Salwa Judum rape accused acquitted as victims turn hostile #Vaw

RAIPUR, June 15, 2013

Suvojit Bagchi

Six tribal girls filed rape charges against nine SPOs and three Salwa Judum leaders in 2009

Six of the fifteen men — including former Special Police Officers Kicche Nanda and Kawasi Mangalram — accused of raping six tribal women during the controversial Salwa Judum campaign in south Chhattisgarh have been acquitted by a sessions court in Dantewada after the women turned hostile and refused to recognise their alleged rapists.

As the Dantewada Judge, A.K. Beck, recorded, the complainants, all women from Samsetti, told the court that they “…do not know the accused Kicche Nanda or Kawasi Mangalram. The witness clearly stated that no incident (of rape) took place with them. They have not filed any complaints in the police station” or “in the court of Konta.”

In June 2009, exactly four years ago, six girls from Samsetti and other villages had filed rape charges against nine special police officers and 3 Salwa Judum leaders. The SP Dantewada refused to register a case; in an affidavit to the Supreme Court later, the Chhattisgarh government would say this was because the police had enquired with the accused, Salwa Judum leaders Boddu Raja, Soyam Mooka, and Dinesh, who denied any such charges. Since the word of the accused was what counted with the police, the girls were forced to file their complaints directly with the trial court.


On December 10, 2009, the trial court issued arrest warrants in all the cases, but noted that according to the police, the accused were all untraceable. For example, “In this case, accused Kartam Surya, Kovasi Mangal Ram, Kichche Nanda are absconding. There is no chance of finding them in near future. So, accused Kartam Surya, Kovasi Mangal Ram, Kichche Nanda are declared absconding. There is a permanent arrest warrant committal against them by the court.’

However, Judum leaders Soyam Mooka, Kartam Surya and the others who were allegedly “absconding” continued to be active as SPOs and members of the district force. Kartam Surya was later also accused of being involved in the burning of Tadmetla, Morpalli and Timapuram in 2011, on which the Supreme Court ordered the CBI to investigate.

The police refusal to arrest the Samsetti rape accused was repeatedly brought up before the Supreme Court, and on 25th April 2011, Harish Salve appearing for Chhattisgarh promised to have this looked into. No action was taken.

Kartam Surya, who was killed by the Maoists in February 2012, was given a guard of honour by the police.

This correspondent was in court when Era (name changed), the primary witness, retracted her statement. The adivasi woman, who could not speak or understand Hindi, was clearly confused and perhaps scared as the accused were sitting outside the court room.

One of the women who brought the allegations against the SPOs, Mira (name changed) said that she is “sick of outsiders.” “You do not come when we are in trouble, go away now,” she told this correspondent a few days after retracting the charges in the court. She even denied her existence. “I am not Mira,” she said.

With the men acquitted, the complainants and the accused will now return to the same villages or panchayats where they will live with each other as neighbours. The women of Samsetti, on their way to the market, will meet the men, who “did not rape” them. May be the men will get transferred after a point but the women will still have to meet one of the accused – Kartam Surya, the most feared policeman of Sukma.

Mr. Surya was killed last year but his statue adorns the village market in Sukma. A hundred kilometres north, in Dantewada, a court reader still shouts,‘Kartam Surya hazir ho?’ (Kartam Surya, present yourself), before every Samsetti hearing. In the judgment, however, he is described as “absconding”. The call for Kartam Surya will be heard for a few more months till the case concludes, a court clerk said, as he handed over the order sheets.


#India – The Bloodstained Karmic Cycle #Peru #Guatemala

Target of reprisal The late Mahendra Karma, with guards
The Bloodstained Karmic Cycle
To end the Maoist conflict, look to Peru and Guatemala

Any keen observer of Chhattisgarh could have foreseen Saturday’s deadly Maoist attack at Jeeram Ghat in Bastar, though not perhaps its magnitude. Mahendra Karma’s death was long expected, though politicians like him who flirt with the dark side usually have enough security to keep them safe. With a string of killings of Maoist leaders under its belt, the security establishment thought the Maoists could be written off. However, like insurgents elsewhere, the Maoists scaled back only to strike hard.

Calls for more concerted military action ignore what has actually been happening. In fact, in recent months, the security forces have ratcheted up operations, densely carpeting Maoist strongholds with CRPF camps. On the 46 km stretch between Dornapal and Chintalnar, there are now seven camps, with the latest two, Burkapal and Minpa, having come up in the last fortnight. Overnight, large stretches of forest were cleared in Burkapal, for a helipad on one side and a CRPF camp on the other, and the question of forest clearances for this, or any other security installation, is never even seen as an issue. The biodiverse forests of Bastar—which are national treasures—have been one of the biggest casualties of this war, which rages across trees, roads, transformers, schools and the bodies of men, women and little children.

Sceptical villagers argue that rather than reducing hostilities, the presence of the camps will mean constant skirmishes between the forces and the Maoists, following which the forces will take it out on them. They report that security forces steal chickens from their homes when they are out in the fields; and indeed, with camps close by, even going out to defecate, cultivate or collect fuel wood becomes a hazard, especially for women. In Chintagufa, where several buses are parked to ferry security personnel back and forth, the forces have taken over the primary healthcare centre and the school. The Supreme Court’s orders on keeping off schools mean nothing to them.

We are on a slippery path if we dismiss any citizen, whether a Congress leader or a Gond child, as expendable. The very raison d’etre of a democracy is lost if it thinks that way.

Simplistic morality plays may be good for the trps, but will not address the real issues. The Maoist ambush came bar­ely a week after an equally terrible attack by the security forces, again during an area domination exercise, on the villagers of Edesmetta in Bijapur, who were celebrating Beeja Pandum, the seed sowing festival. Eight villagers, including four children, were killed, while severely injured villagers were given medical aid only a day later after local media coverage. The Beeja Pandum is one of the most important festivals of the adivasi calendar. The only glimpse that non-adivasis get is when they are stopped at roadside blocks placed by women and children, and they assume it is just for some easy money. But the ritual significance is that anyone crossing the village during Beeja Pandum must be fined for taking the seed away with them. The equivalent of what happened there would be the police opening fire on a garba dance during Navratri in Ahmedabad, saying the presence of so many people at one place was suspicious. Yet, there has been little national outrage around Edesmetta. For once, the government has promised compensation, but as one CRPF jawan said about the 2010 killing of 76 CRPF personnel, “Nothing can recompense the loss of a loved one.” The adivasis have loved ones too. Unlike the CRPF, they did not even sign up to fight. If what happened in Edesmetta can be dismissed as “collateral damage”, then why not apply the same logic to Saturday’s ambush, where Mahendra Karma was the main target? This is, after all, a war. But once we dismiss any citizen, whether a Congress pradesh president or a Gond child, as expendable, we are on a slippery path. In particular, a democracy that holds this stand loses its raison d’etre.

