It has been one year since the arrest of 36-year old Soni Sori, an adivasi school warden from Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, and her custodial torture at the behest of the then SP of Dantewada, Ankit Garg. Soni Sori’s right to life and dignity have been violated by various jail and police authorities several times over – from foisting false cases against her, sexually torturing and humiliating her in the police station, denying her medical attention, and most recently, humiliating her by publicly stripping her in prison in the name of conducting physical search.
We approached the National Commission for Women on several occasions to take steps against Soni Sori’s custodial torture and continuing ill treatment. Every single instance of illegality by police and jail authorities was brought to the attention of the National Commission for Women (NCW). Soni Sori herself wrote to the NCW seeking their help. But all this has fallen on deaf ears.
The time is NOW !
get a postcard, write your message, post it, mobilise others to do the same
On the occasion of the birth centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a post card campaign has been launched for people to express their solidarity with Soni Sori and her struggle for justice. WSS calls upon everyone to join in this campaign. Post cards were signed in Delhi, Bhopal and Indore today to launch the campaign.
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) has launched a solidarity campaign for Soni Sori incarcerated in Raipur jail for the past one year under false charges of being a Maoist engaged in extortion and violence.
In two of the eight cases fabricated against her by the Dantewada police, Soni Sori has already been acquitted. In a third significant case in which she, her husband and her nephew Lingaram Kodopi are all charged and imprisoned, the key eye witness, Avadhesh Gautam, has given vital testimony on 27th September 2012, confirming that none of these three were present at the incident site. This corroborates what Soni Sori has been saying all this while, that the Chhattisgarh police have been foisting all these false cases against her and her family, merely in order to harass and punish them for refusing to obey the illegal diktats of the Chhattisgarh police. Continue reading
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), condemns the assault on three women under-trials, Angela Sontakey, 42, Sushma Ramteke, 22, and Jyoti Chorghe,19, in the Mumbai District Women’s Prison in Byculla. Continue reading
“… it is not my suffering alone … there are many other women prisoners suffering … like me, they were hunted and brought here, and then charged in false cases. (Every) day people introduce me to new stories of their sufferings … They tell me that they were not able to fight back because there was no one to support them … After hearing their stories of torture, my own suffering appears small… (you) have to do something for these women also … my struggle is not my struggle alone, but it has become everyone’s struggle”
–From the letters of Soni Sori from prison, November 2011
ALL INDIA MEETING ON WOMEN PRISONERS & CUSTODIAL VIOLENCE
31ST MARCH 2012: 9.30 AM – 6.00 PM
GANDHI PEACE FOUNDATION, DELHI
(Click here to see the Programme for 31st March)
UPHOLD THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN IN STRUGGLE
Let us on this historic day reaffirm our commitment to:
- Resist the increasing assault on people’s land, other resources, livelihoods and lives
- Fight the increasing sexual assault in society at large, especially on women in mass struggles
- Rescue March 8 from the cacophony created by media, corporates and government to fearlessly forge ahead in the struggle for the liberation of all women
On this day, in 1857, women workers in the textile and garment industries in New York went on strike to protest against unfair wages, 12 hr working days, sexual harassment in the workplace and other inhuman working conditions. One of the first recorded strikes by women workers, they were fired upon by police and brutally repressed. Women’s participation in struggles increased subsequently across the world. So has the repression of the Indian state like many other countries, especially in the era of neo-liberal reforms.
The crushing of dissent is making more women step forward in India. Whether to protect forests or rivers, a dwelling place or land, the future of children or safety of the elderly, source of livelihood or the right to dignity, women across the country are in the forefront of these struggles in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and other states.