Monthly Archives: October 2011

[Poetry] As long as Soni Sori resides there, our development is impossible

We want development
More cars, more shopping malls,
more commodities,
And for that, we need industry,
And for industry, we need minerals,
and for minerals, we need the land of Bastar,
and as long as Soni Sori resides there,
our development is impossible

Read the full poem here

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[Tehelka] The Inconvenient Truth Of Soni Sori

Why were two tribals and the Essar group framed by the Chhattisgarh police? Why are Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi being systematically silenced? This chilling story of one family reveals more about India’s Naxal crisis than any official document can.

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[Times of India] Soni Sori: A portrait of an unlikely “woman Maoist”

The 36 year old adivasi school teacher’s life seems typical of Dantewada’s educated and aspirational middle class. Her house in Sameli village opens into a small seating area with a TV, plastic flowers and small wall paintings. The mixer grinder is not placed in the kitchen but carefully perched on a bedroom shelf. The cupboards and boxes are full of attendance registers and neatly folded pairs of children clothes in smart local brands.

A kilometre ahead, turning away from the asphalt road painted with Maoist graffiti, lies Jabeli village, and the ashramshala or residential school where Soni taught. It is ramshackle building with a tin shed.

“The Maoists destroyed all school buildings in the area, except Sameli and Jabeli ashramshalas,” said a school teacher. “Soni was the only teacher who lived in the area. This made her an easy target for suspicion. And after the police named her in the attack on Avdesh Gautam (a local congress leader), whispers about her links with Maoists grew and officials started fearing her”

Read the full article here

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[Dantewada Vani] Soni Sori’s cries will become history

[…] Soni Sori’s cries will become history.
But they won’t stop haunting us.
Forgive us Soni Sori,
Our democracy is not for you,
Not the constitution, not the politics, and not our piety, it is all only ours.
You are an Adivasi, and for you are the beatings and being dragged on the coarse earth,
You will lay in prison for your life and cry for your three children,
And die a quiet and unknown death one day.
“Soni Sori, my child”,
I bid you a last farewell on behalf of the Indian State.
After the complete annihilation of the Adivasis when our Prime Minister,
Stands on the Red Fort and asks for forgiveness,
Then please forgive us from heaven Soni Sori, […]

Read the rest here.

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[India Outlook] NHRC’s Intervention Sought in Soni Suri Case

The People’s Union of Civil Liberties today sought NHRC’s intervention in the case of detention of suspected Maoist Soni Suri alleging that she was tortured by Chhattisgarh Police.

Soni could not be produced before a court in Chhattisgarh as police claimed that she fell in a bathroom and was injured. However, activists had refused to buy the police version and demanded that she be shifted to Delhi.

“It seems a clear case of custodial torture and therefore in the interest of justice, I appeal to NHRC to immediately intervene in the matter in form of monitoring of the health, safety and the case against her as it pertains to a hapless woman whose whole family including herself, as reported by the newspaper, is a victim of Maoist violence,” the PUCL complaint alleged.

In the complaint, PUCL General Secretary Pushkar Raj appealed to the Commission that it must take a “very strong stand” on custodial torture and send a strong message across to the Chattisgarh Government in particular and country in general that custodial violence is a serious crime.

Read the full article here.

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[Soni Sori Statement] Soni Sori’s letter to the Delhi judge

[…] For the last two years, the policemen have been harassing me. They used to harass me by summoning me to the police stations, entering our houses and breaking household items and playing (leeringly) with our clothes. If we tried to say something, we would be told threateningly, ‘Where would you go to lodge the complaint? Who will listen to you? One day, we will declare you a Naxalite and kill you. That’s why we have declared you an absconder since last year.” I would tell them that I was working as a teacher in a school. Then how could they declare me (an absconder)?

Judge Sahib, I had come to Delhi with a purpose. I tried to fulfill that purpose by remaining in hiding here and there. Had I committed any crime, I would have never come here. Because truth was with me, I wanted to present the truth before the Supreme Court. Whatever I did, I kept my lawyer informed. I gave an interview in the Tehelka Press too.

Judge Sahib, please tell me why the police declared me an absconder? And why did they fire at me? […]

Read the full statement here.

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[Hindu] ‘Maoist’ Soni Sori admitted to hospital with injuries

RAIPUR: Soni Sori, a 36 year old adivasi school teacher arrested in New Delhi on charges of being a Maoist, and sent to Dantewada for police interrogation, was admitted to the district hospital on Monday morning with head and back injuries.

“She was unconscious when she was brought here around 9.30 am,” said Dr SPS Shandilya, chief medical officer. […] Dantewada SP Ankit Garg denied Sori had been beaten in custody. He claimed she had sustained injuries by falling in the bathroom.

Read the full story here.

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