As in Tadmetla March 2011 (where security forces burnt 300 homes, raped and killed), Sarkeguda June 2012 (where they shot dead 17 villagers during their Beeja Pandum last year) and Edesmetta 2013, the Chhattisgarh government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the Jeeram Ghat ambush. But since the Congress knows well what this means, they have preferred to enlist the NIA. Given a list of 537 killings by Salwa Judum and security forces, the state government has ordered magisterial inquiries into eight cases since 2008, of which seven are still pending!

The Chhattisgarh police claims it need SPOs for intelligence gathering, refusing to disband them as the Supreme Court ordered. But what kind of intelligence are they getting if they claim Edesmetta was a Maoist gathering, and could not predict the Jeeram ambush? Instead, the fortification of SPOs with better guns and more money as the renamed ‘Armed Auxiliary Forces’ only increases alienation.

Even if they support massive human rights violations, politicians are not combatants. The same is true for unarmed villagers who may support the Maoists ideologically. An attack on party leaders engaged in electoral rallies must be strongly condemned, and the Maoist’s expanding hit list is truly reprehensible. However, it is only partially true to say that what happened is an attack on democracy. In a democracy, someone like Karma would have been jailed long ago. Even when confronted with evidence of his personal involvement in the Salwa Judum atrocities, quite apart from a CBI FIR for his role in a major tree-felling scam, the Congress chose to retain Karma in the party. And despite declaring Naxalism the country’s gravest security threat, never once has the prime minister felt the need to visit the area himself to find out why people support them, or console grieving adivasis.

Under the Constitution of India, chief minister Raman Singh and the Union home ministry, who are as responsible for the Salwa Judum as Karma, should also be held accountable. At least 644 villages were affected, over a thousand people killed, hundreds raped, and some 1,50,000 displaced. Small children were bashed to death or thrown into ponds; old people who could not run away were burnt alive. Yet there has been no prosecution or compensation, despite the Supreme Court’s repea­ted orders. Indeed, there is a danger that, with Karma gone, the uncomfortable questions regarding official culpability for Salwa Judum will be closed. The Constitution and democracy are not terms of expedie­ncy, as the Congress and BJP seem to think—they embody difficult moral principles which must guide our collective behavior.

To respond with even more force now would be a grave mistake, for insurgencies thrive on government excesses. The combing operations under way must take great care to see that ordinary villagers are not harassed. It is unlikely that anyone will countenance calls for peace talks now, as the war has become a prestige issue on both sides. But eventually, there is no alternative to negotiations. If a country like the US with its military might could get bogged down in Vietnam and Afghanistan, what makes us think we can succeed militarily? A far better model would be the Latin American countries, like Peru and Guatemala, with similar histories of guerrilla war and exploitation of indigenous people which resolved their conflicts through Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. If FARC and the Colombian government can come to an agreement on land reforms after 30 years, what prevents a democracy like India?

(The writer, a professor of sociology at Delhi University, was a co-petitioner in a case that resulted in the Supreme Court’s 2011 ban on the Salwa Judum.)


SC ban on Salwa Judum not implemented: Nandini Sundar

by  May 27, 2013

“On no count has the government done anything to implement the Supreme Court judgment. In fact, they have done everything to subvert it and make the situation worse,” says author and sociologist Nandini Sundar, on whose petition the apex court in 2011 banned the Salwa Judum, a state-sponsored militia propped up to counter Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

In its hard-hitting judgement, the Supreme Court had ordered the prosecution of all those involved in criminal activities of Salwa Judum, the architect of which was controversial Congress leader Mahendra Karma. On Saturday, Karma, the tribal leader from Bastar was among the 27 people gunned down in a deadly Maoist attack on a convoy of Congress leaders while they were returning from a political rally.

CRPF jawans carry of the body of a victim. PTICRPF jawans carry of the body of a victim. PTI

The Supreme Court had directed the state government to investigate all previously “inappropriately or incompletely investigated instances of alleged criminal activities of Salwa Judum”, file appropriate FIRs and diligently prosecute the guilty.

But no one has been prosecuted, says Sundar. “Somebody like Mahendra Karma should have been in jail a long time ago,” she adds.

Has the Supreme Court verdict impacted the government’s response at all? “No. For one thing, we had explicitly named Mahendra Karma and shown from police diaries and the Collector’s monthly reports of his involvement. Right from the beginning we had shown the involvement of the Chhattisgarh government in what was going on. It wasn’t a people’s movement at all.”

Describing the response by the state government to the Supreme Court’s order to disband the 6500 “barely literate” and inadequately trained tribal special police officers to fight the Maoists, as a “slap in the face of the court”, Sundar says “The SPOs were supposed to be disbanded. Instead, they were constituted into an armed constabulary force from the date of the judgment. The Chhattisgarh Act says very clearly that everyone who was an SPO on the date of the judgement would now be considered an armed constabulary force and they were given better guns and more money.”

Asked whether the scale and nature of response by the government to the deadly attack was a cause of worry and what she would like the government response to be, she said, “I am very saddened by the attack and I think it is terrible… Firstly, I would like to see the government implement the Supreme Court judgment. Secondly, I would like to see them resign for their complete failure to address the whole issue.

“The judgment laid down very clearly the fact that people who violated human rights should be prosecuted. I would like to see the SPOs disbanded. I would like to see the compensation and rehabilitation of all those who were affected by the Salwa Judum. I would like to see the schools being vacated and restarted in every village. They continue to be occupied by the security officers (despite the Supreme Court’s order). We would like to see some element of justice and normalcy as the main plank rather than just military operation.”


