Tag Archives: ankit garg

[Kracktivist] International Women’s day March in Mumbai Demands Freedom for Soni Sori

Via Kracktivist

More than 500 women associated with various, women organizations, trade unions, health and human rights organisations came together at VT station to celebrate International Women Rights day, by raising their voices against all forms violence against women and vociferously raised slogans on true democracy and freedom, they demanded freedom for all including – workers,laborer, dalits, minorities, adivasis and all of us vociferously demanded



Read the rest of the piece here.

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Press Release on Hunger Strikes in Solidarity with Soni Sori’s Demand for Justice

From Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), Saheli, and other concerned individuals and democratic rights organisations. (dated 29th February 2012)

Recent letters received from Soni Sori, currently in the Raipur Jail, reveal that her health condition is steadily deteriorating, and she is suffering from pain and bleeding. However, she has been denied proper medical care and treatment despite several requests to the jail authorities. After her brutal torture at the hands of Chhattisgarh police in October 2011, she received a complete medical examination only three weeks after the incident at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. Since then she has not received any follow-up treatment.
Women’s groups and other democratic rights groups in Delhi held a day long hunger strike today at Rajghat from 6 am to 6 pm in solidarity with Soni Sori. Programmes were held also in Bengaluru, Bhopal, Jaipur, Mumbai, as well as in San Francisco and Boston.

Their demands:
– To arrange for prompt and proper medical care for Soni Sori
– To initiate punitive action against SP Ankit Garg and all other police officials involved in her custodial torture.

Read the whole statement here.

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[Press Statement] People’s Union for Democratic Rights: Oppressing Women, Supporting Sexual Violence: The Other Meaning of Bravery!

[…] It is pertinent to note here that Ankit Garg has been awarded this medal for an encounter in Mahasamnad district of Chhattisgarh in 2009 in which eight alleged Maoists were killed. Of these eight, two were innocent village residents, including one who was speech and hearing impaired and was shot dead inside his house. Thus even the alleged bravery is dubious.

It is baffling and shameful to see that instead of taking any serious note of the charges, or initiating action against the perpetrator of such heinous sexual torture, the Government of India decides to award a gallantry medal to him. It is indicative of the utter disrespect and disregard that the Indian government has for the weakest citizens of this country like the adivasis, women, Dalits and Muslims. PUDR considers this award to SP Ankit Garg as an encouragement to the continued use of sexual violence as a tool to punish women whom the police and the government see as offenders or as belonging to the enemy. […]

Read the full statement here.

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[Blog post] Rewarding Sexual Torture: Shame on the Indian Government (cross-posted from Cellar Door)

Cross-posted from Cellar Door

Here’s an Excerpt […]

There’s a petition to be signed. One of at least two petitions. Sign as many as you can find.

In a disgusting display of obtuseness, Vishwa Ranjan, Director-General of Police (Home Guards), has said that the “The Police Medal for Gallantry is for a specific instance … it is not like the award for Meritorious Service … Ankit Garg led one of the teams in the Mahasamund [encounter].”

With this logic, bravery medal candidates should include all perpetrators of violence and all criminals at large — just in case they have done something “courageous” in life. Sanjeev Mahajan does a nice job responding to Vishwa Ranjan and shedding light on the Mahasamund encounter.

Kamyani Bali Mahabal’s blog — Kractivist is an excellent source for current information about Soni Sori (and also other news).

According to Kractivist, the latest update on Soni Sori is as follows:

Soni Sori’s petition did not come up for hearing on Jan 25th . Despite the last order on Dec 2nd stating that it should be listed among the first three items scheduled to be heard today, it got listed as item 14. the 26th was aholiday, of course, to congratulate ourselves on the Constitution. Soni also needs urgent medical treatment for the consequences of her torture. Her lawyers presented a motion in the Supreme Court last week. They expected it to come up for hearing today. But it didn’t either. No date has been set for the next hearing. while we await justice.

Finally, I wanted to say a word about the poster that has been going around, highlighting this injustice.

A woman’s experience of sexual assault should never be turned into a logo — this is doubly true when her voice is absent from the decisions on how her story will be depicted. The red person shown is a stain on this otherwise powerful and well-deserved indictment of Ankit Garg. An unfortunate misstep of design that disrespects a sexual violence survivor’s experiences.

