December 05, 2012 15:08 IST

A National Commission for Women member has stressed that Soni Sori, the tribal teacher arrested for alleged Maoist links, needs psychological counselling so that she gets over the mental trauma she had suffered in police custody.

NCW member Shamina Shafiq, who visited Raipur Central Jail on Tuesday where Sori has been lodged, said it would be difficult for her to survive if she was not provided proper counselling.

Sori, the 36-year-old teacher in a government school in India’s [ Images ] one of the worst naxal-hit district Dantewada, was arrested in Delhi [ Images ] in October last year on charges of receiving money on behalf of Maoists from a corporate entity.

She had later accused Chhattisgarh police of torturing her in police custody. “She (Sori) has been through so much whether outside or inside. We had a long discussion. She needs psychological help and a lot of counselling,” Shafiq told PTI.

“If she is not counselled then it would be very difficult for her to survive in such circumstances,” she said. Sori had also handed over a letter to her, Shamina said but refused to reveal its content.

Shafiq also met with other women prisoners, including two detained on charges of being Maoist conduits. She asked jail authorities to work on psychological counselling for inmates, particularly women.

“Women carry the emotional burden. When they are behind bars and family members are not visiting them, they go through a lot of mental trauma and need psychological help from time to time,” Shamina stressed.

She also pointed out lack of police personnel in the jail, leading to insecurity and the prisoners missing out on court hearings.

“The women prisoners cannot go for hearing sometimes owing to lack of police personnel to escort them to the courts,” she noted. The non-availability of adequate number of police personnel is one of the basic problems here, she mentioned.