A woman suspected of being a Maoist was arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch in Katwaria Sarai here on Tuesday. The Chhattisgarh Police on Monday had raided the residence of Jaipur-based human rights activist Kavita Srivastava in search of her. The accused was produced in a city court, that remanded her in one-day judicial custody.
Thirty-six-year-old Soni Sori, mother of three children and a primary school teacher, is the aunt of Lingaram Kodopi, who was recently arrested in Chhattisgarh for allegedly accepting Rs.15 lakh from the Essar group on behalf of the Maoists. Acting on a tip-off that she had been spotted near a bus shelter in Katwaria Sarai, a Crime Branch team arrested her.
“We were told that Ms. Sori acted as a conduit for collecting money from the Essar group for the Maoists. She was wanted in five cases registered in Chhattisgarh. She has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act and the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act,” a police officer said.
Clad in a black and white salwar-kameez, Ms. Sori was produced in the court of Duty Magistrate Munish Markan amid heavy security.
Arguing her case in the packed court room, her lawyer Brinda Grover said the accused was an Adivasi teacher in a government school. “Her life is under serious threat. She fears custodial death. We pray for judicial custody and please let her have some personal belongings like clothes, considering that she is a woman.”
After hearing the arguments, the judge sent Ms. Sori to judicial custody and directed that since the Chhattisgarh Police were on their way, the hearing be postponed for Wednesday.