Chhattisgarh to outsource diagnostic services in government hospitals #WTFnews #healthcare

Author(s): Kundan Pandey, down to earth
Date: Jan 18, 2013

Activists say these centres will end up serving outside patients at the cost of hospital patients

The Chhattisgarh government has decided to outsource diagnostic services at its public health facilities. It has issued a request for proposal (RFP) in this regard. According to the RFP, the government would outsource radiology and lab services in 379 facilities, including district hospitals, community health and primary health centres. The state is planning to enter into an agreement with private parties for 10 years with provision for annual renewal.

In the PPP project, the government will provide space and electric meter to the partner firm or individual who will be free to cater to “external customers”. The rates will be those approved for National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), the accredited centre in Delhi under the Central Government of Health Scheme (CGHS). Monitoring will be done by third party. After setting performance level mutually, the government will reward high performers with five per cent bonus; low performers will be penalised.

Activists are critical of the move. Sulakshana Nandi of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan in Chhattisgarh says the government has not done its homework properly before taking such a big decision. “Tamil Nadu offers an example in contrast where, without any outsourcing, even the public health centres have been able to provide well functioning diagnostic services. In states where outsourcing of diagnostic services has been tried out, it has been a failure. The recent Common Review Mission, which analyses working of the National Rural Health Mission, clearly states that Bihar model was a complete failure,” she says.

Referring to the RFP, she says that concession of serving external patients could disturb the entire mechanism and the patients for whom the system is meant will become secondary. Pointing to the monitoring aspect, she says there would always remain a doubt whether the private (third) party is doing fair monitoring.


Below Poverty Line (BPL) millionaires in Chhattisgarh, India

Author(s): Alok Prakash Putul, Down to Erath
Date: Jun 30, 2012

Industrial houses use tribals as fronts to amass tribal land in Chhattisgarh

Ram Singh’s neighbours tease him by calling him Crorepati Singh. The 40-year-old Gond tribal from Parsada village in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh has hardly any landholding and depends on the government’s employment guarantee schemes to feed his family. But according to official documents, Singh has recently purchased land worth Rs 1.5 crore from a dozen of tribals in Pusaur tehsil of Raigarh district, 250 km away.

Singh is not the only one who is living this paradoxical life. Government records show seven other people from his village, all living below the poverty line, have also purchased land worth crores of rupees in Pusaur (see ‘Hassle-free acquisition’).


Ask them how they managed to buy the land, and they look bewildered. None of them have the slightest idea who they bought the land from, how much it cost, or who paid the money. All they know is that in June 2010, when dauji, the village landlord, took them to Pusaur and asked them to put their thumb impressions on blank documents and plain papers, they could not refuse.

Dauji promised me two days of wages, and I agreed,” says Salik Ram, another Gond tribal. Land registry documents show he now owns land worth Rs 74 lakh. His neighbour Vyas Narayan does not even remember the name of the village he went to. He is content with the fact that he could earn some money (which he was reluctant to divulge) and gained the goodwill of dauji.

Quite obviously, none of them are aware that Avantha Group, one of the country’s large business conglomerates, is setting up Korba West Power Co Ltd, with two 600 MW coal-fired thermal power plant units, on the 43.7 hectares (ha) purchased in the names of the eight Gond tribals. The land was bought from hundreds of tribal people of Sarwani, Amlibhouna, Bade Bhandar and Chhote Bhandar villages in Pusaur. The cluster of villages are strategically important, as they are close to the industrial town of Raigarh, and not far from Korba district from where the company would procure coal for its power plant.

image(Left to right) Vyas Narayan, Salik Ram, Budharu Ram are daily wagers. Avantha bought land in their names for power plant (Photos: Alok Putul)

Sources reveal that Avantha Group made the payment for the land. The Gond tribals’ thumb impressions on plain papers give the company the power of attorney to carry out construction work on the land.

If Avantha made the payment, why did it not buy the land in its name?

The land parcels that Avantha Group acquired are owned by tribal people. As per the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code, tribal land in the state can neither be sold nor leased out to a non-tribal person without the permission of the district collector. The collector has to give his reasons for granting the permission and must ensure that the displaced people get alternative land or jobs, besides suitable compensation.

To circumvent these safeguards, in what appears to be widespread practice, power companies in this mineral-rich nascent state are enlisting tribal people to act as a front to first buy land from multiple tribal farmers, and then transfer it as one bloc for their projects. This reduces the liability of the company and hastens project implementation. It’s a win-win situation for industries.

For instance, Avantha Group had started constructing its power plant on the tribal land of Pusaur even before it approached the government to acquire 358 ha, including the 43.7 ha tribal land, for its project. Since land acquisition process is time-consuming, this enables Avantha Group to build the plant while the government acquires land, both physically and on paper. This saves time.


“Construction on a project cannot begin before the government acquires land and transfers it to the company. But such shortcuts are now in practice in Chhattisgarh due to unholy nexus between industries, land registration officials and ministers,” says Pravin Patel, director of Tribal Welfare Society, a non-profit in Chhattisgarh.

After the formal land acquisition, Avantha Group will have to compensate only eight Gond tribals. Had the government acquired land from the hundreds of tribals from four villages, the company would have to pay compensation to all, besides providing other facilities under the corporate social responsibility. Although the tribals from Pusaur claim they have sold land to Avantha, they do not have documents to prove it or claim any compensation in future.

Ghasia Ram Sidar, a tribal of village Sarwani, says he sold his land under pressure from officers and agents of Korba West Power. Others agreed to sell their land after company officers assured employment in the plant. The tribals of the region hope the company would fulfil their promise, but the company is not obliged to do so. Down To Earth made several attempts to get in touch with Korba West Power Company Limited, but received no response.

When apprised about the fraudulent act of Avantha Group, Tribal Welfare Minister Kedar Kashyap said, “We have directed our officers that this type of corruption will not be tolerated. We investigate such cases as they come to our knowledge.” Revenue Minister Dayal Das Baghel said, “It is a lie that corporate houses are capturing tribal land. Since 2008, we have allowed only two tribals in Raigarh to sell their four hectares of agricultural land to non-tribals. The permission was given under the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code. We are serious about the issue.”

If the ministers’ claims are true, how does one explain government land records that show at least 1,981 cases of transfer of tribal land to non-tribals in the past three years across the state.

