Soni Sori was about to address a huge Adivasi gathering on Saturday but the police meekly arrested her without any notice or prior warning. They arrested her a few hours before the huge meeting and detained here till evening. She was released only after the court granted her bail on Saturday evening. Thousands of people from the villages of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh were about to gather in the meeting.
Linga Kadopi, an Adivasi citizen journalist reported that around 6000 people had already gathered from villages like Sukma, Bijapur, and Dantewada. Several other Adivasi leaders like Manish Kunjam (President – Adivasi Maha Sabha) were also going to address the people and participate in the program.
Soni Sori was about to inform the Adivasis about the freedom of innocent Adivasis from the prisons of Bastar jail. She was also going to speak on the promises of the Congress government that they made to the Adivasis of Chhattisgarh before they formed the government. The Congress government sniffed that their misdoings were about to be revealed which made them arrest the Adivasi leader, the sources said.
BJP had ruled Chhattisgarh for straight 15 years and the fact remains that several Adivasi people from the Bastar region were arrested and the police even exercised impunity on numerous occasions. The Congress government came into power and before the elections, they promised to end this impunity and pledged to work for the security of the Adivasi people. However, after this incident, we can say that even Congress is marching in the footsteps of BJP.
The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Mr. Bhupesh Baghel had also claimed that the previous government had misused their political power and filed false cases on the Adivasis of the Bastar region. He had also set up a committee to probe into these cases again to investigate whether these cases were based on true findings and evidence or not. The Adivasi people hoped that the Congress government would do something for them and that their relatives and friends would soon be freed. However, instead of releasing the innocent Adivasis, the present government seems to be more interested in arresting its leaders.
According to the activists, such arrests have been prevalent in the BJP regime too but they have only increased during this Congress rule. Now that many social activists and Adivasi leaders have started protesting openly against the government, it is up to the people to decide whether the trust they had on this government still exists or not.