Tribal activist and Aam Adami Party (AAP) leader Soni Sori has accused Bastar police of implicating “wrong and innocent” people in connection with the attack on her father by suspected Maoists in 2011.
Around 30 to 35 armed Maoists had attacked Soni Sori’s father Mundararam Sori at his home in Badebedema village of Dantewada district of Bastar on June 14, 2011 for “spying for police” and had also looted Rs. 42 lakh.
Three days ago, Bastar police arrested Sodi Baman and Sodi Payake from Koyanlara Fulpad village in connection with the case. Bastar police claimed that both the accused were named by Mr. Sori in his FIR.
“Sodi Baman and Sodi Payake are innocent tribals. Both of them are our relatives and had no role to play in the attack on my father. Former Maoist Badaru, who surrendered before police last year, was the main conspirator of the attack. Badaru had shot my father in the leg. But police have rewarded Badaru by giving him a job in the police department,” Soni Sori told The Hindu.
The tribal teacher in Dantewada district also claimed that Sodi Baman and Sodi Payake were not arrested from their village, but were asked to come to the police station for some inquiry.
“They were asked to come to Kuwakonda police station for three days consecutively on the pretext of some inquiry. On the fourth day, police took them into custody,” alleged Ms. Sori.
However, Bastar police have denied Soni Sori’s allegations. “Her father had named around 14 Maoists including these two accused. We managed to nab them three days ago. We have a signed FIR by her father,” claimed Bastar Inspector General of Police S.R.P. Kalluri.
But Ms. Sori claimed that her father was an illiterate and could hardly manage to write his name. “My father had given specific names. Badaru had been harassing him even before the incident. But Badaru has been provided police protection now rather than being tried for the case,” she pointed out.
But Mr. Kalluri opined that Ms. Sori was making the allegations against police “under some pressure”.
The AAP leader who had contested 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Bastar seat, said that she would address a press conference with her father in a couple of days and would produce “proof” to the media.