Land scam in the making

As many as 514 new industrial units are coming up in the state, mostly in and around the mineral-rich and tribal-dominated areas, requiring hundreds of thousands of hectares (see map). Seventy of these industrial units are coal-fuelled thermal power plants. They have already signed MoUs with the Chhattisgarh government to produce 60,000 MW of electricity, around one-third of the country’s installed capacity. At least 34 power plants are in the pipeline in Janjgir Champa alone, where 12 per cent of the population are scheduled tribes. Farmers in this well-irrigated, fertile district grow two crops a year.

landAvantha Group started constructing its power plant on tribal land in Pusaur even before seeking government permission

Anand Mishra, a farmer leader from Bilaspur, says if all the incidents of tribal land transfers in the name of non-tribals in Chhattisgarh are investigated, the country’s biggest land scam could be unearthed. Most of the industrialists have purchased land worth crores of rupees in the name of their servants, guards and even unknown tribals and are setting up industries, he alleges.

Take the example of Kerakachar village in Baloda block in Janjgir Champa. Sarda Energy and Minerals Limited has purchased the entire tribal land in the village in the name of only three tribals to build a power plant. One Jaykumar Paraste is the major purchaser. He has bought 24 ha, worth Rs 2.84 crore from 35 tribals. But no one knows the whereabouts of Paraste. Land registry documents show different addresses listed against his name.

Chequered past

Last year, Videocon purchased 28 ha of agricultural land worth Rs 3.36 crore in the tribal villages of Gond and Gadpali in Janjgir Champa district for setting up its 1,200 MW power plant. It bought the land in the name of a youth Bilam Singh Gaur of Kabirdham, Chief Minister Raman Singh’s home district. The MLA from the region belonging to the opposition Congress Party unearthed the land documents, which showed Videocon had also hired Sandeep Kanwar, son of home minister Nanki Ram Kanwar, who is a tribal, as its public relations officer for acquiring tribal land. Sandeep Kanwar bought tribal land in his name, while Videocon made the payment.

The government cancelled the registration of the land bought by Kanwar only after the opposition made a great commotion in the Legislative Assembly. But no criminal action was taken against those involved, nor were other land deals investigated.

Around the same time, at a public hearing for Top Worth Energy Limited in Balbhadrapur village of Raigarh, residents of the village made a disclosure that some agents purchased tribal land in the name of yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s ashram at a minimal rate and transferred it to the said company.

In March this year, 63 similar cases came to light in Bastar, a scheduled area under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. Following this the divisional commissioner of Bastar cancelled the permission of sale of a few land parcels of tribals. Several other cases are under investigation.

But no one is sure how genuine these investigations are. In Mahasamund district, for instance, the commissioner of the Raipur division in February 2011 ordered an investigation into the sale of 150 tribal land parcels to non-tribals. But no action has been taken in this regard so far.

In February this year, Vinod Vyas, state coordinator for non-profit Social And Judicial Action Group, along with some political organisations, appealed to the divisional commissioner of Bilaspur, R P Jain, to look into the fraudulent transfer of tribal land to non-tribals taking place in Bilaspur. Jain immediately wrote a letter to the district collector who was asked to submit investigation report within 15 days. The collector did not initiate any investigation. Vyas and the other complainants approached the commissioner twice in April. Both the times, Jain wrote to the collector and sought an investigation report within 15 days, but the matter did not progress beyond this.

“The order to investigate and submit a report in 15 days is stuck even after 100 days. Officers just keep writing letters. The government neither wants to investigate nor take action. Its agenda is to discourage the complainants so that business houses can prosper,” Vyas alleges.

Former chief minister of Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi, says, “In Raigarh alone land mafia have purchased hundreds of hectares of tribal land in the name of other tribals in the past seven years.

Now industries are functioning there.” He says the owner of the company should be arrested in such fraud cases and government officials involved suspended.

This, however, seems to be a remote possibility in Chhattisgarh, which is experiencing an industrial boom due to its abundant minerals and cheaply available tribal land. The deals remain hassle-free as both the government and industries seem to be hand in glove.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE– Chhattisgarh Govt denies Soni Sori Food and medicines

Press Statement – 20thJune 2012.




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.

This fight is between truth and falsehoods- Soni Sori from Raipur Jail ( Hindi and English)

