Statement of WSS in response to the attacks on an independent study team in Bastar and local villagers helping them, and a solidarity event in Kolkata
WSS (Women against Sexual Repression and State Violence) strongly condemns two recent incidents of harassment, malicious intimidation and vilification employed by the BJP government and its youth wing, the Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha, to silence critics of the ruling regime’s policies in Bastar. Continue reading
Encountering Injustice : The Case of Meena Khalko
Synopsis – The film looks into an alleged encounter of a 15 year old adivasi girl, Meena Khalkho who lived in Village Karcha of Balrampur district of North Chhattisharh. She was killed by the police who alleged that she was a naxalite. Moving between the electronic news coverage of the incident and testimonies of her parents and other people from her village, the film investigates the claims of the police. Sexual violence, the attempt to suppress the truth of meena’s murder and the impunity of the culprits gradually comes to light. We also get a glimpse into how difficult and long the struggle for justice is in the conflict zones of the country. This film is part of a series of films called Loktantra Hazir Ho produced by the Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS).
Women’s groups condemn president’s medal to Ankit Garg, Soni Sori’s torturer
We are deeply shocked and outraged by the conferring of the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry on Ankit Garg, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. Ankit Garg has been named by the Adivasi school teacher, Ms. Soni Sori, in several letters to the Supreme Court, of ordering and supervising her torture and sexual violence against her, on the night of October 8th, 2011 when she was in his custody at the Dantewada police station. Continue reading
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.
On the 12th-13th January 2012 a women’s group went to Raipur to meet Soni Sori in Central Jail, Raipur. The Superintendent Jail did not allow them to meet her; only the two lawyers were allowed to meet her. The team was shunted around and asked to meet the government officials to get permission. They met the Principal Secretary (Home), DG (Prisons), IG (Prisons), and were sent back by all these officials to the Jail Superintendent, who finally denied permission on grounds of concern for security of Soni Sori and the Women’s Prison, and sections 692 and 695 of the jail manual.
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.
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
Women in Jharkhand Facing Operation Greenhunt
A FACT FINDING REPORT BY WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION (WSS)
To get a copy of the report, click here
In recent times, the state of Jharkhand has been characterized by rapid corporatisation and state interventions like the Operation Greenhunt. In the drive to tap the great mineral wealth in the forests of Jharkhand, tribal people’s lands have come under the attack of companies and their agents. As a result in the last few years, the state has seen a strong upsurge of tribal and peoples resistance movements against this. Set up to curb all forms of peoples resistance, Operation Greenhunt has resulted in incidents of brutal violence against the people of Jharakhand. There have been several reports/ allegations of police and other security forces inflicting violence on villagers during their anti-Maoist operations in areas under Operation Greenhunt, including rape and sexual violence against women. Against this backdrop, a team of women visited the state in November 2010 to look into specific news reports of rapes and get an understanding of the overall situation of women in the Operation Green Hunt areas of Jharkhand, with a specific attention to sexual violence.
This report is a compilation of their findings.