Eminent citizens and groups write an open letter to the Chief Justice of India seeking justice for Soni Sori who is currently under trial in Chhatisgarh. A brief introduction to her case and a link to the letter can be found below.
As you are aware, Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher and warden from Chhattisgarh, is currently facing trial in Chhattisgarh. Accused as a Maoist supporter, despite evidence of her having being framed as one in several cases, she has been in custody in Chhattisgarh for about three and a half months. What has been terribly shocking and perturbing is the fact that while in custody she has been subjected to gross sexual torture, evidence of which has come to light following a Supreme Court directive for medical examination in a government hospital in Kolkata. Compounding her crisis is the fact that despite this damning evidence, Soni Sori has remained in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for all this while.
As the Supreme Court starts its hearing on her case on Monday 25th January, nearly 200 citizens including eminent citizens such as Professor (Retd) Uma Chakravarti, Ms Brinda Karat, Politburo Member CPI(M) and former MP Rajya Sabha, Ms Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Ms Aruna Roy, MKSS, Rajasthan, Ms Madhu Bhaduri, former Ambassador of India, Prof. Veena Shatrugna, retired Deputy Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, Dr Imrana Qadeer, Retd Professor, Ms Farah Naqvi, Activist, Ms Vasanth Kannabiran, Hyderabad, Ms Lalita Ramdas, Ms Githa Hariharan, Writer, Prof. Jayati Ghosh, Dr Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Dr Anand Phadke, Prof (Retd) Anand Chakravarti, along with scores of other doctors, educationists, academicians, students and individuals have written an open letter to the SC. Joining them are 69 civil society groups and organisations working on women’s issues, health issues, civil and democratic rights, and worker’s issues from across the country, such as Saheli, WSS, AIDWA, AIPWA, NFIW, NAPM, NTUI, PUCL, FAOW, SAFHR, SAHAJ, SAHAYOG-UP, Zubaan Books, JADS, Nari Nirjatan Pratirodh Mancha and RTF-Rajasthan.
Together they are urging the Supreme Court `to insulate this victim of custodial sexual assault from her oppressors, ensure her protection after she has spoken out about this torture despite threats to her person and family’, and send out a clear signal that `the rights of citizens will be protected, and that when the police abuses its powers, the judiciary will not stand by in silence’.
This appeal goes out with deep regard and faith that the Constitutional safeguards will be upheld and that justice will prevail.
Read the Open Letter To The Honourable Chief Justice Of India And Honourable Judges Of The Supreme Court Of India, which was handed over to the Supreme Court on the morning of 21st January 2012.