सुप्रीमकोर्ट  न्यायालय जज साहब, वकील सर के नाम पर खत
माननीय जज साहब, छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार मेरे साथ आज की स्थिति में भी बहुत गलत कर रही है | ये सब सहते तकलीफ, अन्यायों के बारे में खत के माध्यम से लिखकर बार-बार आपको परेशान करना, दुःख पहुचाना या इस केस की फ़ैसला के लिये जोर देने की इरादा मेरे मन में बिल्कुल नहीं है | क्या करूँ मैं मजबूर हूँ | पर मेरी हालत को कोई समझना नहीं चाहता | मेरी पूरी कोशिश रहती है कि जो कुछ समस्या है, जेल से हों या न्यायालय से समाधान हों जाये पर होता नहीं है बल्कि और बढा दिया जाता है | जिससे मजबूर होकर आप तक जानकारी शिकायत देने करने के लिये विवश हों जाति हूँ | आप पर मुझे पूरा विश्वास है | जब भी इस केस की सुनवाई होगी सच्चाई को देखते हुए, पक्ष-विपक्ष को सुनते हुए देगे |
क्योंकि ये लड़ाई सच और झूठ का है | इस सच-झूठ को पुलिस प्रशासन जानने के बावजूद भी मुझपर अत्याचार किया कर रहा है | एस्सार नोट कांड ने मेरी जिंदगी को बर्बाद कर दिया | आज भी मेरी जीवन  मौत की कगार में है | अब मुझे ये देखना है मैंने सुना भी पढ़ा भी सच परेशान हों सकता है पर पराजित नहीं हों सकता | सच की राह में चलते-चलते बहुत से कठिनाइयाँ, परेशानी तकलीफों का सामना किया कर रही हूँ | जहां तक अपने आपको खो दिया ये शरीर भी अत्याचार जुल्म को सहते-सहते इस स्थिति में पहुंच चुका है कब मेरा साथ छोड़ दे, कोई भरोसा नहीं |
इस वक्त बहुत ही परेशानियों का सामना करना पड़ रहा है | तीन महीने हों चुके दवाई नहीं दिया जा रहा है | इलाज को अधूरा करके छोड़ दिया गया | शरीर की तकलीफ बहुत अधिक बढ़ चुकी है | चलने में परेशानी, अचानक शरीर सूज जाता है | चलते चलते पैर शून्य हों जाते हैं | मैं भी तो इंसान ही हूँ ऐसा अन्याय क्यों? इतनी तडप कष्ट सजा की जीवन क्यों दिया जा रहा है| जज साहब मैं आपसे न्यायालय से जानना चाहती हूँ कि मेरा गुनाह क्या है? एक तो मानसिक रूप प्रताड़ित किये, बेरहमी के साथ अत्याचार करके इन सलाखों में डाल दिया गया | यदि मुझे जेल में भेजना ही था तो ऐसा चोट जख्म, जुल्म देकर क्यों भेजा गया | जेल में डाल भी दिये तो आज पुलिस प्रशासन के द्वारा दिया गया जख्मों का इलाज कराने स्वास्थ्य की हालात को सुधार करने में असमर्थ क्यों है |
सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायालय की आदेश से कलकता में मेरी इलाज हुई, इलाज के दौरान डाक्टर सर ने सलाह दिया था कि ये दवाई को रेगुलर लेते रहना जब तक आपकी अंदरूनी दर्द कम न हों जाये | वो दवाई भी नहीं दिया जा रहा है | मैंने इस बत की शिकायत जगदलपुर जेल में किया, रायपुर आने के बाद रायपुर में जेलर मैडम से अनेक बार कहा | स्थानीय न्यायालय दंतेवाड़ा में भी कहा कि मुझे अंदरूनी तकलीफ बढ़ रही है | मुझे दवाई की उपलब्ध कराया जाये | इसके बावजूद भी आज तक दवाई नहीं मिल रही है | इस स्थिति से परेशान होकर मैंने जेल की डाक्टर मैडम से कहा कि मेरी इलाज करवाया जाये | डाक्टर मैडम कहने लगी तुम प्रशासनिक तौर से आई हों और नक्सली महिला लिखित में देकर मानसिक रूप से प्रताडित किया गया | फिर मैं कुछ दिन चुप रही |
मेरी दर्द बढती ही जा रही है इस स्थिति में मैंने दिनांक २७.०२.२०१२ को पेशी में जाने से वकील से फिर कहा, ऐसी स्थिति रहा तो मेरा जिन्दा रहना मुश्किल है | तब वकीलों ने मेरी इलाज के लिये न्यायालय में आवेदन दिया जिससे स्वीकृति मिल गई और जेल में आदेश भी मेरी इलाज के नाम पर आया | दिनांक १.३.२०१२ को जेलर मैडम ने मुझे अस्पताल भेजे उस दिन मेरी इलाज पूरी तरह नहीं हों पाया | समय की अवधि खत्म होने के वजह से फिर हमें डाक्टर ने दिनांक ६.३.२०१२ को बुलाया ताकि उस दिन मेरी सोनोग्राफी करवाना था ५.३.२०१२ को मुझे अस्पताल नहीं ले गये | तब मैंने जेलर मैडम, जेल अधीक्षक को कहा कि सर मेरी  अंदरूनी दर्द, पीड़ा ज्यादा होने लगा है | आप हमे इलाज के लिये क्यों नहीं भेज रहे हों | डाक्टर सोनोग्राफी का सलाह दिया है, वो कराना जरुरी है | प्लीज आपलोग इसतरह लापरवाही मत कीजियेगा | मुझमे बहुत ही कमजोरी आ गई, इस वक्त मैं कुछ कर भी नहीं पाती हूँ | बहुत सा तकलीफों का सामना करना पड़ रहा है | आप मुझे अस्पताल भेजकर सोनोग्राफी कर लाइयेगा ताकि ऐसा दवाई प्राप्त हों जिससे मुझे दर्द में राहत मिल सके| इतने सारे परेशानी बताने पर जेल अधीक्षक कहा कि मैं कुछ नहीं कर सकता, मेरे हाथ में कुछ नहीं है | तो अब हम कैसे करें किससे बताए तो कहा वो मैं नहीं जनता समझी | फिर मैंने कहा एक तो आप लोग ने मुझे ६.३.२०१२ की पेशी में भी उपस्थित नहीं कराये क्यों? यदि हम पेशी में जाते तो अपनी इस समस्या को न्यायालय में रखते, ये सबसे आप लोगों ने मुझे वंचित कर दिया | ये पेशी में उपस्थित होना अनिवार्य था | अब इसके जिम्मेदार कौन है? फिर वही जवाब ये सबसे मेरा कोई लेना देना नहीं है | ना ही मेरी जिम्मेदारी है समझी | तब मैंने कहा ठीक है सर मैं अब सरकार को खत लिखूंगी | जज साहब मेरे द्वारा लिखी बातों पर गौर कीजियेगा| इस स्थिति में मैं क्या करूँ| ये सब मैं आप पर छोडती हूँ |
छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार की नियम कानून अत्याचार से हरसत हों चुकी हूँ | जज साहब मुझे हर पेशी में उपस्थित होना जरुरी है क्योंकि मेरा परिवार न्यायलय में  हर बार आ नहीं सकता, परिस्थितियों के वजह से और मुझपर जो आरोप लगे हैं| उन केसों की सच झूठ को मुझे जानना है | दवाई ना मिलने के वजह से और इलाज ना कराने के वजह से मेरी अंदरूनी तकलीफ बढ़ चुकी है | मेरे पिता को नक्सलियों ने पैर पर गोली मारे जिससे विकलांग हों चुके हैं | जब न्यायालय में मुझसे मिलने आते हैं तो मेरे पिता को लाचार किया जाता है | मेरे बच्चे को मानसिक रूप से परेशान किया जाता है | बच्चे ये सब से अनजान हैं | बच्चो को पुछ ताछ क्यों पुलिस की इस तरह की व्यवहार पूछ ताछ से मेरी बच्ची की मानसिकता पर डर पैदा हो रही है | ये डर मेरी बच्ची के जीवन के लिये ठीक नहीं है | आगामी में हमें कुछ हों जाये तो मेरे बच्चों का आश्रय अवश्य बना दीजियेगा जज साहब | मेरे सिवाय मेरे बच्चों का कोई भी नहीं इन बच्चों का पिता है भी तो जेल में है | मेरे पिता की सम्पति को तो नक्सलियों ने पूरी तरह बर्बाद कर दिया | जिससे ये परिवार भी लचारता की जीवन जी रहा है |
रायपुर जेल हों या छत्तीसगढ़ के अन्य जेल हों, मुझे अच्छी हालात में रहने नहीं देंगे ना ही रखेंगे | ना ही मैं सुरक्षित महसूस कार सकती हूँ ना ही सुरक्षित हूँ | फिर भी मुझे रायपुर जेल से वापस जगदलपुर जेल में किया जाये | ताकि बच्चों से बीच-बीच में मिल सकूँ| जबतक जीवित हूँ एक ना एक दिन छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार मुझे मौत देगा ही | क्योंकि हम जैसे आदिवासियों को अत्याचार जुल्म प्रताडित करके मौत देना सरकार की सबसे बड़ी जीत कामयाबी है | इस कामयाबी से सरकार पीछे कैसे हट सकती है | जज साहब रायपुर जेल में बहुत ही परेशानी हों रही है | आपसे निवेदन है कि हमें वापस किया जाये | गलती पे क्षमा |
श्रीमती सोनी सोरी
Letter to the Supreme Court Judge (through  Advocate sir)
Honourable Judge Sahib, the Chhattisgarh government is committing many wrongs on me even today.  I tolerate everything, and I do not have any intention of troubling you repeatedly through my letters, or causing grief to you, or putting any undue pressure on the decision of any case. But what can I do – I am compelled to do this (write to you), since no one wants to understand my circumstances.  I try my utmost that whatever problem I encounter gets resolved through the jail authorities or in the (lower) courts. But it does not happen this way, and instead, the problems get compounded.  Due to this, I am left with no option but am compelled to give you the information/ complaint. I have full faith in you.  Whenever this court (Supreme Court) hears the case, it will seek the truth and decide only after hearing both sides.
