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India: Women’s Delegation meets President Pratibha Patil on Custodial sexual torture of Soni Sori - Press release

14 May 2012

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May 14, 2012

A delegation of women comprising of, Brinda Karat (M.P.), Annie Raja (NFIW), Uma Chakravarty, Vrinda Grover and Indira C, met with President Pratibha Patil today (14th May), and handed over a memorandum, detailing the gross violation of the human rights of tribal teacher, Soni Sori. The memorandum was also signed by Aruna Roy (MKSS), Kavita Srivastava (PUCL) and Vani S.on behalf of Saheli.

The delegation drew the attention of the President to the brutal custodial sexual torture inflicted on Soni Sori by the Chhattisgarh police and the medical report of Kolkata Hospital which had confirmed the same. The President expressed surprise when she heard that S.P. Ankit Garg, under whose direction the custodial sexual violence was alleged to have been inflicted, had received the President’s Gallantry award. The delegation suggested that an independent enquiry be initiated into the gallantry award given to S.P. Ankit Garg. The delegation also expressed apprehension that many other tribal women prisoners in Chhattisgarh jails had suffered similar violations.

The President heard the delegation attentively and assured them that she would write to the concerned governments and authorities.

The Memorandum submitted by the delegation is attached [below].

Memorandum to President of India (14 May 2012)
Subject: Violation of rights of tribal woman Soni Sori; conferment of President’s Gallantry Award on S.P. Ankit Garg facing allegations of custodial sexual torture