Tag Archives: torture

IADHRI Demands Liberty and Justice for All Indian Citizens

Republic Day of India, 2013
Contact: iadhri.org@gmail.com

Calls for investigation and punishment of police officials Garg and Kalluri and withdrawal of their presidential medals

On January 26th, 2013, India celebrates its 64th Republic Day. The anniversary of the Indian Constitution’s adoption is always a time for not just celebration, but for reflection; a time to take stock of how far the nation has come in securing, for all its citizens, justice, liberty and equality as enshrined in the Constitution.

Over the last month, the rape and subsequent death of a young woman in Delhi – a particularly brutal incident, yet only one in an endless series of similar crimes that are reported, month after month, if they are reported at all – triggered international shock and outrage. The incident served as a stark reminder that, decades after the adoption of the Constitution, the liberty to live our lives without fear remains unsecured. For women in many communities across the country, especially those on the economic and social margins, such as dalits and adivasis, this insecurity permeates the fabric of day to day life – sexual assault, violence, imprisonment and threats thereof are commonplace. In any discussion of the questions that the gang-rape in Delhi raises, it is to these women and to these communities that we must look: the truest measure of a society lies in how it treats those who have the least power. None of us is safer or freer than the most vulnerable among us.

In the last few weeks, there has been much discussion on how to make sure that survivors of rape and violence receive justice consistently and rapidly. It is worth remembering, as these discussions take place, the spectacular failure of our judiciary and democratic processes in delivering justice to Soni Sori, the adivasi school teacher and mother of three from Chhattisgarh who has been incarcerated since October 2011 [1]. A year ago this January 26th, India awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry to an officer, SP Ankit Garg, despite compelling medical evidence that Sori was tortured and sexually assaulted while under his custody [2].

This is not an isolated case, but part of a pattern of such incidents. In a bizarre repetition of last year’s act of rewarding-the-perpetrator, the Government of India has decided to confer the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service this Republic Day, January 26th 2013, to Inspector General of Police S.R.P. Kalluri, who has well-documented rape accusations against him in Chhattisgarh [3, 4].

Sori’s petition in the Supreme Court as well as the cases in which Sori has been falsely charged have been subject to repeated delays. In the interim, neither the elected Government, nor independent bodies such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Commission for Women (NCW), have instituted serious investigations into the indications that Sori was tortured- her fingers seem to have been blackened from electric shocks and doctors recovered stones that had been thrust into her vagina and rectum. Indeed, the NCW revealed last October that it had closed its inquiry into the case, and has remained silent since, apart from making an anodyne recommendation of providing psychological counseling to Sori [5]. Although, on January 8th 2013, the Supreme Court granted Sori’s plea to be shifted to Jagdalpur jail, to be closer to her family [6], she remains in the custody of those who stand accused of torturing her.

Sori has spoken to a legal team of the humiliation and violence that she and other women prisoners are routinely subjected to. Besides this, jails in Chhattisgarh have an occupancy rate of around 256%, with 13,918 individuals incarcerated in space built to accommodate 5,430. The all-India rate is 110% [7]. Between 2001-2010, an average of four individuals died each day in police custody [8].

What makes these statistics all the more disturbing is that a majority of those imprisoned are under-trials such as Sori, who have not been convicted of any crime. The prolonged detention of these individuals – often for years altogether, as their cases move sluggishly through the judicial system amounts to an unconstitutional deprivation of the liberty of lawfully innocent citizens.

Indeed, the state increasingly uses the process of trial as a punishment in itself, as in the case of Kartam Joga, a man who, for years, tirelessly sought accountability for human rights violations by state forces in Chhattisgarh. On January 7th, 2013, a trial court acquitted Joga of all of a panoply of fabricated charges [9]; an innocent man thus spent the past two and a half years of his life in jail. Lingaram Kodopi (Sori’s nephew), a 25-year old journalist who worked to document abuses by security forces, remains imprisoned, awaiting trial, even as local police officers have been recorded admitting that the charges against him are fabricated [1]. Kodopi has also suffered custodial violence [10]. Numerous others have been thus imprisoned on the weakest of grounds seemingly as punishment for criticising the state’s actions or for otherwise challenging local authorities. Although we welcome the release of Kartam Joga and others who have been put through similar ordeals, the state must cease its intimidation and harassment of those who seek to hold it accountable to its own people.

