Skip to main content

Chhattisgarh woman tribal leader Soni Sori attacked with acid-like oil after she "received" threat to life

By Our Representative
Soni Sori, widely recognized as the face of tribal people’s struggle in Chhattisgarh, has been attacked by acid-like black chemical, thrown on her face by unidentified persons in the state’s Bastar region. She reported an intense burning sensation to her colleagues, and was taken to a hospital in Jagdalpur town.
Police officials have been quoted as saying that the attack took place near Jawanga village under Geedam police station in Dantewada district at around 10:40 pm on Saturday, when she and two associates were heading towards Geedam from Jagdalpur on a motorcycle.
India Resists, an online human rights portal, which first flashed the news on Saturday late night about the attack on Sori, said, she had been “receiving several threats for her continued work to affirm the rights of the adivasis”, adding, “In the last few months she has been hounded by angry mobs, had her house vandalised and even issued death threats.” 
On Friday, one day before the attack, the report said, “The police arrived reached up to up her claiming the title to her house was defective, asking her to vacate, despite the fact that no house in the area has been issued a patta by the state.”
The portal added, “It is not a coincidence that the physical attack on her comes at the heels of the forced eviction of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid group, which left Jagdalpur a few hours earlier.”
Reports said, Sori were stopped by three youths on a motorcycle, who stopped them after crossing Bastanar Ghat and forcing them to alight from their vehicle. Sori is an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.
AAP leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has called the incident “very painful”, wondering, “What’s happening everywhere? Hope she recovers fast.” He has asked the Chhattisgarh government to act fast nab the culprits “immediately.”
Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj Samvad, AAP breakaway group, has termed the attack as “alarming”, adding “Soni Sori has been apprehending this attack. Will Union home minister Rajnath Singh show half the concern he had about Jawaharlal Nehru University?”
Government doctors, who examined her, have been quoted as saying that she might have been attacked with some substance mixed with chemicals, which has caused a reaction and swelling on her face. But her condition has been described as stable. Her family members told journalists she was in excruciating pain.
AAP state chief said Sanket Thakur said, “The attack took place when Sori was travelling on a motorcycle with a colleague. Ten km short of Geedam town, where she lives, three men on a motorcycle overtook and stopped them. They threw the oil paint on Sori's face and fled. She was rushed to Jagdalpur, the largest town of the region, 100 km away.”
For nearly two years, Sori has been leading adivasi protests against fake encounters and sexual violence, allegedly being committed by forces claiming to fight Maoism in the Naxalite-affected region. She had travelled to Jagdalpur to meet human the rights lawyers of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group, who have been forced to leave the town reportedly because of police intimidation.
Earlier in the week, scroll.in contributor Malini Subramaniam was forced to leave Jagdalpur under similar circumstances. Sori, who has received death threats for taking up adivasi women’s cause, was also asked to vacate her house reportedly by local authorities.
Well-known human rights organization Greenpeace India’s Priya Pillai, reporting on the attack, said when she requested the district collector, Bastar, to “ensure her safety” the reply she received was, "Don't give gyan… What else should I have expected from Bastar?” She added, “What is happening is Chattisgarh is inhuman. It is an emergency like situation.”
Sori was reportedly tortured in custody in 2011. Top writer Arundhati Roy told media August last year how the policeman who supervised Sori's torture — which included, among other things, pushing stones up her vagina — in police custody, "was awarded a Police Gallantry Award by the President of India, on Republic Day in 2012."

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen