The Story of One School Why 650 children came and only 200 remained


By Prakhar Jain

Education in ruins The residential school in Chintagupha, Sukma

WITH THE Right to Education Act (RTE) completing two years, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal may feel smug about the decline in dropout rates. But close to 40,000 children in the Naxal-hit districts of Chhattisgarh are yet to even enrol in schools. To them, the impressive figures of the Human Resource and Development Ministry regarding addition of classrooms matter little.

Most of these children missing from schools in these areas are actually victims of conflict. During the time of the now disbanded Salwa Judum, the state-sponsored anti-Naxal militia, and later Operation Green Hunt from 2005 to 2010, the biggest casualties apart from human lives were schools and education. Salwa Judum destroyed schools as they went on a rampage vacating villages suspected of supporting Naxals; while Naxals did the same, fearing that schools would be used as camps by the security forces.

Many schools were shut permanently, while some were shifted next to the roads along the Salwa Judum camps. The residential school in Chintalnar, around 80 km from district headquarters Sukma, was among those shut in 2005, forcing all the children to go back to their homes. “More than 650 children turned up for admission when the school reopened in 2010, but we were able to take just 370 of them. There were just too many to be accommodated with the limited infrastructure available,” recalls Jairam Sinha, an instructor in the school, pointing to the school building. The building is a small house with four rooms measuring 10 ft by 10 ft.

Since then, the number of students has come down to 200, as many have run away. Still, nearly 150 boys are crammed, often 2-3 to a bed, in an abandoned, dilapidated house nearby that serves as a temporary hostel. The girls sleep in the school itself. The irony, however, is that even the new school building, which has been under construction for the past two years, won’t be able to accommodate the sanctioned strength of more than 500 children. And Jairam Sinha says there are more than 2,000 children in a 10-km radius from Chintalnar who don’t go to school.

One big hurdle in reaching Chintalnar and constructing the new building is the 45-km long virtually non-existent road, which connects it to the nearest supply town of Dornapal. The road has seen some major blasts by Naxals in the past few years, claiming the lives of several security personnel. “Transportation is a challenge on that road as whatever little is sent has to be sent under heavy security,” says Alex VF Paul Menon, Collector of Sukma.

This, however, is by no means the most dismal scenario. Hundreds of villages scattered in the forests of south Chhattisgarh exist with no sign of administration. Due to Naxal threats and difficult terrain, neither the government nor any NGO is aware about the children left out of the formal education system. KR Pisda, school education secretary of Chhattisgarh, says, “According to our estimates, there are around 15,000 children who are yet to be enrolled in four districts of Dantewada, Bijapur, Sukma and Narayanpur.” However, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in 2009 estimated that there are 40,000 such children in seven districts, and the situation hasn’t improved since then.

Plight In Numbers

• 40,000 children out of schools in seven Naxal-affected districts of Chhattisgarh
• 185 schools shut down since 2005 in Dantewada district; 86 damaged by Naxals
• 50 percent of schools don’t have boundary walls to stop children from running away
• 42 percent is the average literacy rate in Dantewada, Bijapur and Sukma
• 26 percent is the drop-out rate at primary level against the national figure of 7 percent
• 4 out of 5 children drop-out before reaching class eight

Regular schools in these areas have rarely been successful. Residential Ashram schools and Porta Cabins (structures made of bamboo), being run by the Tribal Welfare Department and the Department of School Education under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, are a common sight all across these districts.

What is, however, odd is the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps right next to most of them. During Salwa Judum days, many schools were used as camps by the CRPF and police and were vacated only in 2011 after repeated warnings by the Supreme Court. But the new camps that came up later have been constructed quite close to the schools. Many see this as a way to check ration supplies to Naxals, often siphoned off from those meant for schools. This, in turn, make the schools vulnerable as they too can come in the line of fire in case a CRPF camp is attacked by the Naxals.

It is common knowledge in these areas that the initiation process to become a Naxal starts early and sometimes children are recruited for Bal Sanghams (Naxal schools) at an early age of six. At the age of 12, these Bal Sanghams get promoted to other ranks, which also includes armed cadres.

Gopal Buddu, 20, was taken away by Naxals at the age of 13 from his village Kamkanar in Bijapur district. “I was forced to go with them as resistance would have meant trouble,” says Buddu. After six years of hardship in the jungles and working as a bodyguard of the Division Commander, one fine day in 2011 he surrendered before the Bijapur police. Buddu has now been rehabilitated in the Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police Force.

Most parents now, however, see schools as a safe haven for their kids as they also provide protection from being taken away forcibly by the Naxals. Therefore, the longer the children remain out of schools, more their chances of getting picked up by the Naxals. Shanta Sinha, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) says, “It’s important to give access to education to the children and then let them decide their path after they are empowered to think.”

EVEN IF a child gets enrolled in a school, retaining and keeping track of them is a huge challenge. Recently, the NCPCR found out that around 35 tribal children had been taken to Kerala by contractors to work in brick-kilns. “We wrote to the Kerala government asking them to send these children back to their schools in Chhattisgarh,” says Sinha. The state government there was able to track 25 of them while 10 could not be traced.

Himanshu Kumar, who used to run an NGO, Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, in Dantewada district, says, “We used to work with tribal activists, who knew every student by name and village. They were quite quick in tracing them as soon as they disappeared from schools.” He has, however, now shifted to Delhi after his house was bulldozed by the police in 2009.

In places like Dantewada and Sukma, where the drop-out rate is 26 per cent at the primary level, way higher than the national average of around 7 percent, radical steps are required to retain students. “In partnership with the government, we are working on a doable Management Information System on Child Tracking, psycho-social support for children affected by violence, and a set of standards and protocols for residential institutions on child protection, which would enable tracking of children both at the community and institution level,” says Shaheen Nilofer, who heads UNICEF Chhattisgarh, which is probably the only agency with access to remote areas in Sukma, Bijapur, Narainpur and other south Bastar districts.

It’s not that the administration is not working at all, but the focus currently is on creating school infrastructure at places accessible by roads. Close to Dantewada town, a huge Education City, comprising residential schools for boys and girls, is being built at a cost of Rs 100 crore. The project, when completed, would be able to accommodate more than 2,000 children. But relocating so many children from villages would itself be a huge challenge.

In these areas, the Naxals recruit children, as young as six, from the villages for their Bal Sanghams OP Chaudhury, collector of Dantewada, says the aim is to send a message to people in interior areas that such kind of development is possible in their village too. “We want the community to come forward and take ownership of these projects,” he says.

The Right to Education Act (RTE) says that “the appropriate government or local authority shall undertake school mapping, and identify all children, including children in remote areas… within a period of one year from the appointed date…”

The idea seems difficult to implement in these areas, but certainly it is not impossible to accommodate children who wish to learn, by improving the infrastructure of the existing schools and restoring the ones destroyed during the conflict. Then only, in a real sense, would the strategy of winning hearts and minds work.

Prakhar Jain is a Correspondent with Tehelka.
prakhar@tehelka.com

Operation Green Hunt Enters New Phase


Sanhati, March 29, 2012

by Sudha Bharadwaj

It is quite evident that after the phase of “Salwa Judum” and the phase of “Operation Green Hunt”, anti-Naxal operations have entered a new phase variously called “Operation Haka” and “Operation Vijay”.

While certain media reports present very different pictures of this Operation [see appendixes], both the spokespersons of the Security Forces and Maoists claim that this Operation took place in the Abujhmaad/Maad area fairly deep in the forests; a large number of joint paramilitary forces about 3000 in number participated.

While the police reports speak of Naxalite camps destroyed, Maoists encountered and arrested, the Maoist spokesperson claims that houses were burnt down, adivaasi villagers were beaten, including beaten to death, and those arrested have not been produced before courts.

During the phase of “Salwa Judum” about 500 deaths were documented on affidavit in a part of South Bastar alone, and these affidavits have been filed in the Supreme Court by Kartam Joga and others. Kartam Joga is a senior CPI leader who is now in jail on false allegations of participating in the Tadmetla attack on the CRPF. This case, linked with the Nandini Sundar case, is awaiting final adjudication in the Supreme Court.

Another list of 192 extra judicial killings, alleged to have occurred in Dantewada during Operation Green Hunt, between 2009 and 2011, has been submitted by the National PUCL with a request for investigation/enquiry before the NHRC, but no action seems to have been taken so far.

In the above circumstances, certain issues arise before us in the human rights community.

Free and independent reporting in the media of the ongoing Operations would be the only source of information regarding what is happening in these interior areas. How do we, together with journalists associations, ensure journalists are protected ?

Since an extremely hostile atmosphere has been created vis-à-vis Civil Liberties groups in Chhattisgarh, particularly in Bastar, Dantewada, how do we collectively set up some effective and sufficiently high powered human rights monitoring ?

How do we ensure that earlier enquiries pending before the NHRC are completed effectively and expeditiously ?

The recent affidavit of the CBI in the Supreme Court that, when they went to investigate the Morpalli-Tadmetla-Timmapur arson incident, as directed by the Supreme Court, they were fired upon by the Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Force (SPOs) is particularly an issue of great concern, and the manner in which it is dealt with by the Supreme Court would be very important.

