Soni Sori urges activists and groups to continue their fight for justice for people like her, who continue to languish in jails.
After their release from the Jagdalpur jail, Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi went to the Ma Danteshwari Temple and then onto their villages Palnar and Sameli respectively. Soni was greeted by her three children, her father and the rest of her family. Soon the entire village came by to see her.
Join the South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI) and Association for India’s Development (AID) for a discussion on the importance of Soni Sori’s story and development in Chattisgarh, India. [Facebook event page]
September 30th, Sunday at 7pm at BlueStockings Bookstore (172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington St, New York/ Metro: F train’s 2nd Avenue stop)
In preparation for the protest being held at Union Square on Oct. 4th, there will be a poster-making and general planning discussion after the presentation. Get involved, Join us!
A year has passed and this deep injustice continues against Soni Sori, an adivasi schoolteacher and Lingaram Kodopi, a journalist. Soni Sori and Linga were among the few voices who spoke for the indigenous people living in the mineral rich Bastar region. The imprisonment and torture of Soni Sori and Lingaram is part of a deliberate, state-sponsored process of terror, displacement and criminalization of adivasis in the name of development and profit.
Despite international outrage and pressure from human rights activists — Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi remain imprisoned without a court trial — a year after their arrest. Court accepted, medical documents have shown that both Kodopi and Soni Sori have suffered custodial torture. Despite this evidence, no action has been taken against anyone and the chief police responsible for Soni Sori’s sexual torture has been awarded the National Gallantry Award for bravery since her arrest.
If you would like to help organize or sponsor the campaign, please email Free Soni Sori Campaign at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also join us on Oct. 4th as we mark the one year anniversary of Soni Sori’s arrest by holding a protest in Union Square at 7pm.
Protest organized by the Association for India’s Development (AID) and the South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI). Endorsed by Amnesty International USA and Occupy Global Justice Working Group (NYC).
These are just a few cases of hundreds, with official reports now admitting that a majority of prisoners in Indian Jails are Muslims. Citizens concerned about the increasing intolerance and authoritarianism of the Indian state where the minorities no longer feel safe in their own homes have decided to come together to organise a Public Meeting to raise a voice against injustice and what amounts to state terror. A resolution calling upon the state for remedial action at different levels will also be adopted at the Meeting that will be addressed by political leaders and senior representatives of civil society.
We call upon you to join and support the initiative that is part of a series of protests held by civil society on this issue in Delhi and other states over the last few weeks,by sending us a line with the name of your organisation.
The PUBLIC MEETING on POLITICS OF TERROR: TARGETING THE MUSLIM YOUTH is being held on
JULY 9,2012 at 3p.m.
at THE DEPUTY SPEAKERS HALL,
Soni Sori continues to be ill-treated at the hands of Chhattisgarh government, after a brief breather during her treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at New Delhi. She is now back in the Raipur Jail after spending 5 weeks recuperating in AIIMS, and the Chhattisgarh government has made clear its intentions of continuing ill-treatment of her, by denying her food, water and medicines immediately after discharge from AIIMS.
Soni Sori was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on May 10th at the behest of the Supreme Court which ordered immediate and urgent treatment to be provided to her. Ms. Sori arrived in Delhi visibly weakened due to months of ill-treatment and improper medical treatment by the Chhattisgarh government. She was suffering from the continued impact –of the wounds inflicted on her during the inhuman sexual torture meted out to her in October, 2011 under police custody, which had been allowed to fester untreated in the jail. Consequently, she had grave secondary medical conditions, such as intermittent anal and vaginal bleeding, blisters on skin, difficulty in walking etc. at the time when she was brought to AIIMS
Over the 5 weeks of her treatment in AIIMS, she seemed to have recovered significantly, due to regular and expert medical care provided to her. But immediately after her discharge from AIIMS, Soni Sori has been denied her basic human rights yet again by the Chattisgarh government. Soni Sori’s counsel, Mr. Colin Gonsalves expressed his concern to the Chhattisgarh Government counsel, Mr. Atul Jha about no travel arrangements being made for her return to Chhattisgarh, to which Mr Jha assured Mr Gonsalves that every necessary precaution would be taken including, if need be, return to Raipur by flight (as she had been brought to Delhi). But despite these assurances, Soni Sori was taken to Raipur by train, in a crowded unreserved compartment. In scorching summer heat, Soni Sori was made to stand for most of the 24 hour long train journey from Delhi to Raipur, despite her fragile health condition. With daytime temperatures touching 45 degrees Celsius, she was denied water, kept without food for the whole day and not even given the medicines prescribed to her by the doctors at AIIMS.
