of the innocent rural adivasis...” she says.