This fight is between truth and falsehoods. Even knowing all the truth and falsehoods, the police and administration is heaping atrocities on me.  The Essar note incident has ruined my life.  Even now, my life is on the verge of death.  Now I have to see for myself—I have heard and I have read that Truth can be beleagured but it cannot be defeated.  Walking on this path of Truth, I am facing many difficulties, trials and tribulations.  While I have lost myself, my body has also borne so many atrocities that there is no saying when it may also stop supporting me.
At this time, I have to face many difficulties. Three months have passed and I am not being given any medicines.  My treatment was left incomplete.  The problem in my body has increased significantly.  I have problems walking.  Suddenly, my body swells up.  While walking, my feet suddenly go numb.  Even I am a human being, then why this injustice?  Why have I been condemned to this life of torment, agony and punishment?
Judge Sahib, I want to know from you, from the Court, what wrong have I committed? First, they tortured me mentally, committed unbearable atrocities on me, and put me behind these prison bars. If I had to be sent to prison in any case, then why send me after subjecting me to such injuries, wounds and atrocities? And even if they have put me in prison, why are they unable to give me treatment for the wounds inflicted by the police and administration, to get me back into a healthy condition?
It was upon the order of the Supreme Court that I was taken to Kolkata for treatment.  During the treatment, the doctor advised me to be regular in taking my medicines till the internal pains do not get better. But I am not being given these medicines.  I have complained about this in the Jagdalpur jail.  After coming to the Raipur jail, I have told the Jailor Madam many times about this.  Even in the lower court in Dantewada, I said that my internal problems are increasing.  My medicines should be made available to me.  In spite of all this, I have not been given medicines till today.  Troubled by such circumstances, I even asked the Doctor Madam of the Jail that I need to be treated.  The Doctor Madam began to  say, “You have come here through the Administration” and put in writing that I am a Naxalite woman and thus I was put through mental harassment.  Then, I kept quiet for a few days.  My pains go on increasing.
Under such circumstances, on 27-02-2012, when I went for the court hearing and saw my lawyer, I told him that in this condition, it will be difficult for me to stay alive.  Then the lawyers presented an application in the court for my treatment.  The application was approved and the jail received an order for my treatment.
On 1-2-2012, Jailor madam sent me to the hospital.  But my treatmentcould not be completed that day.  Since the time (for seeing patients) was up, the doctor called us back on 6-3-2012 so that sonography could be conducted that day.  But I was not taken to the hospital on 5-3-2012. Then I told the Jailor Madam and the Jail Superintendent that, “Sir, my internal pains and problems are increasing.  Why are you not sending me to for treatment?  The Doctor has recommended sonography.  It is important to get it done.  Please, do not be so negligent in this matter. I have a lot of weakness. At this time, I am unable to do anything.  I have to face a lot of difficulties.  Please send me to the hospital and get my sonography done, so that I can get the right medicines which will provide me relief from my pains.”
Even on explaining all this to him, the Jail Superintendent said, “I cannot do anything.  Nothing is in my hands.”
I asked him then, “If all this is not in your hands, in your control, then what should I do? Please tell me. “
He said, “I don’t know. Understand?”
Then I said, “First, you did not even take me for the hearing on 6-3-2012 and produce me in the court there.  Had I gone for the hearing, I could have informed the court about my condition.  You have deprived me of this opportunity.  It was necessary for me to be present in this hearing.  Now, who is responsible for this?”
The same reply, “I have nothing to do with all this.  Nor is this my responsibility.  Understand?”
Then I said, “Alright, sir.  I will write a letter to the government.”
Honourable Judge sir, please give some thought to what I have written.  What should I do under these circumstances?  I leave all this to you.  I am weary of the rules, regulations and injustices of the Chhattisgarh government.
Judge sahib, it is necessary for me to be present for my hearings because my family cannot make it to each hearing due to their circumstances, and I need to know about the charges against me and the truth and falsehoods of the cases against me.
(2) My internal problems have worsened because of non-availability of medicines and treatment.
(3) My father is now disabled because the Naxalites shot him in the leg.  When he comes to meet me in the court, he is made to feel helpless.
My children are being mentally harassed.  My children do not know anything.  Why are my children interrogated?  My little girl is now mentally traumatized and fearful due to this behavior of the police.  This fear is not good for my girl’s life.  Should something happen to me in the near future, please ensure that my children are taken care of.  These children have no one besides me – even the father of my children is in jail.   My father’s property has been completely destroyed by the Naxalites.  This is why even this family is living a life of destitution.
Whether it is the Raipur Jail or some other jail in Chhattisgarh, I will not be allowed to live in a good condition, nor will they keep me in a good condition.  Neither can I feel protected, nor am I safe.  Still, I should be sent back from the Raipur jail to the Jagdalpur jail so that I can meet my children from time to time, till I am alive.  One of these days, the Chhattisgarh government will surely kill me. Because subjecting adivasis like me to atrocities, cruelties and torture, and then awarding us with death is the biggest victory and success of this government.
Judge sahib, I am facing a lot of difficulties in the Raipur Jail.  I pray to you to be taken back.  Please forgive me for my mistakes.
Shirmati Soni Sori (Sodhi)

