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EMINENT CITIZENS AND GROUPS WRITE OPEN LETTER TO THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA SEEKING JUSTICE FOR SONI SORI

As you are aware, Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher and warden from
Chhattisgarh, is currently facing trial in Chhattisgarh. Accused as a
Maoist supporter, despite evidence of her having being framed as one
in several cases, she has been in custody in Chhattisgarh for about
three and a half months.

What has been terribly shocking and perturbing is the fact that while
in custody she has been subjected to gross sexual torture, evidence of
which has come to light following a Supreme Court directive for
medical examination in a government hospital in Kolkata. Compounding
her crisis is the fact that despite this damning evidence, Soni Sori
has remained in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for all this
while.

As the Supreme Court starts its hearing on her case on Monday 25th
January, nearly 200 citizens including eminent citizens such as
Professor (Retd) Uma Chakravarti, Ms Brinda Karat, Politburo Member
CPI(M) and former MP Rajya Sabha, Ms Romila Thapar, Professor
Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Ms Aruna Roy, MKSS,
Rajasthan, Ms Madhu Bhaduri, former Ambassador of India, Prof. Veena
Shatrugna, retired Deputy Director, National Institute of Nutrition,
Hyderabad, Dr Imrana Qadeer, Retd Professor, Ms Farah Naqvi,
Activist, Ms Vasanth Kannabiran, Hyderabad, Ms Lalita Ramdas, Ms Githa
Hariharan, Writer, Prof. Jayati Ghosh, Dr Amit Bhaduri, Professor
Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Dr Anand Phadke, Prof
(Retd) Anand Chakravarti, along with scores of other doctors,
educationists, academicians, students and individuals.

Also joining the appeal are 69 civil society groups and organisations
working on women’s issues, health issues, civil and democratic rights,
and worker’s issues from across the country, such as Saheli, WSS,
AIDWA, AIPWA, NFIW, NAPM, NTUI, PUCL, FAOW, SAFHR, SAHAJ, SAHAYOG-UP,
Zubaan Books, JADS, Nari Nirjatan Pratirodh Mancha and RTF-Rajasthan.
Together they are urging the Supreme Court `to insulate this victim of
custodial sexual assault from her oppressors, ensure her protection
after she has spoken out about this torture despite threats to her
person and family’, and send out a clear signal that `the rights of
citizens will be protected, and that when the police abuses its
powers, the judiciary will not stand by in silence’.

This appeal goes out with deep regard and faith that the
Constitutional safeguards will be upheld and that justice will
prevail.

Attached, please find The Open Letter To The Honourable Chief Justice
Of India And Honourable Judges Of The Supreme Court Of India
.