Today, responding to a petition appealing for the transfer of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with Chhattisgarh High Court to Supreme Court filed by two Adivasi women – Suneeta Pottam, Munni Pottam and WSS organization, the Supreme Court has listed the next hearing on February 5. The apex court will also consider whether to link the case with the Salwa Judum petition (Nandini Sundar and Ors vs. the State of Chhattisgarh) on that day.
The petitioners have also appealed the court to provide protection from the Chhattisgarh police authorities whom they have alleged of harassment for complaining against the state home department.
Though the Chhattisgarh High Court has earlier issued an interim order in regard to this, however, the petitioners have claimed that despite the order, the police authorities are harassing them which made them approach the apex court. Talking to media on Tuesday, Suneeta Pottam told that she was threatened by the police forces for fighting the case.
The PIL challenges the extra-judicial executions of six people which took place in the villages of Kadenar, Palnar, Korcholi and Andri in Bijapur district in 2016.
Nandini Sundar and Ors vs. the State of Chhattisgarh case is pending with the Supreme Court to be placed for further proceedings on February 10. The case challenges the policies taken up by Chhattisgarh government in its counter-insurgency operations which resulted in violence against innocent tribals in the state. It was in this case that the Supreme Court declared that the Salwa Judum policy as unconstitutional, although after a terrible violence meted upon the tribes living in Bastar division.
Nandini Sundar, a Delhi University Professor along with historian Ramachandra Guha and former civil servant E.A.S. Sarma had filed the PIL against Salwa Judum in 2007 with the Supreme Court.
Suneeta Pottam (19 years old) and Munni Pottam (18 years old) are the residents of Korcholi village in Bijapur district of the state. They have earlier claimed that their houses and villages were burnt down in the violence of Salwa Judum in 2005, as a result, they had to discontinue their education. Currently, both of them work as coolies in stone quarries in order to make their living.