Saturday, August 3, 2013

Soni Sori

Linga Kodopi is an Adivasi journalist. He is currently rotting in a dungeon of a Chhattisgarh prison. To force him to become a police spy, Chhattisgarh police officials had locked him up for forty days in a Police station toilet. However, Linga Kodopi's aunt Soni Sori was able to free Linga from the clutches of the police with judicial help. 

This chutzpah of the two adivasis angered the police to no end. To avenge their 'defeat', the police abducted Linga Kodopi's brother. But by lodging a judicial complaint, Linga was able to secure his brother's freedom. The police were now absolutely furious at Linga. In order to kill him, the police attacked Linga's village one night. However, anticipating the police's moves, Linga had slept in the nearby ruins that night. Once again outmaneuvered by Linga, the police abducted his elderly father. In order to protect his life, Linga then fled to Delhi, and enrolled in a journalism school. Right around that time, the police burnt the houses of adivasis living in three villages of the Sukama district. The police gang-raped five women from these villages and murdered three adivasis.

Armed with his video camera, Linga Kodopi went to the scene of this heinous crime, recorded the statements of the people whose houses were burnt, and the gang-raped women, and made a dvd. The Police and the Chhattisgarh Government were quite disconcerted by Linga's endeavor to record this potent proof of the atrocities committed by the police. Since the police now perceived Linga to be a threat, who could expose their misdeeds, they arrested him along with his aunt Soni Sori.

To teach these adivasis a lesson so that they know their 'proper place', the police brought Linga Kodopi's aunt Soni Sori, who by profession is a teacher, to the police station and tortured her by inserting pieces of stones in her private parts, and by administering electric shocks. Pursuant to a directive by the Supreme Court of India, doctors examined Soni Sori, extracted the stones from her private parts, and sent them along with their report to the Supreme Court.

It has been a year and a half since then, and both Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi are still languishing in a Chhattisgarh prison. The police framed Linga Kodopi in two fake cases. The court has ruled him innocent in one of these cases. However, the other fraudulent case is still pending against Linga.

Linga Kodopi's aunt Soni Sori has been framed in eight false cases. But the court has declared her innocent in five of them. One has been dismissed, and she has been given bail in yet another. Now Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi are in Jagdalpur prison because of a single case. 

Meanwhile, Soni Sori’s husband Anil futane passed away on 3rd august 2013. In order to avenge Soni Sori and Linga Ram Kodopi, the police had framed Soni Sori’s husband Anil Futane under false charges and condemned him into prison. Later on, the court declared Anil Futane as innocent.
But on the very same day, he was admitted in hospital under mysterious circumstances. The government claimed that Soni sori’s husband is suffering from paralysis. However, She suspects that her husband has been tortured on purpose and later sent to the hospital.

This is just one example among many, and is merely a tip of a monstrous iceberg, indicative of the large scale atrocities that are periodically unleashed on the adivasis by the State. Thousands of such atrocities never see the light of day. These adivasis are also the citizens of the same country that we privileged are proud to call our home. But the State regularly visits these horrors on them because it wants to cleanse these villages and seize their lands. That is why the Government wants the adivasis to evacuate their villages. And that is why such atrocities are regularly visited upon them. 

If we pride ourselves on caring for our fellow citizens, then we must raise our voice against such atrocities. Let us all come together and protest against this injustice.

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