In the 2G spectrum case, the Supreme Court recently commented that “this court has time and again stated that bail is the rule and committal to jail an exception… The courts owe more than verbal respect to the principle that punishment begins after conviction, and that every man is deemed to be innocent until duly tried and duly found guilty” [11]. This is a sound and practical principle; we ask that it be invoked not only in the trials of the influential but also in the trials of the weak and marginalized.

If we are to continue to place our trust in the rights that the Constitution upholds and seeks to guarantee every citizen in India, if we are to address the deep-rooted issue of violence against women, then we must be able to ensure liberty and justice to those who are the most vulnerable in our societies. To that end, we demand:

  • Ensure a speedy, free and  fair trials for Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi.

  • Conduct an independent and impartial investigation of incidents of sexual violence against women, including Soni Sori, committed by the police and other security forces; prosecute the responsible officers and impose exemplary punishment on those found guilty. Withdraw the Presidential Gallantry Awards given to Police Superintendent Ankit Garg and Inspector General of Police S.R.P. Kalluri.

  • Grant unconditional bail to undertrials from socially and economically marginalised communites, languishing in jails in Chhattisgarh and across India.

  • Ensure that all cases, particularly those against individuals from marginalised communities, are disposed of in a timely manner so that the process of securing justice is not a punishment in itself.

  • Constitute a grievance redressal mechanism for individuals who have been wrongly detained or subject to custodial violence.

International Alliance for the Defence of Human Rights in India (IADHRI)

[1] Tehelka: ‘The Inconvenient Truth Of Soni Sori’

[2] The Hindu: ‘Soni Sori case: HRW wants PM to order impartial probe on torture’

[3] Statement of protest and demand for withdrawal of Meritorious Service award to S.R.P. Kalluri

[4] Ledha Bai’s Statement Against S.R.P. Kalluri

[5]Tehelka: ‘NCW first shuts, then reopens Soni Sori’s case’

[6] Press Trust of India: ‘SC allows Soni Sori to be shifted to Jagdalpur Central Jail’

[7]National Crime Records Bureau: http://ncrb.nic.in/PSI-2011/TABLE-2.1.pdf

[8]Tehelka:  ‘Four custodial deaths daily over the last decade’

[9]Amnesty International: ‘India frees prisoner of conscience Kartam Joga’

[10] Committee to Protect Journalists: ‘In India, imprisoned journalist’s plea for help’

[11] The Hindu: ‘‘Respect principle that punishment begins after conviction’’


IADHRI Appeals to the Prime Minister and Other Officials To Save Soni Sori’s Life

An open letter from IADHRI to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Chhattisgarh CM and other officials. The letter has already been endorsed by individuals listed below. If you would like to endorse, as either an individual or an organisation, please send email to: iadhri.org@gmail.com.                     [Press Release, 29th April, 2012]


Open Letter:                                                                    

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the rapidly worsening health of Soni Sori in Raipur Central Jail. She has been passing blood with her urine, is having difficulty to sit or get up, and has lost considerable weight. Despite doctors from NRS Medical Hospital having confirmed that stones had been inserted into her vagina and rectum, Soni Sori has received no proper medical attention.We fear for Soni’s life and are outraged and ashamed at this inhuman treatment of a woman in India.

Soni Sori, 35, is an adivasi school teacher from Dantewada who was arrested in New Delhi on Oct 4 2011. Six months have passed since Soni was tortured physically and sexually but neither the state nor the central government has investigated the abuse. Her case has been repeatedly listed up in the Supreme Court but has been postponed every time. Throughout the duration of Soni Sori’s imprisonment, the state has also tried to stifle her communications with the civil society. In January this year, a team from various women’s groups across the country went to Raipur Jail to meet Soni, but they were prevented from doing so by the administration.

The brutal treatment meted out to Soni Sori, and the prevailing situation of conflict and repression in Chhattisgarh, cause us grave concern about Soni in particular, and the situation of women prisoners, in general. We demand immediate access for fact-finding groups to meet with Soni Sori and others to assess their condition in jail, particularly their medical situation. We fear that Soni Sori’s condition is rapidly deteriorating, and demand that she receive immediate medical attention.


