This report covers in detail the story of violence perpetrated against a 35 year old tribal woman, Soni Sori, by the Chhattisgarh police and the prison authorities of the jail where she is imprisoned. The report highlights this relatively pervasive aspect of violence against women in the custody of the state, by state functionaries. Constitutionally mandated to safeguard the lives of citizens, state functionaries such as the police, paramilitary, army and other security personnel, enjoy overwhelming authority over persons under their custody.
In the context of ‘disturbed areas’, this necessarily translates into unquestioned powers to authorities to detain, interrogate and arrest suspicious persons in the name of protecting nationalsecurity. Military offensives such as, Operation Green Hunt against Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal, counter-terrorism strategies in Kashmir or the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in the North east, have strengthened the hands of the security establishment vis-a-vis the people. In taking up the case of Soni Sori, we would like to remind ourselves of some of the other important cases of violence against women perpetrated by State functionaries in the past.
A Joint report by:
Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL),
Peoples Union for Democratic Righs (PUDR) and
Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)