Since, in the circumstances, the possibility of killings of non-combatant villagers is enormous, how do we campaign to ensure strict adherence to the NHRC guidelines that whenever a complaint is made alleging that an encounter is a false one, it must be effectively and fairly investigated into ?

The role of the judiciary when arrested persons are not produced before the courts is crucial. If habeas corpus petitions are not effective in the High Court, should we consider moving the Supreme Court directly ?

The Government is in a denial mode in which officially there is no armed conflict in this area. It is thus protecting itself from the operation of international conventions relating to the protection of human rights. How can this be effectively
countered ?

Please do send your comments and suggestions.

Sudha Bharadwaj
General Secretary
Chhattisgarh PUCL.

Appendix A : Nai Dunia (Bilaspur Edition, 19th March 2012)

Naxalite firing on helicopter in Abujhmaad

Narayanpur. In Operation Vijay carried out by the police for five days with the purpose of liberating three villages in Naxalite-dominated Abujhmaad from the Naxalites, the police liberated three villages Jatwaar, Hikonaar, and Toke where the Naxalites had their school, Anganwadi and farmhouse. During this operation the police demolished several camps of the Naxalites. In about a dozen encounters three Naxalites were arrested. One of these was a member of the Childrens’ Action Team.

The Superintendent of Police said that in the course of this when the helicopter reached to take the injured jawaans, the Naxalites fired on it, due to which two bullets hit the helicopter but no major incident occurred. During the operation the police recovered apart from weapons, explosives, a large quantity of Naxalite literature, articles of daily use and pamphlets. SP Mayank Shrivastava, after returning from the 5 day operation said that that there had been continuous information that in three villages of the Ghamandi Panchayat of Abujhmaad – Toke, Hikonaar and Jatvar – where Naxalites had established their empire and were running their own school and anganwaadi (crèche) and were working against democracy. At the same place there had been information that the villagers were cultivating crops on their own lands for them.

On this basis a joint team of the Police which included 8 Officers and jawans of the CRPF, COBRA, and District Police Force left for the jungles of Abujhmaad under the name of Operation Vijay, since there are no means of transportation in Abujhmaad. In this way it took about 2 to 3 days to cover a distance of about 45 km. In order to reach these villages, encounters with Naxalites took place about a dozen times in which two jawaans of the COBRA were also injured. There is also a possibility that several Naxalites were also killed in these encounters though they were not successful in recovering even one dead body. But there is information that one senior Naxalite has been injured. In these encounters several camps of Naxalites were demolished. In these camps, a large quantity of Naxal literature, and items of daily use were also recovered, but since the distance was too much so most of the recovered materials were destroyed on the spot.

SP Mr Shrivastava said that when the helicopter had come to Jatvar to airlift the injured jawaans, during that time the Naxalites had also fired on the helicopter owing to which 2 bullets hit the helicopter. During the operation three Naxalites were arrested with weapons – Ghasiraam Vadde, Betia Ram Vadde and Sadhuram of the Baal Action Team (Children’s Action Team) were arrested. One 303 Rifle, one 12 bore gun and 4 Bharmaar guns (country made), a large quantity of live cartridges, electric wire, multimeter, Printer, Naxal literature, Naxalite uniforms etc were recovered. Apart from this there are allegations that Jenigota and another person were injured in police firing. It was also alleged that rice, lentils, chickens and other household items were looted from several houses. Naxalites have said that Boye, Raju, Paali, Maalu, Mangi were beaten up very badly and Sanuu Podadi, Vakte Badde of Ikunaar; and Lalsu Vedde, Vitiya Vedde …. [incomplete in the newspaper]

Appendix B : Patrika (Bilaspur Edition, 20th March 2012)

Police entered Abujhmaad for the first time

Operation Haka – Explosives and arms found in large quantity. Dozens of camps of Maoists destroyed, Operation went on in 450 km thick jungle.

Reached in these areas :

[1] From Chhotedongar, Mardapaal, Kaknaar, and Bhatpaal up to Killam.
[2] From Matwaada and Bhairamgarh in Beejapur to Lekhavaada and Podgu.
[3] From Gadchiroli to Kohkameta, Iraqbhatti, Toke.

For the first time police entered 80 km within the stronghold of the Maoists. Chhattisgarh Police and CRPF carried out searching operations with 3000 strong force. In this period 13 Maoists were arrested and dozens of camps were destroyed. This Operation was carried out to raise the morale of the Police force. This major action was carried out two years after the bar on entering Abujhmaad had been lifted. According to DGP Anil Navaani, in this Operation named “Haka”, the police entered inaccessible jungle areas and destroyed the Maoist camps of Lekhavaada and Podgu.

