Soni Sori was supposed to be produced in Chhattisgarh court today, was admitted with severe head injuries in District Hospital of Dantewada. Though the Chhattisgarh Police claimed that she slipped in the bathroom, her writhing and howling in pain confirms that she was put to severe custodial torture, says activists.
Earlier Soni Sori was arrested from Delhi in a joint operation by the Crime Branch and the Chhattisgarh Police. Fearing for her life, she was hiding from the Chhattisgarh police who has labeled her as a ‘Maoist on the run’ and had mounted this huge search operation. After her arrest, when she was produced in front of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) at a district court in Delhi, she together with her lawyers requested the court to give her bail and she herself pleaded that she should not be sent back as she fears that the Chhattisgarh police will kill her. Her plea was rejected and on Friday she was handed over to the Chhattisgarh police, the very same people who are a threat to her life.
It is clear that despite the rights of the accused enshrined in the Constitution and Delhi High Court orders of the 7th of October for protection and safety of Soni Sori all have been openly and blatantly violated by the Chhattisgarh police, says a statement of human rights’ activists.
Video clipping provided by those organizations shows, Soni writhing and howling in the X-Ray room out of pain confirming severe custodial torture. It is said that she has injuries on the head and on the back.
Soni Sori, a 36-year-old former primary school teacher in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, she has been on the run since last month. And she is not the only one whose life has been put at risk. Her husband was arrested in July 2010 on the charges of attack on a local Congress leader, Avdesh Gautam. In the attack, Gautam was not hurt but his son was injured.
Soni’s nephew, Lingaram Kodopi aged 25 years story is even more catastrophic. He was arrested by the Chhattisgarh police on charges of facilitating protection money for Maoists from Essar Steel.
Human rights’ organizations from across the country are demanding the immediate release of Soni Sori from the clutches of Chhattisgarh police and consultation by a doctor along with medical help and the report of her injuries to be made public.
She has to be immediately transferred to Delhi and that the police personnel who have tortured Soni Sori should be suspended and a high level enquiry has to be ordered.
Hundreds of tribals are being targeted in the name of Operation Green Hunt in state like Chattisgarh.
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