Indian State honours monster - Justice for  #SoniSori #Vaw

Feb 15, 2013, 03.47AM IST TNN

RAIPUR: It feels like a ray of light in a darkened past and the pessimistic-looking future of Soni Sori, the 36-year-old frail adivasi teacher in Chhattisgarh, after her brutal custodial torture that shows the rotten side of our state machinery. She has been acquitted in a case filed against her and 19 others of opening fire and using explosives to blast the vehicles of Essar Steel. Her lawyers now plan to move the high court for her bail in other cases pending against her.

“With this acquittal, Sori has been discharged from four out of eight cases registered against her by the Dantewada police in connection with almost all the Naxal-related incidents that took place in the region between July 7, 2010 and September 2011,” her laywer K K Dubey told TOI on phone from Dantewada. “The case of the prosecution collapsed like a pack of cards,” Dubey added.

Dantewada additional sessions judge Anita Dehariya on February 12 acquitted Sori as none of the witnesses could come forward with any statement to link her with a case that was registered against her back in 2010. Sori’s story is a painful document revealing the different shades of the bleak reality of adivasis caught in the crossfire between the Indian state and the Chhattigarh police on one side and the Naxals on the other.

Sori was arrested on October 4, 2011 in New Delhi, when she was on the run, on unproven allegations of being a Maoist sympathizer and acting as a conduit to extort Rs 1.5 million for the banned CPI (Maoist) from the Essar group. Sori was handed over to the Chhattigarh police despite her insistence that she was being framed by them. An independent medical examination of Sori at NRS Medical College, Kolkata, at the behest of the Supreme Court found stones lodged in her vagina and rectum. TOI has a copy of the medical report of the Kolkata hospital that confirms her claims.

Sori has said that she was pulled out of her cell at the Dantewada police station on the intervening night of October 8 and 9, 2011 and then taken to SP Ankit Garg’s room, where on his orders, three men stripped her, gave her electric shocks and inserted stones into her private parts. She lost consciousness. A few months later, SP Ankit Garg was awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry by the government for his role in a counter-insurgency operation in 2010.

The Essar case and another case on Maoist attack on Congress leader Avdesh Singh Gautam are the two crucial cases still under trial. In the Essar case of payment of protection money to the banned CPI (Maoists), Essar General Manager D V C S Verma and contractor B K Lala are out on bail while Sori and her activist nephew Linga Kodopi are still in judicial custody.