Social activist Swami Agnivesh has urged the Centre and the Chhattisgarh government to entrust the cases filed against tribal woman-teacher Soni Sori, and her nephew-journalist Lingaram Kodopi, to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) as he feared that they would not get a fair trial in the investigations by the local police.
Talking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Swami Agnivesh pointed out that 36-year old Sori had been acquitted of all charges except two, and 23-year old Kodopi had been acquitted of all charges except one, all slapped against them by the Chhattisgarh police.
In the Essar case in which both of them were denied bail by the Chhattisgarh High Court on Monday, it has not been proved that Rs.15 lakh was given to Maoists by Kodopi, as protection money from Essar Steel, as alleged by the police.
Agnivesh wondered why there was no action from both governments in spite of Sori’s torture by the police, brought to light by human rights activists.
They even urged the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to immediately intervene and order an impartial probe, but there was no response, he said.
Earlier, human rights activists alleged that Sori was tortured so brutally by the Chattisgarh police that, according to lawyers quoting a medical report, foreign bodies were recovered from her private parts. She was also given electric shocks in the name of interrogation, they said.
Further quoting a public letter allegedly written by Ms. Sori to her lawyer in the Supreme Court, the activists had said: “Soni Sori identified and named the police officer (Superintendent of Police, Ankit Garg) who she says ordered and carried out torture in police custody.” Ms. Sori also said that the SP had sent three other boys to molest her who then pushed objects into her private parts. She fell unconscious until the next morning, said the activists.