Soni Sori’s struggle for justice gets solidarity from various parts of the country
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.
Soni Sori is an ordinary school teacher in Chhattisgarh, who chose to think and act independently and refused to go with either the Maoists or the state security forces. However, her cries of being only an ordinary school teacher, albeit with an independent mind, have fallen on deaf ears. She was arrested in Delhi on 4th October 2011 and remanded to police custody of Chhattisgarh police on 7th October 2011 for three days. It was during those three days that she was subjected to heinous violence and sexual torture under the orders of the Superintendent of Police Ankit Garg. Ironically, instead of being suspended, SP Ankit Garg was decorated with the President’s Police Medal of Gallantry on the occasion of the Republic Day earlier this year.
While her tormentor was thus feted, Soni Sori was left to deal with the physical and mental trauma of the torture on her own and even visitors from reputed womens’ groups through out the country, who only wanted to offer her solidarity, were refused permission to meet her in jail. But instead of breaking her spirit, the state only managed to break her silence and Soni Sori wrote at length about the degrading treatment she was subjected to. An appeal before the Supreme Court gave her a partial respite and she was sent to Kolkata for a physical examination, where stones were discovered from her private parts proving the terrible torture that she was subjected to. Chhattisgarh government has not relented and did not even provide her the recommended medical treatment.
Soni Sori is a spirited woman and has been on extended hunger strikes in the jail to push for humane treatment of prisoners. On the occasion of the birth Centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh a post card campaign has been launched where people from across the country will send her post cards to express their solidarity with her struggle for justice.
It should be recalled that Bhagat Singh also used his incarceration to further his political message and nothing could break his spirit.
WSS calls upon everyone to join in this campaign. Post cards were signed in Delhi, Bhopal and Indore today to launch the campaign and were sent to Soni Sori, Central Jail Raipur, Chhattisgarh 492001
- Rejoinder to story on #SoniSori in Indian Express: (IADHRI) (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- #SoniSori on hunger strike after being strip-searched in front of other prisoners (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Soni Sori and Gautam Navlakha Vs. State of Chhattisgarh W.P. (CRL.) 206/2011 (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- “It would have been better if you had given me DEATH PENALTY”- #SoniSori writes from Raipur Prison (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Lingaram Kodopi and Soni Sori: Chhattisgarh’s Prisoners of Conscience (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- “ANYTHING BUT THE TRUTH”-Response to story #SoniSori in Indian Express- WSS (kractivist.wordpress.com)