Other States

Sori’s nephew accuses police of harassment, writes to President

: Adivasi rights activist Soni Sori’s nephew Lingaram Kodopi has accused the Bastar police of pressuring Sori’s family to say that the attack on her last month was the result of a personal dispute or orchestrated by herself to gain sympathy.

Speaking at a press conference at the Indian Women’s Press Corps on Monday, Mr. Kodopi said he had written to the President seeking intervention in the matter.

“I seek the urgent intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee to help the small population of eight crore Adivasis in India, who are being harassed and threatened,” he said.

Sori (44) was allegedly attacked with an acid-like substance by a group of youths. After being treated at a hospital in Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district, she was brought to Delhi. She returned to her native place earlier this month.

Accusing the state police of “coercion”, Mr. Kodopi said that whatever was happening in the name of investigation was “harassment” and that the police were trying to frame them.

He also said that he feared for his life.

Mr. Kodopi added that the police had picked up Soni’s father and two other relatives and harassed them.

“After my aunt’s father returned home, he told us that the senior IPS officer called his daughter a prostitute and claimed that police had sexually assaulted her,” he said.

Also present at the conference were Supreme Court lawyer Vrinda Grover, women’s rights activist Professor Uma Chakravarty, and Kalyani Menon-Sen of Women Against Sexual Violence, among others, to speak on the “deteriorating human rights situation in Bastar and the persecution of Soni’s family members”.

Ms. Vrinda Grover, who is counsel to both Sori and Kodopi, said, “It is up to us as a nation to ensure that nothing untoward happens to Kodopi in the next six months when he returns home. Also, the SIT that was set up was not immediately after the attack on her but after she reached Delhi and the matter was taken up by the media and activists here,’’ she said.

Kin being pressured to say that Soni Sori orchestrated her recent attack

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 2:50:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/soris-nephew-accuses-police-of-harassment-writes-to-president/article8387547.ece

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