Appendix C : Navbharat (Raipur Edition, 24th March 2012)

Terror of the Security Forces in Abujhmaad

On the lines of Salwa Judum, houses were burnt, adivaasis beaten up, death of two persons, several injured.

Naxalites alleged that the police is clearing the way for the Army.

Conspiracy is being hatched to chase off the adivaasis from Maad. Claiming that this Operation was a part of Green Hunt, Naxalite leader said that the armed forces, on the one hand, run the Civic Action Programme, and on the other, on the lines of Salwa Judum, they are hatching new conspiracies each day to burn houses, and to chase away adivaasis from Maad, so that the multinational corporations can capture the minerals and forest wealth of this area.

Raipur. Navbharat Samachar. The Naxalites were alleging that in the name of Operation, the security forces have wreaked terror on the adivaasis. During the Operation conducted from 13th to 18th March, the Security Forces raided a dozen villages in the Abujhmaad area and beat up several adivaasis, owing to which they have sustained injuries. The Naxalites have alleged that in this Operation some villagers have also been killed.

Through the statement and photographs released by the Maad-North Bastar Divisional Committee, its Secretary KA said that in these villages the security forces of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra conducted joint operations in these villages and caused large scale mayhem, to which the PLGA has also countered. In this encounter two jawaans of the COBRA battalion were injured. Naxalites have claimed that they have seized the rations of the security forces. It was alleged that this operation by the Security Forces was in order to clear the way for the Army. The Naxalite leader in his statement has said that the villagers of Godelmarka, Ikonaar, Jetvaaya, Podenaar and Toke villages have been affected the most. It has been said that an adivaasi named Dunga has been killed in the course of beating. It has also been said that some houses of the adivaasis have also been burnt. Idma Karu of Kodenaar has not been produced before the court even after being arrested by the police. In this statement issued, it was said that more than 3000 jawaans of the CRPF, STF, COBRA and BSF were involved.

Faking Democracy- Operation Green Hunt

Press freedom stifled in India’s Naxal areas


         13 February 2012 -| By Gayatri Parameswaran

It might be the world’s largest democracy but India is struggling to defend its democratic status in the ‘red corridor’ – areas troubled by Naxalite or Maoist insurgency. Expectedly, press freedom is taking a beating. Some activists say the government is controlling information to hide its bad human rights track record.

“I can’t meet you openly. Let’s get into your car and drive away from here. We’ll talk in the car,” Satish Naik tells me over the phone. Naik is a local TV journalist in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh state in India’s Naxalite belt.

Epicentre
One of the least developed areas in the country, Dantewada has been at the epicentre of the conflict between the Indian government and the Naxalites in the past few years. Government reports suggest that in 2011, over 500 people have died in the violence. A recent Human Rights Watch report condemned India for its handling of the security situation in the Naxalite war zone. It said, “Impunity for abuses committed by security forces remains a pressing concern.”

The Naxalite movement began in West Bengal in 1960s and spread to central India in the 70s and 80s as a popular armed revolt. The Naxalites claim to be fighting on behalf of adivasis (indigenous tribals), the main victims of the land grabs sponsored by multinationals with the help of the Indian government. The tribals are living on land rich in minerals and forest resources and there are fortunes to be made from the exploitation of the natural wealth.

Surreptitious
Naik is justifiably cautious about being seen to be helping an outside journalist. In recent years, the police has arrested and beaten tribals and local journalists who tried to tell the story of official repression in the region’s remote rural communities. “They [police forces] might get curious about who you are and what you are trying to find out. They might follow us,” he warns just before the phone line is cut.

Mobile lines in Dantewada and other Naxal areas are notoriously unreliable, and journalists and activists are conscious that they could be bugged. When I arrive to pick him up, Naik dives quickly into the car and urges us to leave immediately. At the frequent police check points on the road, he hides his face and at times ducks away.

Self-censorship
Naik says that the authorities believe that most ‘outsiders’ come looking for ‘human rights-type’ stories that would put them in a bad light. “I don’t want to be seen as assisting outside journalists. I have to be careful, because I could get into trouble,” he stresses.

Naik tells me that the war has challenged India’s democratic character: “It’s not like rest of India here. There’s no freedom of movement or expression.” Journalists bucking the local system can lead to trouble, so many journalists subscribe to self-censorship. This has led to a blackout of important information.

Vengeance
Recently, Naik received a notice from the local authorities ordering him to vacate his house. He had written a story “about how a local collector abused his local labourer.” He says, “A few days later I got the notice.”

