Chattisgarh-Net is reporting that people have spoken to the relatives of imprisoned Chattisgarh school superintendent Soni Sori who say that she has recieved electric shocks while in the custody of the Dantewada police. She was supposed to appear in court last week, but the police claimed she had “fallen in the bathroom” and was not in a fit state to appear.
Himanshu Kumar, an educationalist and activist for the Chhattisgarh adhivasis, and Soni Sori’s mentor has a copy of her medical reports which he says back up her reports of electric shocks. The medical records say she had black marks on the tips of her fingers and a ”history of unconsciousness.” He has submitted the reports to the Supreme Court of India in a continuing battle to get Soni Sori out of the custody of local authorities.
On the day after her missed court appearance, the police claimed that Soni Sori had said to reporters that she sustained her head and spinal injuries by a fall in the bathroom, but since then, she’s retracted that statement. She managed to get out a message saying she was forced to say that she hurt herself because the police threatened that if she didn’t, they would arrest her younger brother Ramdev who is currently the sole carer of her three chidren.
Soni Sori was first targetted because she went to the defence of her nephew Linga who had been arrested. Then her husband was arrested on dubious and unproved charges of taking part in an attack of a prominent local businessman. Her father is in hospital after being shot in the leg by Maoists who believe that the family are police collaborators. The Kafkaesque situation of being the target of both the police and the Maoists guerillas is not uncommon in a place which is becoming increasingly polarised and unstable due to what looks like criminal elements in both parties.
Meanwhile there are three young children who have no idea why everyone in their family - their parents, their grandfather, their uncle Linga - seem to be disappearing on them. I try not to picture their faces, or imagine what their uncle says to them to try to calm them in the night.