Soni Sori, accused of serving as a courier between the Essar group and the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), has gone on a hunger strike to protest against her treatment by the Chhattisgarh police, according to footage aired by local news channels.

Ms. Sori, a 36-year-old school teacher in Dantewada district, was arrested on October 4 in New Delhi on the suspicion that she, and two others, ferried money from Essar to the Maoists to protect the company's assets in rebel-controlled areas. Spokespersons for Essar and the Maoists have separately denied the charges, as has Ms. Sori.

The footage appears to be shot in the Jagdalpur hospital where Ms. Sori is admitted after she said she slipped and fell while in police custody on October 10. Ms. Sori's assertions were made in the presence of several police personnel.

‘Treated like a criminal’

“Why are the police treating me like a criminal? Why did they shackle my feet,” asks Ms. Sori in the clip, adding that the shackles had been removed before the TV cameras were let into the room. News reports did not clarify Ms. Sori's exact demands in connection with her hunger strike.