A PUCL member’s house here was raided on Monday by the Chhattisgarh Police in search of a woman allegedly involved in Maoist activities in Dantewada, drawing sharp reaction from human rights activists, who condemned the action as “illegitimate”.
The team of Chhattisgarh Police raided the house of Kavita Srivastava, PUCL secretary, early in the morning in search of Soni Sodhi, allegedly involved in Maoist activities.
“The raid was conduced with assistance of local police at Kisan Marg, Barkat Nagar locality. The Chhattisgarh Police team was carrying a search warrant and intelligence input that the woman they were searching for was being shielded in her house,” a police officer said.
“It was also suspected that the Naxal may be armed, so additional forces assisted the team. However, they did not find the woman and returned,” he said.
He said four cases under the Explosive Act and other laws were lodged against the woman.
Ms. Srivastava, however, said the search was carried out in an illegal manner as her sister who was present at the house at the time of the action was not shown any document. It was an “outrageous” act, she said.
She told a press conference that she was being targeted by both State governments for defending human rights and threatened to legally challenge the police action.
“I am being targeted because I have supported the struggle for human rights in Chhattisgarh and the rest of India. I do not know any such woman Naxalite who was being looked for in my house by the police,” she said.
Condemning the raid as “illegitimate”, activists including Aruna Roy, Binayak Sen and Jean Dreze said the action was to intimidate activists and to muzzle voices of dissent.