In a letter to a Supreme Court judge, Soni Sori has said that it would have been better had she been handed a death penalty. Lodged in Raipur Central Jail she has been on a fast since 21 August, demanding an audience with Chief Minister Raman Singh, to report harassment faced by her and other tribals in the state.
Her lawyer, Amiy Shukla, said, âShe was forced to undress in front of 100 other women prisoners on 21 August. She is made to undress for the authorities to search her person. She is usually subjected to such humiliating searches before being taken to the Dantewada court for her trial hearings.â
A teacher in a government primary school in Jabeli, Dantewada, Sori was arrested on 4 October 2011, in Delhi by the Delhi Crime Branch and the Chhattisgarh police on charges of being a âMaoist on the runâ. Her tryst with the police began with their hunt for Lingaram Kodopi, her nephew. An activist and journalist documenting the atrocities committed on his people in this war, Lingaram, was arrested on charges of collecting money from the Essar group for the Maoists. Sori was also charged in the same case. The irony of the situation lies in the fact that while Soni Sori and her nephew were battling police charges of being âNaxalite accomplices,â the Maoists attacked her father’s house and shot him on the leg.
She is currently fighting charges under IPC section 121 (waging war against the state); 120(B) (conspiracy); 124(A) (sedition); section 39(1) and 40 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (offense related to contributing to terrorist activity and raising funds for terrorist activity).