Chhattisgarh Vs Jayaswal throws light on murky mine sector

 In a petition filed in the Delhi high court, the state alleges that the firm forged papers to get iron ore mining lease

Ruchira Singh reports in Mint

New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh government has filed a writ petition in the Delhi high court against the Central government over Jayaswal Neco Ltd’s applications for mining leases in a case that throws light on the murky world of mining in India.

The state alleges that the mid-sized steel-maker forged documents in its application to get iron ore mining leases in Rowghat in Bastar district and that the Union government directed it to consider the application favourably—even after the state showed investigative reports that said Jayaswal Neco had allegedly faked paperwork to show it had conducted prospecting (preliminary exploration) in Rowghat when it had actually not done so.

Neither the company secretary of Jayaswal Neco nor India’s mining secretary responded to e-mails or phone calls seeking comment.

India’s mining sector has been in the spotlight over allegations of rampant illegal mining and activists, government officials and company executives have spoken about the opaque way in which many leases are issued and the way some unscrupulous miners secure their interests.

The Jayaswal Neco case, which will be heard on 30 April, may reveal the inner workings of miners and government officials—especially if the court finds the allegations contained in the 205-page petition to be true.

At stake are iron ore deposits of 280 million tonnes (mt) valued at over Rs. 80,000 crore, in
Rowghat iron ore deposits A, B, C, D, E situated in the reserved forest area of Narayanpur forest division of Kanker forest circle of Bastar, the writ petition says.

Jayaswal Neco, a 1mt steel producer based in Nagpur, is listed on BSE as Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd and has been trying to get four mining leases in the Rowghat iron ore deposits on the grounds that it had prospecting licences in 1999 and, therefore, must get preferential allotment.

These forests are Maoist territory, but are nonetheless attractive for steel companies given the shortage of mineral resources in the country. Tata Steel Ltd, also eyeing the deposits, impleaded itself in the case and has been named respondent number three, after the Union government and Jayaswal Neco.

“Any deposits in that area are valuable because of the proximity to steel plants (in east India) as well as the general quality of the ores,” said Ravindra Deshpande, metals analyst at Elara Securities (India) Pvt. Ltd.

Rowghat’s deposit F belongs to Steel Authority of India Ltd’s Bhilai Steel Plant, and amid security fears, the company has retained Chhattisgarh State Power Transmission Co. Ltd and the railways to create the required infrastructure before developing the mine.

Prospecting claims

Jayaswal Neco’s prospecting licences (PLs) for a total of 1601.47 hectares in and around Rowghat’s deposits A to E, were valid for up to two years and in 2000 the company made an application to the Chhattisgarh government asking for mining leases (ML) in the very same areas claiming preferential rights under the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act (MMDR Act), the writ petition shows.

Till 2006, its applications remained in the initial stages. Then, the divisional forest officer, Narayanpur, informed the state’s mineral resources department that Jayaswal Neco had not undertaken any prospecting operations. The department’s suspicions were further aroused, the writ shows, when state government officials scrutinizing Jayaswal Neco’s application found references to the “state government of Chhattisgarh” in back-dated papers. Chhattisgarh had not been created at the time (the state was formed in November 2000).

In 2007, the state government rejected all applications after Jayaswal Neco failed to provide proof justifying its claim.

“As prices of iron ore had started rising, there was a lot of pressure from companies to get mining leases,” said an official in the Chhattisgarh government who did not want to be identified.

Jayaswal Neco filed a “revision application” with the appropriate authority in the central government’s mines ministry. “With their revision application, respondent number two (Jayaswal Neco) filed photocopies of two letters dated 20.1.2000, purportedly having been written by the Conservator of Forest (CF), Kanker Forest Circle to the Divisional Forest Officer, Narayanpur, conveying permission for prospecting operations in 186 ha and 388 ha of PL areas,” the writ says. “However, no such letters were ever issued by the CF, Kanker, which are prima facie and to our belief, forged documents.”

The state government wrote to the secretary of mines for instituting an inquiry by the office of the controller general, Indian Bureau of Mines, in Nagpur.

“Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. (MECL)/Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) conducted an inquiry into state government’s complaint and submitted a detailed report to the ministry of mines confirming that the alleged irregularities had in fact been committed in the Office of Regional Controller, IBM Nagpur,” the writ says. “In the CVO’s report, prospecting reports submitted by respondent number two were found to be ante-dated and acknowledgements issued by the Office of Regional Controller, IBM, Nagpur to respondent number two, to be forged,” it adds.