Naik was accused of illegally occupying forest land, but he says, “This is a tactic to bully me. The house isn’t registered on my name, but the notice was served under my name.”

Attacks
Human rights activist Himanshu Kumar says there have been cases of independent journalists being attacked, threatened, intimidated and even killed. He recounts the recent case of Lingaram Kodopi, an adivasi from Dantewada district.

Kodopi was the first tribal to be enrolled for a journalism course in Delhi. Last year, he filmed testimonies from villagers after a police raid where houses were burnt and several people were killed. After the film was released to the Indian media, Kodopi was arrested, and while he was in custody, he was brutally beaten. When his aunt, Soni Sori, filed a protest, she too was arrested and beaten. Both are now in prison, accused of being Naxalites.

Read more here

Gallantry Award for Sexual Torture on Republic Day in India


IPS OFFCIER CHHATTISGARH ANKIT GARG

The Victim of Sexual Torture

Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher and warden from Chhattisgarh, is currently facing trial in Chhattisgarh. Accused as a
Maoist supporter, despite evidence of her having being framed as one in several cases, she has been in custody in Chhattisgarh for about three and a half months.

The Perpetrator of Sexual Torture

S P Ankit Garg,   who holds degree in ( ME Env Bot)  B.E.D,  is  2004 batch   IPS officer who  has been secretary of Chhattisgarh State Human Rights Commission though he has been involved in Ponjer massacre in which six tribal who were collecting Mahua were killed by axe, he saw a CRPF jawan who killed a  two-year- old child and a lady in Cherpaal Salwa Judum  camp, He also tried to save Matwada accused police officers and SPOs.  He was the investigating officer in Dantewada in 2007,  was promoted to the Rank of Superintendent of Police in 2008, as Bijapur S.P and he was S P intelligence Dantewada in 201oand took over as S.P Dantewada on 30th March 2011, in his tenurehe had initaited many anti naxal operations . On Dec 28 , 2011 a day after cadres of the CPI-Maoist blasted Geedam Police Station in Dantewada District, SP of the District, Ankit Garg, has been removed and attached with the PHQ.

GALLANTARY AWARD FOR THE PERPETRATOR OF SEXUAL TORTURE

What has been terribly shocking and perturbing is the fact that while in custody she has been subjected to gross sexual torture, by S. P Ankit garg evidence of which has come to light following a Supreme Court directive for medical examination in a government hospital in Kolkata. Compounding her crisis is the fact that despite this damning evidence, Soni Sori has remained in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for all this while.

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.

26th Januray, 63rd independence day is the darkest day of the Indian democracy . 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.

Soni Sori wrote a letter from the Raipur Central Jail to her Lawyer Colin Gonsalves fighting her case. I read that letter for you, in Hindi and English, listen here

Soni Sori letter from Prison- Hindi

Soni Sori letter from Prison- English Translation

Gallantry Award for Sexual Torture


Gallantry Award Winner ANKIT GARG

 The Victim of Sexual Torture

Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher and warden from Chhattisgarh, is currently facing trial in Chhattisgarh. Accused as a
Maoist supporter, despite evidence of her having being framed as one in several cases, she has been in custody in Chhattisgarh for about three and a half months.

The Perptrator of Sexual  Torture 

S P Ankit Garg, a 2003 batch  IPS Officer, who holds degree in  ( ME Env Bot  B.E.D, was the investigating officer in Dantewada in 2007 , was promoted to the Rank of Superintendent of Police in 2008, as Bijapur S.P  and he was S P intellegence Dantewada in 201oand took over as S.P Dantewada on 30th March 2011, in his tenurehe had initaited many anti naxal operations .  On   Dec 28 , 2011 a  day after cadres of the CPI-Maoist blasted Geedam Police Station in Dantewada District, SP of the District, Ankit Garg, has been removed and attached with the PHQ.

GALLANTARY AWARD FOR  THE PERPETRATOR OF SEXUAL TORTURE  

What has been terribly shocking and perturbing is the fact that while in custody she has been subjected to gross sexual torture, by S. P Ankit garg  evidence of  which has come to light following a Supreme Court directive for medical examination in a government hospital in Kolkata. Compounding her crisis is the fact that despite this damning evidence, Soni Sori has remained in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for all this while.

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.

26th Januray, 63rd independe day is the darkest day of the  Indian democracy . 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.

Soni Sori wrote a letter from the Raipur Central Jail to her Lawyer Colin Gonsalves fighting her case. I read that letter for you,  in Hindi and English, listen  here

Soni Sori letter- Hindi

Soni Sori Letter- English Translation

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