JagLAG however says that the intimidation has been going on for a while now.

Lawyers fighting police atrocities in Bastar allege they are being forced to leave
news Violence Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 18:02

Days after Scroll contributor Malini Subramaniam at Bastar in Chattisgarh came under pressure from local groups and the police following to her reportage on police atrocities, Isha Khandewal, the lawyer representing Malini and a member of legal aid group JagLAG, says they are being forced to leave Jagdalpur.

 JagLAG (Jagdalpur Legal Aid group), a non-profit that has been providing free aid to tribal communities in south Chhattisgarh’s five Naxal-affected districts, chose to legally represent Malini Subramaniam following a physical assault on her property in Bastar on February 8.

In an email release on Thursday, Isha Khandelwal of JagLAG wrote, “Late last night, police visited our landlord - who is a driver by profession, and took him away to the police station. He was kept there till wee hours of this morning, and dropped back in a police vehicle; his car having been impounded.  Our badly shaken landlord informed us at 2:00 am this morning that he has no option but to ask us to vacate our house and office within a week.”

“Our landlord's car is still in the police station, as he struggles with another day of bewilderment. At the time of writing, even Malini's husband, Ashim, is being held inside the police station and not being let out,” she writes further.

Speaking to The News Minute, SP of Bastar RN Dash said that he was not aware of what was happening, and that he does not want to answer questions. When asked if the police was targeting JagLAG, he said that he does not know and cannot answer such questions.

The house of Malini Subramaniam was attacked in the wee hours of February 8 by unknown assailants, with stones being hurled at her car. The police have refused to file an FIR even as the threat to her remained imminent, according to her lawyer.

JagLAG however says that the intimidation has been going on for a while now.

“Things have been rocky for us in Jagdalpur for a while now.  For a year and a half now, we are being hounded out by the local police.  From giving thinly veiled threats at press conferences that the police are closely monitoring NGOs providing "legal aid to Naxalites", to informing our clients that the police are about to arrest us for our Naxalite activities, to claiming before visiting journalists and researchers that we are merely a "Naxalite front", various officials of the police have been out to get us,” the release said.


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