Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher, was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police under false charges of being a Maoist in October, 2011. While in custody, she was brutally tortured and sexually assaulted. As physical evidence about her torture is mounting, Soni is being pushed into an extremely precarious position. Act now for her release! Speak up against police violence and impunity!
Soni Sori is an adivasi school teacher and the warden of a government-run school for tribal children in Jabeli, Dantewada. In this war-torn district of Chhattisgarh, this was one of the few schools still operational in the countryside, till the Chhattisgarh police forced her to flee from Dantewada in early September 2011. Soni Sori has been harassed by the Dantewada police for more than a year now. The Chhattisgarh police tried to extra-judicially execute her, apprehensive that she possessed evidence to prove that false cases have deliberately been lodged against her. Fearing for her life, she fled to Delhi to seek legal help and expose the police atrocities.
A recent medical examination ordered by the Supreme Court at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkatta found stones inserted in her vagina and rectum. Medical reports submitted to the court three days after her arrest show she sustained a contusion in the occipital region of her head caused by a “hard and blunt object”, and that she had tenderness in the sacrum of her back, and blackened fingers – the latter being a classic sign of electrocution. In a recent letter to the Supreme Court, she has stated in clear terms that she had been stripped, electrocuted and tortured. The evidence points to her having been tortured in custody in complete violation of her constitutional rights and any standard of decency.
Soni Sori was arrested in Delhi on October 4th 2011, before she could initiate legal action. Fearing vengeance from the police, whose workings she had exposed before the media in Delhi, she pleaded with the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Saket District Court, and the Delhi High Court for permission to stay in Delhi for an additional few days till she could file her petition in the Supreme Court. However, she was remanded to the custody of Chhattisgarh Police by the courts, albeit with explicit directions to the Police to ensure her safety and an order that a report be filed before the Delhi High Court, outlining steps taken to keep her safe.
In spite of this, the Chhattisgarh police brutally tortured her for the two days she was in their custody. As physical evidence about her torture is mounting, she is being continuously pressured to withdraw her allegations, and her entire family is now being harassed by the Chhattisgarh police, and being prevented from accessing her.
Considering the impunity with which the Chhattisgarh police has behaved so far, Soni Sori is in an extremely precarious situation as long as she is in proximity of this police force. It is imperative that Soni Sori be immediately removed from their territory of power as early as possible, and her family be given protection from any retribution meted out by the police.
Find more information about Soni Sori and the continuing harrassment by the Chhattisgarh Police, here
The video below shows Soni Sori after she had been “interrogated” by the police on 10th October 2011 in Dantewada district hospital
The video below is a newsreport that covers the arrest of soni sori and the testimony of her father