Centre’s role

Read full article here

Soni Sori’s- Letter to her Lawyer – Feb 23rd ( Audio Hindi and English)

सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायलय वकील सर जी के नाम पर खत (२३/०२/२०१२)

वकील सर रायपुर रखने के बजाय हमें दिल्ली में रखना था, रायपुर आने के बाद मेरी परेशानियां बढते ही जा रहा है| मुझे अब तक दवाई की उपलब्ध नहीं किया | दर्द की तकलीफ को व्यक्त करते हुए बताती हूँ तो कहते हैं तुम प्रशासन तौर से आई हो और नक्सली महिला कहकर लिखित देकर मानसिक तनाव दिया जाता है| मुझे दवाई नहीं दिया जा रहा है जिससे मेरा अंदरूनी दर्द बढते जा रहा है| ये सब बाते न्यायालय स्थानीय कोर्ट में भी कहा था न्यायालय भी मेरी समस्या को हल करने के बजाय ये कहकर टाल दिया दिया कि तुम्हारा केस सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायालय में चल रहा है| जो कुछ भी करेगा सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायालय करेगा| वकील सर हमे पूरा विश्वास है कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायालय अत्याचार से पीड़ित महिला का न्याय अवश्य करेगा| पर कुछ तकलीफों को स्थनीय कोर्ट न्यायालय भी तो कर सकता है| लेकिन नहीं जान बुझकर सभी लोग हमें परेशान करके रखना चाहते हैं| पहले भी कहा था अब भी कह रही हूँ| मैं सुरक्षित नहीं हूँ ना ही महसूस कर सकती हूँ| मुझपर बहुत ही अन्याय कर रहे हैं| ये लोग हमे जीने नहीं देंगे| ये तो निश्चित है कि एक न एक दिन हमे मरना ही है| थोडा बहुत जीवन बचा है अपने बच्चों के नजदीक रहना चाहती हूँ| ताकि बच्चों से बीच-बीच में मिल सकू ! ये जीवन का क्या भरोसा कब क्या हो जाये इसलिय जगदलपुर वापस करवाइएगा

वकील सर| आप मानो या ना मानो छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार हमे मौत देगी ही! क्योंकि मैं जिस स्थिति से गुजर रही हूँ , मैं ही जानती हूँ| काश हम दिल्ली में रहकर लड़ते तो बिल्कुल सुरक्षित रहते| ये सब आदिवासियों के भाग्य में कहाँ| हम आदिवासियों के नसीब में तो अत्याचार जुल्म सहकर मरना है मरना जरूरी है| हम आदिवासी सरकार के लिये एक ऐसी विजनेस हैं| जितना हम आदिवासियों पर छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार शोषण जुल्म अत्याचार प्रताड़ना महिलाओं पर बलात्कार बेरहमी के साथ नंगा करेगा उतना ही सरकार फायदे में रहेगा| ये सबके लिये ही करोड़ो-अरबों रूपये आते हैं| वकील सर यदि ये सब खत्म होने पर शांति आने पर सरकार में बैठे नेता लोग रोड पर भीख मांगते नजर आयेंगे इसलिये ये सब खत्म करने के बजाय बढ़ावा दे रहे हैं बढा रहे हैं| ऐसी स्थिति में हम जैसे लोगों को कैसे सरकार जिन्दा रख सकती है|

वकील सर मुझपर मेरे अपने आदिवासी भाई-बहन, पिता पर बहुत अधिक अन्याय हो रहा है देख रही हूँ सह रही हूँ| ये सब अत्याचार पर सोचने के लिये ऐसा कदम उठाने के लिये छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार ने हमे मजबूर कर दिया जिससे अब हम भूख हड़ताल कर रहे हैं| जेल में हो या न्यायालय हो या सरकार प्रशासन, हम आदिवासियों की तकलीफों को क्यों नहीं समझता ? वकील सर मेरी इलाज की बात होती है तो इलाज हम दिल्ली में करवाएंगे| क्योंकि पिछले बार जो तकलीफ उठाये हैं वो बार-बार हम नही उठा सकते इससे अच्छा इलाज ना ही हो| पिछले बार इलाज के नाम पर मानसिक तनाव से ग्रस्त किये थे| रायपुर में तडप-तडपकर मरने के लिये ना छोड़ें एक बार आपलोग हमसे मिलने आइयेगा| दीदी और कोई प्लीज सर हम मिलना चाहते हैं| हम इस जगह पर रह नहीं सकते| स्थान्तरण हो|
स्व हस्ताक्षरित
श्रीमती सोनी (सोढ़ी)

Audio Soni Sori Letter in Hindi

Letter to Supreme Court Advocate Sir
Advocate sir,
I should have been kept in Delhi instead of Raipur. My troubles have increased ever since I was moved to Raipur. I have not even been provided with medicines. When I express my complaint of pain, they tell me that I have come through the administration, and they call me and write me down as a “Naxalite” woman, and this puts me under a lot of mental stress. I am not given my medicines, due to which my internal pains have been increasing. I have told the local court all this, but instead of solving my problem, the local court is avoiding it by saying that since my case is with the Supreme Court, whatever will be done here will be done by the Supreme Court.
Sir, I have complete faith that the Supreme Court will bring justice to a woman who has suffered torture. However, the local courts also have the ability to resolve some problems. But no! All of these people deliberately want to give me trouble. I am not safe here – I can feel that I am unsafe. I am suffering grave injustice and these people will not let me live. It is certain that I have to die some day or the other. Whatever little life I have left, I want to be close to my children, so that I can meet them from time to time. How can one trust this life – who knows what will happen next? So please get me moved back to Jagdalpur.
Sir, whether you believe it or not, the Chhattisgarh government will definitely award me with death. Only I know what I am undergoing. If only I could have stayed in Delhi while fighting this out, I would have been completely safe. But such is not the fate of adivasis! We, adivasis, are only fated to suffer atrocities and die; dying is necessary. We, adivasis, are a business for the government. The more the Chhattisgarh government will exploit us, oppress us, commit atrocities against us, torture us, rape our women, mercilessly strip us naked, the more the government will profit. It is for this reason alone that tens of billions of rupees come. Sir, if all this ends and there is peace, then the leaders who are now in the government will be seen begging on the streets. This is why, instead of ending this, they are encouraging this, enlarging this. In such a situation, how can the government let our people live?
Advocate sir, there is a lot of injustice happening to me, to my adivasi brother, sister, father… I am seeing this, I am suffering this. The Chhattisgarh government is forcing us to think about all these atrocities, into taking these steps, which is why I am now on a hunger strike. Whether inside the jail, or before the court – why does the government/ administration not listen to the problems of us adivasis? Sir, there is talk of my medical treatment – I want my medical treatment to be conducted in Delhi. The problems I have faced last time – I cannot bear them again and again. Rather, it would be better not to have any treatment at all. Last time, I was put under so much mental tension at the pretext of being given treatment. Please do not leave me to suffer and die in Raipur – please come to meet me once. I want to meet didi or someone else. I cannot stay in this place any longer. Please get me transferred.
Smt. Soni Sori

Audio Soni Sori Letter in English


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June 2022
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