Harsh Mander
Meena Kandaswamy, Poet, Writer, Activist
Prof. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT
Prashant Bhushan, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Nikhil Dey,  Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Shankar Singh,  Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Dr. Deepankar Basu, Prof of Economics, UMass Amherst
Dr. Prithvi R Sharma, MD
Jean Dreze, Allahabad University
Uma Chakravarti, Retd Professor, Delhi University
Anand Chakravarti, Retd Professor, Delhi University
Githa Hariharan, Writer
Arundhati Roy, Writer & Social Activist
Mohan Rao, Professor, JNU, Delhi
Geetha Nambisan
Dr. Abha Sur, Women Studies, MIT
Hiren Gandhi, Darshan, Amhedabad
Dr. Saroop Dhruv, Darshan, Amhedabad
Alisha Sett, Student, Tufts Univ
Dr. Suvrat Raju, Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad
Manasi Pingle, Film Maker
Admiral L Ramdas, Former Chief of Naval Staff, Alibag
Lalita Ramdas, Alibag
Prof. K.N. Panikkar
Dr. Jonathan E Fine, M.D, Founder Physicians for Human Rights
Santosh Rohit, Graduate Student, Univ. of Buffalo
Dr. KS Sripada Raju
Shrikumar Poddar
Mayurika Poddar
Soundarya Iyer, PhD student, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
Prof. Ved Vatuk
Nurul Kabir
Karthik Sekhar, PhD student, MIT
Priyanka Srivastava
Ananyo Maitra
Srihari Murali, Indian Institute of Science
Dr. Jonathan E. Fine, Founder Physicians For Human Rights
Dr. Joyoni Dey, Professor, UMass Medical School
Dr. Amit Basole, Asst. Prof., Bucknell Univ
Dr. Veena Poonacha, Director, Research Center for Women’s Studies, SNDT Women’s University, Maharastra
Dr. Jinee Lokaneeta, Prof. Drew Univ, NJ: Author of Transnational Torture, Law, Violence, and State Power in the United States and India, NYU Press
Arati Chokshi,  Secretary, PUCL- Karnataka
Himadri Sekhar,  Delhi School of Economics, Delhi
Jyoti Punwani, Journalist, Mumbai
Rajasekhar Jammalamadaka
Aashish Sangoi
Parvathy Prem, Graduate student, University of Texas at Austin
Vishal Kudchadkar, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Snehal Shingavi, Assistant Professor, English, University of Texas at Austin
Sucharit Katyal, Graduate student, University of Texas at Austin
Neetu Jain, Association for India’s Development, Austin
Shikha Gupta, Association for India’s Development, Austin
Anand Surada, Association for India’s Development, Austin
Sivasankari Krishnanji, Association for India’s Development, Dallas
Yatin Phatak, Association for India’s Development, Dallas
Kirankumar Vissa, Hyderabad, India
Sukla Sen
Priti Turakhia Mumbai, India
Indira Chakravarthi
Reva Yunus
Sridhar Seshan
Kashif-ul-Huda, Editor, TwoCircles.net
Shalini Gera, Delhi, India
Asha Kilaru, Independent Public Health Researcher, Jan Aroghya Andolaan – Karnataka
Pranesh Prakash
Dr. Garga Chatterjee, Researcher, MIT
Daniel Mazgaonkar, Mumbai
Rohini Hensman, Mumbai
Reena Mary George, University of Vienna, Austria
Renu Pariyadath, University of Iowa, Iowa
Chirag Bhangale
Himanshu Kumar
Dr. Margaret McFadden, Prof Emerita, Women’s Studies, Living/Learning Academic Center, Appalachian State Univ, NC
K.J.Mukherjee, Professor, JNU, Delhi
Yasmin Saikia Hardt-Nickachos, Chair in Peace Studies, Professor of History, Arizona State University
Dr. Vandana Prasad
Piya Chatterjee Associate Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, University of California at Riverside
Uma Chandru, Member, PUCL-Bangalore & WSS
Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Documentary Filmmaker/Lecturer, AfroLez® Productions
Jane Ward, Associate Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, University of California, Riverside
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Delhi
Satyen K. Bordoloi, Journalist, Film Critic, Mumbai
Madhuri Krishnaswamy, Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, M.P.
Gowru Chinnapa
Navaneetha Mokkil, Assistant Professor, Central University of Gujarat
Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Badwani, MP
Kavita Srivastava, PUCL National Secretary
Pushkar Raj, General Secretary, PUCL
Mahipal Singh, National Secretary PUCL
Radha Kant Saxena, Vice President, PUCL, Rajasthan
Prem Krishna Sharma, President, PUCL, Rajasthan
Nishat Hussein, V.P President, PUCL Rajasthan
Mamta Jaitly, Vividha Mahila Alekhan evam Sandharbh kendra,
Renuka Pamecha, WRG, Jaipur
Indu Krishnan, Independent Documentary Film Maker
Debo Prosad Roy Choudhury, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR)
Leni Chaudhuri, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Mumbai.
Reena Mary George, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Katyayani Poet, activist, Chairperson of Janchetna
Shivarth Pandey, Disha Students Organisation
Abhinav, Disha Student Organisation
Sukhwinder Editor, Mazdoor Bigul & Pratibadh (Punjabi journal)
Sandeep Samwad, Journalist & Activist
Tapish Maindola, Textile Workers Union, Gorakhpur
Rajwinder, Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Ludhiana
Ajay Swami, Delhi Metro Kamgar Union
Lakhwinder, Editor, Lalkar, Punjab
Meenakshy, Arvind Memorial Trust
Kalpana Karunakaran, Assistant Prof., IIT Madras
Madhusree Mukherjee, Writer
Abha Bhaiya, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Dr Debabrata Roy, Laifungbam President, Elders’ Council, Centre for Organisation Research & Education, Manipu
Shankar Gopalakrishnan, Campaign for Survival and Dignity
Janet Chawla
Pushpa Achanta Member, WSS-Karnataka
Gracy Andrew, Country Manager, CorStone, http://www.corstone.org
Ramneek Singh, Playwright, Bangalore
Amar Jesani, Editor, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics
Dr. Anand Philip, Medico Friend Circle
Pushpa Achanta, WSS, Bangalore
Nisha Biswas, Kolkata
Ritika Shrimali, York University, Canada
Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre
Janaki Nair, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
Mohan Rao, Professor, JNU
Vinod Raina
Nalini Visvanathan
Tithi Nandy, HEALTHWATCH Forum, UP
Jasodhara Dasgupta, National Alliance on Maternal Health and Human Rights
Siddhartha Sharma, ISI, Kolkata
Kirity Roy, MAUSUM & Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
Mohit Jaiswal
Devra Weber, Associate Professor, UC Riverside
Kiran Uppalapati, Charlotte, NC
Chandni Sheth
Dr. Anish Mokashi, Independent Researcher, Coimbatore
Junuka Deshpande, Artist and filmmaker, Coimbatore
Dr. Smita Mukherjee, University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh
Shalini Bhutani, Legal Researcher, New Delhi
Joanna Levitt, Director, International Accountability Project, California
Dr. Reety Arora, Association for India’s Development, Pittsburgh
Rounak Narvekar, Association for India’s Development, Pittsburgh
Prerna Grover, Graduate student, University of Pittsburgh
Madhav Sankunny, Graduate student, University of Pittsburgh
Chris Mason, Amnesty International Group 39, Pittsburgh
Dr. Ashwin Kumar, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
Lavanya Subramanian, Graduate student, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
Kaushik Vaidyanathan, Graduate student, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
Jordana Rosenfeld, Amnesty International Group 39, Pittsburgh
Mamata Dash, Activist and Independent Researcher
Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM
Sylvanna Falcon, Assistant Professor Latin American & Latino Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Prof of English and Director of Gender Studies, Montclair State University, NJ
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University
Erin Runions, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Pomona College, California
Devra Weber, Associate Professor, History, UC-Riverside
Dipti Misri, University of Colorado
Dr. Swati Dhawan
Swapna Kollu, Researcher, Boston
Rupal Oza
Komal Choksi, Psychologist, New York City
Shibani Potnis
Rucha Chitnis
Madhav Srimohan
Dr. Sanjeev Mahajan, Mountainview, CA
Tsering Dhundup, Dharamshala, India
Deeksha Bajpai Tewari, Delhi University
Sudharshana Bordoloi, York University, Canada
Ajay Panicker
SR Hiremath, Samaj Parivartan Samuday, Karnataka
Amrita Basu, Departments of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Amherst College
Mahtab Alam, Civil Rights’ Activist and Journalist, Delhi
Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Delhi
Patricia Morton, Chair and Associate Professor of Architectural History, Univ of California, Riverside
