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Affidavit regarding Soni Sori


Soni Sori & Another … Petitioners


State of Chhattisgarh … Respondents

Affidavit of Petitioner No.2 Dated 18.10.11

I, Gautam Nawlakha, Petitioner No. 2, s/o Mr. Pratap Sinh aged about 58 years r/o A-5, Greater Kailash Part-I, New Delhi, do hereby solemnly affirm and state as under:
1. I say that I have seen the affidavit of the State of Chhattisgarh dated 15.10.11

2. The sequence of events as emerging from the documents filed by the State of Chhattisgarh is as follows:

a. Petitioner No. 1 was taken by the Chhattisgarh Police on 7.10.11 to Raipur.

b. On 8.10.11, she was produced before the JMFC, Dantewada who made an order for police custody at 5 pm up to 11 am on 10.10.11 on the following conditions:

i. Under police remand, the accused would not be physically tortured.

ii. Before taking the accused on police remand and before producing the accused in Court from police remand, the accused will be suitably medical examined by a registered medical practitioner.

iii. The accused has been remanded to the custody of Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Kirandul, District Dantewada

c. On 10.10.11, she could not be produced in court and the police informed the court that “the accused while taking bath in the morning, fell down in the bathroom and has sustained injuries on head and the waist.”

d. The medical report of the Dantewada District Hospital dated 10.10.11 shows the following injuries and observations:

i. On investigation, Black … on plantar aspect of middle fingers (1+1) side

ii. Injury No. 1: Contusion on right side occipital region. Size 2” x 2” (reddish discoloration of skin)

iii. Injury No. 2: Tenderness over lumbar region

iv. Opinion:
1. Nature of injury described after Adv. CT spine and CT skull
2. Duration of injury 3 to 6 hours prior to examination
3. Caused by Hard and blunt object

e. The discharge ticket of the Dantewada District Hospital indicated the following:

i. Condition on Admission: Contusion on rt. Occipital region, Tenderness on Lumbar region

ii. Diagnosis: Injury on occipital, contusion and tenderness

iii. Condition on discharge: Same

iv. Treatment advice: CT Scan spine and skull in higher center for …

f. The petitioner no. 1 was admitted to the Dantewada District Hospital at 9:30 am on 10.10.11 and discharged at 1 pm the same day.

g. At 2 pm on the same day, she was remanded to judicial custody till 17.10.11 and the court was informed “that the accused health condition is not good.” According to the information received, the Petitioner no. 1 was in not in a position to be produced before the JMFC, she was kept in a vehicle, and a clerk of the Court allegedly recorded her statement that she sustained injuries when she fell in the bathroom. The alleged order of the JMFC does not appear to be correct.

h. On 10.10.11 at 8 pm, she is admitted in the Jagdalpur Maharani hospital and was discharged at 5:45 pm on 11.10.11. The condition on admission in the discharge ticket is as under:

i. Referred case from Central Jail Jagdalpur (Referred from District Hospital Dantewada on 10.10.11)

ii. History of fall on ground of bathroom

iii. Complaint of Injury on right side of scalp and lumbar region

iv. Unable to stand due to pain in lumbar region

v. History of unconsciousness

vi. No history of vomiting/ convulsion/ bleeding from ear or nose.

i. The investigation done has the following observation:

i. CT scan Head and back – not done as CT scan not working.

j. Petitioner no. 1 was admitted to the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital, Raipur on 12.10.11 at 2:57 am with the following observations at the time of admission:

i. A case of Head injury and injury of lumbar spine was referred from Government Medical College and Maharani Hospital Jagdalpur. Patient was taken to Central Jail, Raipur. A referral slip from Central Jail issued and Patient brought here for further management. Patient complains of pain in right scalp region and low backache.

ii. Patient referred to Dept of Neurosurgery and orthopaedic for expert opinion and further management.

k. At 4:00 am, the following observations are made:

i. Complaint of pain over low back region because of trauma.

ii. Complaint of difficulty in walking because of trauma.

iii. History of: As per patient alleged history of trauma due to fall on hard surface (in bathroom) at 9:00 am on 10.10.11 at Kuakonda thana. Then patient developed pain over low back region. Then patient was taken to District hospital, Dantewada, where primary treatment was given and patient referred to Maharani Hospital, Raipur from where patient was referred and brought to casualty Dr. BR Ambedkar Medical Hospital Raipur on 12.10.11 at 3.00 am.

iv. No history of post traumatic unconsciousness; ENT bleed or vomiting

v. History of Head injury present.

l. Even though the patient had a history of unconsciousness as indicated earlier, a wrong entry is made regarding this.

3. From this sequence it is clear that the Petitioner has sustained serious injuries which required a CT scan to be done immediately. Nevertheless, she was taken to Jagdalpur hospital where the police knew that the CT scan machine was not working. She was then taken to Raipur after deliberately keeping the Petitioner no. 1 at Jagdalpur for a whole day so that, according to the Petitioner no. 2, the swelling caused by torture should reduce.

4. I now revert to the entries in the Dantewada District Hospital report: On investigation, Black … on plantar aspect of middle fingers (1+1) side. This blackening on the palms of the hands and on the fingers is caused by electric shocks. This is confirmed by two telephone calls: the first received by Shri Himanshu Kumar, a social activist from the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, Dantewada, who is presently in Delhi, and who is the Petitioner in Writ Petition 103 of 2009 regarding massacres on tribal villages. This petition has been kept for final disposal on 16.11.11 before this Hon’ble Court. He received two phone calls. The first was yesterday, i.e. 17.10.11, in the afternoon when a relative of Petitioner no. 1 phoned to say, in great distress, that people in the area were talking about the police planning to kill his sister. He then received a second call the same day at 4.36 pm from relatives of Petitioner No. 1, and these names are not being disclosed at the moment for fear of their safety. The said relative disclosed that she met Petitioner no. 1 in the Dantewada court when she was produced and Petitioner told her that she was electrocuted in Police Station Kuakonda, Dantewada and that she was forced to make a false statement to the effect that she fell in the bathroom. She was threatened by the police that if she spoke about torture, the police would arrest her younger brother Ramdev, who is the sole caretaker of the Petitioner’s three children. Petitioner told her relative that on Saturday night (8.10.11), police woke up Soni Sori, undressed her, tied her up and beat her and put electric wires on her. She further said that the SP saab did this.

5. Similarly, another social activist from Chhattisgarh, currently at Delhi, whose name is not being disclosed for fear of jeopardizing her safety, received a call on the night of 16.10.11 from a relative of the Petitioner no. 1, saying that the police have hired some anti-social elements to kill the Petitioner no. 1. She then received another call on 17.10.11 at 6:45 pm, saying that Petitioner no. 1 had been tied up and beaten, and given electric shocks.

6. I have also annexed as Annexure A hereto, a photocopy of the article which appeared in the Times of India on 10.10.11 and as Annexure B hereto, the photocopy of the article appearing in the Indian Express on 10.10.11.

Verification at New Delhi on this 18th day of October, 2011 that the contents of the above affidavit are true and correct to my knowledge and the averments in Paragraph 4 onwards are based on information received which I believe to be true and nothing material has been concealed therefrom.