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Activists like Aruna Roy, Jean Dreze write to PM demanding medical attention for Soni Sori


30 APR, 2012, 12.14PM IST, M RAJSHEKHAR,ET BUREAU

: Over 250 activists, academics, intellectuals and democratic institutions have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh demanding that medical attention be immediately provided to Adivasi school teacher, , who is currently in custody in RaipurCentral Jail.

NAC members Aruna Roy, Jean Dreze and Harsh Mander, poet Meena Kandaswamy and film-maker Anand Patwardhan are amongst the signatories to the letter. The text of the open letter is appended below:
To,
Shri , Prime Minister of India
Shri , Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the rapidly worsening health of Soni Sori in Raipur Central Jail. She has been passing blood with her urine, is having difficulty to sit or get up, and has lost considerable weight.

Despite doctors from NRS Medical Hospital having confirmed that stones had been inserted into her vagina and rectum, Soni Sori has received no proper medical attention.We fear for Soni’s life and are outraged and ashamed at this inhuman treatment of a woman in .
Soni Sori, 35, is an adivasi school teacher from Dantewada who was arrested in New Delhi on Oct 4 2011. Six months have passed since Soni was tortured physically and sexually but neither the state nor the central government has investigated the abuse.

Her case has been repeatedly listed up in the Supreme Court but has been postponed every time. Throughout the duration of Soni Sori’s imprisonment, the state has also tried to stifle her communications with the civil society. In January this year, a team from various women’s groups across the country went to Raipur Jail to meet Soni, but they were prevented from doing so by the administration.

The brutal treatment meted out to Soni Sori, and the prevailing situation of conflict and repression in , cause us grave concern about Soni in particular, and the situation of women prisoners, in general.

We demand immediate access for fact-finding groups to meet with Soni Sori and others to assess their condition in jail, particularly their medical situation. We fear that Soni Sori’s condition is rapidly deteriorating, and demand that she receive immediate medical attention.

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