Jaskiran K. Mathur PhD,  Chairperson Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice, St. Francis College, NY
Vivek Sundara, HRA,Mumbai
Naazneen Diwan, Los Angeles
Archana A. Pathak PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University
Bettina Aptheker, Distinguished Professor, Feminist Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Anjali Arondekar, Associate Professor Department of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
Basuli Deb, Assistant Professor,English/Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Padma Balasubramanian
Prof. Bishnupriya Ghosh, Department of English, University of California, Santa Barbara
Deepa Rajkumar
Punita Chaudhary, Filmmaker, Mumbai
Asutosha Acharya, York University
Nishant Upadhyay, York University
Rahul Varman, IIT, Kanpur
Pradeep Esteves, Bangalore
Dr. Abhay Shukla, Pune
Priya Thangarajah
Aditi Malhotra
Pratiksha Baxi, CSLG, JNU
Sheba George, Ahmedabad
Minnie Vaid, Filmmaker and author
Rona Wilson, Secretary, Public Relations, Committee for Release of Political Prisoners
Shoma Sen, Committee Against Violence on Women
Jayasree Subramanian, TISS, Hyderabad
Vani Subramanian, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre. Delhi
Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA
Aarti Sethi, Columbia University
Patricia Morton, Chair and Associate Professor of Architectural History, UC Riverside
Soumitra Ghosh, North Bengal Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, SIliguri
Sanjay Basu Mullick, Jharkhand Jangal Bachao Andolan, Ranchi
Pushpa Toppo, Jharkhand Jangal Bachao Andolan
Madhu Mehra, New Delhi
Sushil Khanna Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
Rajashri Dasgupta Journalist, Kolkata
Nandini Rao
Kavita Shourie Vissanji, Samskara Wellness, Mumbai
Vijayshree Danthurthi, Charlotte, NC
Nitin Sonawane
Purba Rudra, Kolkata
Balmurli Natrajan Mining Zone People’s Solidarity Group, USA
Vidya Kalaramadam, Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, William Paterson University of New Jersey
Elizabeth Gillaspy
Nandita Ghosh
Amrita Shodhan, Teacher, London, UK
Runu Chakraborty
Christine Guzaitis Department Chair, Gender and Women’s Studies, Scripps College
Richa Nagar, Unıversıty of Mınnesota
Joe Athialy, New Delhi
Chakraverti Mahajan
Manasi Mayerkar, University of Pittsburgh
Anindya Dutta
Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd), Mysore
Rıcha Nagar, Unıversıty of Mınnesota
Anand Sivaraman, Entrepreneur, Bangalore
Manohar Elavarthi, Praja Rajakiya Vedike, Bangalore
Neeraj Malik
Christine Guzaitis, Assistant Professor, Department Chair, Gender and Women’s Studies, Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Hardip Grewal
Christine Ward Gailey
Abha Bhaiya, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Esha Niyogi De, Lecturer, Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles
Sejal Sutaria, Assistant Professor of English, Earlham College, Indiana
Parama Roy, Professor of English, University of California, Davis
Jhuma Sen, Advocate, Supreme Court
Svati Joshi, Delhi University
Kabi Cubby Sherman, FAOW, Mumbai
Madhu Bhaduri
Asit Das
Shiraz Balsara Prabhu, Kashtakari Sanghatana
Dr. Gail Omvedt, Krantivir Babuji Patankar Sanstha
Dr. Bharat Patankar, President, Shramik Mukti Da
Archana Purushotham, Neurologist, Bangalore
Malika Virdi, Uttarakhand
Oeendrila Lahiri, JNU
Geeta Menon, Stree Jagruti Samiti, Domestic Workers Rights Union
Kumar Swamy, National Secretary, All India Christian Council
Gautam Chaudhury Kolkata
Jaya Vindhyala, Advocate, President, PUCL-AP
Paola Bacchetta, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Univ. of California, Berkeley
Rajiv Mariwala, Bombay
Stan Swamy
Sangeeta Kamat
Richard Harkinson, London Mining Network, UK
Samantha Agarwal, Activist, New Delhi
Peter N. Jones, Bauu Institute and Press
Ranjana Padhi
Allwyn D’Silva
Harsh kapoor, SACW
Jayaprakash Rao Polsani
Amjad Ali E.M., Editor, Justicia.in
Sujata Mody
Anuradha Kapoor, Kolkata
Amitadyuti Kumar, APDR
Anurag Modi, Shramik Adivasi Sangathan
Shamim Meghani Modi, Asst. Professor, TISS, Mumbai
Aruna Burte
Bimla Chandrasekhar
Anand Pawar
