As the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, arrived in town, several Delhi-based women’s groups, democratic rights groups, and progressive individuals staged a protest at the Chhattisgarh Sadan, comprising of more than 50 representatives from various organizations demanding justice for Soni Suri, Lingaram Kodopi and various tribal activists in the state.
The Chief Minister refused to meet the protestors and instead got the Delhi Police to forcibly remove them from the premises and dragged them out of the way so that Raman Singh could proceed to ‘his next meeting!’
This has once again proved the arrogance of the BJP-led Raman Singh government towards issues of social justice, and their utter disregard for the law. We fear for the lives of the activists upon whom false charges are forged and are under trials in the state of Chhattisgarh.
The activists held a press conference to highlight the custodial torture, sexual violence, and harassment of Soni Sori, the hounding of her family including her nephew Lingaram Kodopi who has been falsely charged under UAPA and other provisions of the IPC, the harassment of other tribals and activists in the region by the state government and the wider implications of such state aggression.
Specifically, we demand:-
· Prompt action against the SP and other officials involved in the custodial and sexual violence meted upon Soni’s person on the night of 8/9 October 2011, in Dantewada police station
· That the state government stop challenging Soni Sori’s demand to be moved out of the state on grounds of fear for her life in Chhattisgarh
· Publicly prove the safety and well-being of Lingaram Kodopi who is currently in jail in Dantewada and charged under UAPA, CSPSA and Sections 121, 124A and 120B of the Indian Penal Code – for criminal conspiracy, sedition and waging war against the State.
· Immediately stop the persecution of Soni Sori, Lingaram Kodopi and the rest of their family
· Put an immediate end to the offensive that has been declared on tribals and activists in the region
Read the whole statement here