Conflict · Gender · Rights · Sexual violence

How Breastfeeding Women Are Abused In Bastar – And Other Horror Stories

“Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach, boys and men flee into the forests, leaving women to face the brunt of the search. While they all pointedly say they were not raped, their stories of physical abuse are horrific.”

I returned from Bastar, In Chhatisgarh from an assignment to report on issues women face in conflict zones related to their health and safety. While healthcare is as abject in its villages as in many parts of rural India, the over riding narrative in Bastar for women is of sexual violence- used as a weapon of war. While activists and lawyers try to fight these cases, and bring the country’s attention to these crimes committed in the name of national security and the war on left wing extremism, very few of them come to a logical end in the courts. Read here

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