Following the arrest of a journalist in Bastar for alleged Maoist links, Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Bhagel on Friday hit out at the Raman Singh government, saying there was a reign of “administrative terror” in the state. He said the authorities were not being transparent and laws like the Chhatisgarh Public Safety Act were being “openly misused”.
“Under this BJP government, the situation is becoming increasingly difficult. It is clear that there is an attempt to throttle the voices of journalists in Bastar and in other places as well. The state government doesn’t answer any questions that are not acceptable to it,” Bhagel said.
Journalist Santosh Yadav was arrested on September 29 on charges of working for Maoists, and was charged under sections of the Chhatisgarh Public Safety Act and Arms Act. The arrest caused uproar among the journalist community, with many pointing to a lack of transparency in the exact charges against Yadav.
On the police’s claim that two members of the CPI(Maoist) had willfully surrendered with their weapons in Raipur earlier this week, Bhagel said: “It is for you to decide if this is a plausible theory (the two travelled from Bastar to Raipur with weapons to surrender). The larger point is that the Chhatisgarh Police is currently capable of doing anything. There is administrative terror in the state, and an open misuse of laws. People here have lost all sense of individual freedom.”