Poonam Kathuria, Society for Women’s Action and Training Initiatives
Pragnya Joshi
Sadhna Arya
Madhu Bhaduri,  IFS and former Ambassador of India
Prof Sumit Sarkar
Prof Tanika Sarkar
Y Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy, Forest Rights activist and researcher, Hyderabad
Inderpal Grewal
JoAnn Martin, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Earlham College, Richmond Indiana
Niharika Banerjea, Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Southern Indiana
Ananya Chatterjea, Professor, Dept of Theater Arts and Dance, University Minnesota
Yi-Chun T. Lin, Director & Professor, Women’s Studies Program, Southern Connecticut State University
Jean Comaroff, Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago
Manoj B.
Nandini Nayak Department of Development Studies, SOAS, London
Alka kurian Lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington, Bothell
Vandana Mahajan
Kiran Shaheen, Right to water Campaign, Delhi
Agrotosh Mookherjee
Shahnaz Khan, Professor Women & Gender Studies and Global Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario
Juana María Rodríguez, Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley
Jessica Lehr
Diana Mavroleon, UK
Sheena Malhotra, Professor and Chair, Gender and Women’s Studies Department, California State University, Northridge
JoAnn Martin, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Earlham College, Indiana
Deepak Srinivasan
Nagaragere Ramesh
Darlena David, Graduate Student, London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Dr. Lubna Sarwath, POINTE, Hyderabad
Sanjukta Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Women’s & Gender Studies, DePaul University
Rachel Wahl, NYU
Mamta Shah, Drexel University
Dr. Bonnie Zare, Associate Professor, Gender & Women’s Studies Program, University of Wyoming
Parag Shah
Karthik Ranganathan
Tracy Fisher, Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, UC Riverside
Preeti Sampat
Ritu Sanghavi
Divya Somani
Gladson Dungdung, General Secretary, Jharkhand Human Rights Movement
Shishir Chandra, MASVAW, Lucknow
Anita Dighe
Vinita Damodaran
S.Srinivasan, LOCOST, Baroda
Renu Khanna, SAHAJ, Baroda
Dr. Mike Peck, Lecturer in Environmental Science (University of Sussex)
Dr Marcia Masiero
Margaret Dickinson, Filmmaker
Madhavi Yennapu, New Delhi
Roger Jeffery
Mary Mathai
Nandita Das, Actor, Director
Seema Mustafa
Niloufer Bhagwat
Varavara Rao
Seema Kulkarni
Dr. Vani Pariyadath, Maryland
Ayappa Biddanda
Catherine Kingfisher, Professor of Anthropology, Univ. of Lethbridge, Canada
Jahnavi Prasad
Mashal Awais, UT Austin
Srajan Bhagat
Jesse Collins
Santosh Gedam, IIMB
Arnaz Ranji
Dr. V. Rukmini Rao, Gramya Resource Centre for Women
Tahera Zabuwala
Dr. Sapna Samant
Dr. Sanjay Singh, MASVAW, Varanasi
Geeta Charusivam, Activist, Chennai
Dr. Yasmin Lodi, Director for Academic Planning and Development, Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad
Mohan Hirabai Hiralal
Sandeep Vaidya, Dublin, Ireland
Fiona Bolger, Poet/Writer, Dublin, Ireland
Ashim Jain
James Askew, Oxford, UK
Prof. Amit Bhaduri
Arun Kumar, JNU
Siddhartha Mitra, Sanhati, New York City
Pascha Bueno-Hansen, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware
James Mutti India Country Specialist, Amnesty International USA
Nityanand Jayaraman Writer, Chennai
Pandu Hegde
Nora Kropp Bangalore
Dr Adithya P SOCHARA, Bangalore
Narendra Gupta Chittorgarh
Sunil Mohan
Shivani Sharma
Kunal Deb
Preeta Naveen
Akhila Vasan, Janarogya Andolana Karnataka (JAAK)
Dr. Prashanth NS, Bangalore
Laura Pulido, Professor, Department of American Studies & Ethnicity, University of Southern California
Raman Joha, Department of Public Administration,Panjab University, Chandigarh
Kiran Markenday, Pittsburgh, PA
Nisha Samabamurthy, Graduate student, Pittsburgh
Debamitra Das, Graduate student, Pittsburgh
Anirban Dasgupta, Senior Scientist, Yahoo! Research
Sapna Gupta, Phoenix, AZ
Yasmin Qureshi, Writer and Activist
Pratyush Bharati
Sulinya Ramanan, Cambridge, MA
Dr Priya Kurian Associate Professor, Political Science and Public Policy, The University of Waikato, New Zealand
Rati Rao, PUCL, Karnataka
Anuradha Joshi
Achut Borgavkar, Tathapi, Pune


Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, MIT
Amnesty International, USA
Association for India’s Development
Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, Delhi
Committee Against Violence on Women (CAVOW)
India Foundation Inc. of Michigan
India Friends Association, California
International Alliance for Defense of Human Rights in India
Moving Republic, Bangalore
Matrika Charitable Trust
Peoples Solidarity Concerns, Bangalore
People’s Union for Civil Liberties, India
Preethi Mahilodaya Organization
South Asian Alliance, UK (www.southasianalliance.org)
South Asians for Justice, Los Angeles
South Asia Solidarity Initiative
South Asian Bar Association of New York (www.sabany.org)
The South Asian Political Action Committee at Tufts University, MA
Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment Inc.
Vedanta Society of East Lansing, Michigan
ViBGYOR Film Collective, Thrissur
Women Against Sexual Violence & State Repression

Reading Soni Sori’s Letters from Prison: An International Women’s Day Video Montage

In a global show of solidarity marking the International Women’s Day, concerned citizens from around the world today released this video documentary based on letters written by imprisoned adivasi school teacher Soni Sori, currently held in the Central Jail in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.


Soni Sori’s Medical Report from the NRS Medical College and Hospital (excerpt)



Petition Demands, “Save Soni Sori! Punish Chhattisgahr Police!”

View and sign the petition here.

Protesters Demand, “Uphold the Indian Constitution, Free Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi”

Marking the Republic Day of India and the anniversary of the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi, concerned citizens and friends of India organized public protests in San Francisco, Boston/Cambridge and other cities in the United States. A statement distributed at these events observed:

Every year on the 26th of January, we celebrate the Constitution of India [1]. Every 30th of January, we remember the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to freedom. However, for the vast majority of the people of India, even the most basic of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution – the right to life and personal liberty and due legal process if these rights are to be abridged – remain unrealized promises. And the ideals of the independence struggle, as articulated by Gandhi, stand indelibly tarnished.

The complete statement is available here.

Videos of the scenes from two of the protest sites are below:
Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA:

Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA:

IADHRI Statement against the Torture and Politically Motivated Arrest of Soni Sori

Nov 16, 2011: We, the International Alliance for the Defense of Human Rights in India (IADHRI), strongly condemn the wrongful arrest of and the subsequent torture of Soni Sori, an adivasi (indigenous) school teacher from Dantewada, Chattisgarh. On October 20th, 2011, the Supreme Court of India ordered the government of Chhattisgarh to send Sori to a hospital in Kolkata in the neighboring state of West Bengal for independent medical examination, after credible reports surfaced of her torture and mistreatment by the Chhattisgarh police [1]. The medical examination reports sent by the hospital did not reach the Court by Nov 15th as ordered. The Court has again ordered the reports to be sent by the 17th. Sori has been sent back to a prison in Chhattisgarh where there is grave danger of continued torture and a threat to her life.

The complete statement is available here.

Soni Sori’s Medical Report from the Dantewada Hospital, October 10, 2011

Supreme Court Order Directing that Soni Sori Be Indepenedently Medically Examined

On October 20, 2011, the Supreme Court of India directed the State of Chhattisgarh to get Soni Sori examined by the doctors at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata. After weighing the evidence and oral arguments from both sides, it observed:

6. Having considered the submissions made on behalf of the

respective parties and also according to the medical status

of the Petitioner indicated in the Affidavit filed ..., the

injuries sustained by the Petitioner No.1 do not prima facie

appear to be as simple as has been made out to be by the

Chhattisgarh police.

The complete order is available here.

Soni Sori in the Dantewada Hospital Following her Torture

Soni Sori was handed over to the Dantewada police on Saturday, October 8, 2011. The following Monday, she could not be produced before a magistrate by the police as they were required to. The following video shows her writhing in pain in the District Hospital Dantewada where she was taken for a medical examination that afternoon.

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