It should be recalled that Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher, had been subjected to brutal physical torture and sexual violence during her custody in the Dantewada police station on the night between 8th and 9th October, 2011. Her torture had been confirmed by an independent medical examination conducted by the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, during which stones lodged deep in her private parts had been recovered. However, the medication prescribed by the NRS hospital had been discontinued by the jail authorities in Raipur Jail soon after her discharge, and Soni Sori had been denied any regular medical attention since the examination conducted by the NRS Hospital in October 2011. In the absence of regular medical care and attention, Ms. Sori’s condition had steadily worsened, prompting the Supreme Court in June 2012 to order her to be brought to AIIMS in New Delhi for immediate medical treatment.
It was sheer and deliberate negligence on part of the Chhattisgarh Government that led to such deterioration in Soni Sori’s health in the first place, that the Supreme Court had to order immediate medical intervention by AIIMS. The manner in which Soni Sori is being treated after her discharge from AIIMS once again raises serious concerns about the intention of the Chhattisgarh government in ensuring her health and safety. If her medicines are not administered with regularity, Soni will lose the little gains in health that she had made during her stay at AIIMS.
We urge the Chhattisgarh Government to ensure that Soni Sori’s health makes full recovery, and that the recommendations of the medical team at AIIMS regarding physical rest, nutrition and medication are followed diligently. We would like to remind the Government that undertrial prisoners such as Soni Sori are guaranteed basic human rights by the Indian constitution. Soni Sori has already suffered gravely at the hands of Chhattisgarh authorities, first through direct and malicious torture at the hands of the Chhattisgarh police, and then through apathy and negligence of the Chhattisgarh jail authorities. It is time for state violence against her to end.
For more details contact:
Vani Subramanian, Saheli Delhi – 9891128911
Shalini Gera – 9891176443.
The alleged ‘Essar protection money case’ headed for some revealing turns on Tuesday with the main accused BK Lala, Bastar based contractor who allegedly delivered money to Maoists, willing to turn approver if the Government granted him immunity in the case.
Lala, who is already out on bail, on Tuesday filed an application in the court of Additional District Judge (ADJ), Dantewada, offering to become Government approver. BK Lala and journalist-turned-activist Lingaram Kodopi, a tribal youth, were held on September 10 last year from Palnar village weekly market when Lingaram Kodopi was allegedly receiving `15 lakh from BK Lala. The money was reportedly intended to be delivered to two Maoists Raghu and Vinod belonging to Darbha divisional committee of CPI-ML. Later, Essar general manager DVCS Verma was also arrested on charges of paying protection money to Red insurgents for allowing the company reopen its 267-km long iron ore slurry pipeline running from Kirandul in Dantewada of Chhattisgarh to Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as the Maoists blew it up at several places.
The case of Seema Azad and her husband Vishwa Vijay is based upon instructions from higher authorities to arrest them. The case of the prosecution in the FIR quite clearly shows that they were arrested on such instructions. The material allegations in the FIR are as follows:
The execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana must be halted and an official moratorium on capital punishment established in India, Amnesty International said in an open letter to the country’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Balwant Singh’s execution is scheduled for 31 March 2012, in Punjab state.
Mersingh Korku a feeble man, aged 75 years, of Ghorpadmal; a remote tribal village of Betul district, has been threat to state so much so that there are half a dozen cases filed against him, and together two dozen against his fellow village man. When tribal of Ghorpadmal of Betul district were arrested two months back, it took them 45 days and had cost 15 thousand rupees to secure bail, as their files were missing. Yet they have two dozen cases in which they could not secure bail, as they have no money to apply for bail, there is permanent arrest warrant issued against them, magistrate was considerate enough to grant them bail in one case.
Tribals of Betul and Harda district, associated with Shramik Adivasi Sangathan, are trapped into vicious circle cases of penal and forest offences, filed by authorities in retaliation during 2003 to 2007. Many of them have 4 to 5 cases each against them, by the time they arrange bail in second, they realize that they have jumped bail in first one as they have not attendant hearing, the reason being; tribal sometimes were out on work; have no money. Our tribal activists have as many as 60 cases against them; in many cases there is permanent arrest warrant issued against them.
We need support to secure bail and fight these cases. Money can be sent directly or through Cheque to the account of Anurag Modi, CBI, Betul, IFS code cbin0281071. A/CNo 1293382984. Anyone donating around ten thousand need 80G exemptions may contact. Queries are welcome at email@example.com
Anurag Modi/Shamim Modi