Soni Sori, a 35-year-old Adivasi school teacher in Chhattisgarh, has been languishing in Raipur Jail since October 2011, she has written letters from jail asking the Nation to help her.
Why is she being tortured?
Soni has been tortured by the Chhattisgarh police - she complained that she was stripped naked and given electric shocks. A medical exam found small stones in her vagina and rectum.
The torture was under the supervision of Ankit Garg, Superintendent of Police. In a terrible twist of events he was given the President's Award on Republic Day.
Soni lives in Dantewada, a Naxalite stronghold. Last year, Soni fought with the Naxalites when they tried to stop her form hoisting the national flag on Independence Day. Naxalites shot her father in the leg saying he was a police informer. Yet the police first arrested her husband, and now Soni, for being Naxalite supporters!
Why do the police want her in jail?
Because she has constantly fought for her people’s rights - for minimum wages. She has taken on powerful companies that want the Adivasis’ land, and the Chhattisgarh government that supports these companies. She has taken on the police for their illegal activities.
Now, fed up of being in jail, far from her three young children, Sori has gone on hunger strike. In a letter to her lawyer she writes: “We Adivasis are only fated to suffer atrocities and die. We Adivasis are a business for the government.’’
This petition demands the following: --- A credible inquiry into the custodial violence suffered by Soni Sori -- Prompt recall of the President’s Gallantry award bestowed on S.P. Ankit Garg, facing serious allegations of custodial torture and sexual violence. -- To constitute a comprehensive and credible inquiry to ensure protection of rights and dignity of the large number of tribal women, like Ms Sori, languishing in jails in Chhattisgarh. -- Ensure an immediate halt and initiate exemplary punitive action against police and other security forces indulging in widespread and systematic violation of rights of tribal women