Another poster with Ankit Garg’s face is floating around! Glad that I can share a poster without feeling gross about it.

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[Kashmir Watch] Awards for Alleged Killers

Two cops accused of killing of a youth in Sopore, investigation of which never reached its logical conclusion, have made it to the list of gallantry awards this Republic Day. So did the Chhattisgarh cadre police officer who allegedly supervised the torture of Soni Sori, a school teacher accused of assisting the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Soni Sori was stripped naked, administered electric shocks and assaulted in police custody under this very officer. According to her lawyers, a medical examination found two stones in Soni’s genital tract and another in her rectum. While her legal battle goes on in court, her tormentors have been rewarded for the kind of gallantry which should hang in shame the head of any Indian who has some respect for basic civil liberties.

In conflict areas, it is already a norm that promotions and awards are doled out on the basis of number of kills and arrests, irrespective of whether the slain, detained or tortured were innocent and whether the actions were taken as prescribed by the law. The history of conflict areas – from Kashmir and north-east to the Maoist hit areas – is replete with incidents of accused men in uniform not just escaping prosecution and punishment but instead getting rewarded with honours and promotions.

Read the whole article here

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[Kracktivist] Letter to Editor – Gallantry Award to Ankit Garg from Sanjeev Mahajan

Dear Sir/Madam,

In his article on the Republic Day gallantry award given to Chhattisgarh police officer Ankit Garg who reportedly tormented, tortured and raped school teacher Soni Sori, Aman Sethi quotes Vishwa Ranjan, Director-General of Police (Home Guards), as follows:

“The Police Medal for Gallantry is for a specific instance … it is not like the award for Meritorious Service … Ankit Garg led one of the teams in the Mahasamund [encounter].” Vishwa Ranjan also added that “the Soni Sori case was a separate issue that was now sub judice.” Apart from Mr Vishwa Ranjan’s bizarre reasoning that it is legitimate to give a gallantry award to a rapist and torturer, as long as the awardee has shown his mettle in a separate incident, what is the real truth behind the Mahasamund ‘encounter’ where his supposed ‘acts of bravery’ have earned Mr Garg the award? The murky details of this ‘encounter’ were scrupulously laid out in the report Just a little collateral damage [pdf download] by an All India Fact Finding team. […]

Read the whole letter here

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[Press Statement] Women Against Sexual Violence And State Repression

[…] It is shocking to note that in spite of wide publicity and protests over SP Ankit Garg’s inhuman conduct by a large number of women’s and civil liberties groups, nationally and internationally, the government has deemed it fit to confer him with a gallantry award. It is even more baffling to note that this has occurred at a time when the Honourable Supreme Court itself has expressed anguish at the happenings and is still looking into these violations. Compounding the very serious charges of a heinous crime of sexual violence against Ms. Soni Sori that SP Ankit Garg faces, is that fact that this crime happened when she had been entrusted into his custody as a senior police officer. After the report from the Kolkata NRS Medical College and Hospital, this is no longer a case of mere allegations against the police, but there is also solid evidence by a government medical team to support her charges. However, none of this appears to have placed even a shadow of doubt on the gallantry of this Officer as far as the government is concerned. By giving an award in the face of these complaints which have not even received a cursory investigation, both the Central and State governments are condoning this sexual violence which is being perpetrated in the name of anti-Naxal operations.

It is a dark day for Indian democracy today. While Ms. Soni Sori, the victim of this heinous torture languishes in the Raipur Central Jail, with a deteriorating health condition, and waits for her case to be listed in the Supreme Court, women’s teams who have been taking up the case of her torture have been refused permission to meet her. She is still under the custody of the same state police has that inflicted this torture on her.

We are also appalled to note that a majority of “gallantry” awards this year have been given out for anti-Naxal and counter-insurgency operations. Civil liberties organisations have been pointing out the widespread human rights violations that are taking place in these areas in the cover of counter-insurgency operations. This raises grave concerns and points to a movement in the direction of a military state, which can have no place in a democratic republic such as ours. […]

Read the whole 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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