TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH

This if for all social workers intellectuals, NGOs, human rights organisations, women’s commission and citizens of India. An abused and helpless tribal woman, is asking you to answer why she is being brutally tortured and she wants to know–

That by giving me electric shocks, by stripping me naked, or by brutally assaulting me and inserting stones in my rectum- will the problem of Naxalism end ? Why so many atrocities on women? I want to know from all my countrypeople.

When I was being stripped, I felt someone should come and save me and it did not happen. In Mahabharata , Draupadi’s honour was saved when she called upon Krishna. Whom should I have called? I was given to them ( police ) by the court . But now ,I can’t ask to save my honour as I have nothing left. Yes, I want to know from all of you that why was I tortured?

Police officer, S. P Ankit Garg after stripping me said, “You are a whore, a bitch, who pleases naxal leaders by selling your body and they come to your house every day and night. We know everything.”, he said adding, “You claim to be a good teacher, but you sell yourself even in Delhi. What’s your status, anyway? You think the big stalwarts will support such an ordinary woman like you?”. Why will a police officer say this? Today history is witness that whenever there is war in a country or any other conflict, women have contributed a lot to the nation. Jhansi Lakshmi Bai fought with the Britishers, did she sell herself ? Indira Gandhi as the prime minister of India , she governed the country, did she sell herself ? Today all the women who are working in their respective areas, are they selling themselves ? All of us are bound with each other in unity and support, then why no one is coming to help me ? I would like to have an answer from you.

Who has made the world? Who gave birth to the powerful, intellectual fighters? If woman would not have been there, was it possible that India would have got freedom? I am a woman, so why did this happen to me, answer me.

My education has been mocked at. I got my education at the Gandhian school, Rukmani Kanya Ashram, Dimripal. I strongly believe in the power of my education. Whether it is a naxal problem or any other, I can face it. Education is my tool for survival and pen is my weapon of choice . Still they have put me in jail as a Naxal supporter. Mahatma Gandhi also had the same tools. If Mahatma Gandhi was alive today, then would he also have been put behind bars as a Naxal supporter? I want to know from all of you.

Why are only villagers and tribals being put in jails as Naxal supporters and cases been fabricated against them? Many other people can be Naxal supporters. Is it because they are illiterate, uneducated, simple people, living in huts in forests, and they have do not have money or is it because they have the capacity to tolerate torture much more? Why? I want to know from you people.

We Adivasis are being abused and tortured in many ways. We are accused of being Naxal supporters. Cases are being fabricated against us, even for 1 or 2 cases people are being kept in prison for 5 or 6 years. Neither there is judgement, nor bail or acquittal. After all, why? Is it because we Adivasi people do not have the calibre to fight the government or that government is not with Adivasi? Or because Adivasis are not sons/ daughters or relatives of big political leaders. Till when will the adivasis be exploited, till when? I am asking all citizens of India. Answer me.

In Jagdalpur and Dantewada prisons, 16 year olds boys and girls were bought and they are now 20-21 years old. But still their cases are not being heard. If their cases will not be heard in coming days or years, then what will be their future? Why so much atrocities upon the adivasis? All social workers, intellectuals, NGOs, citizens, please think.

The Naxals looted my father’s house and shot my father in the leg making him disabled. Why did they do that? They thought my father was a police informer. About 20-25 people from my father’s village Bade-Bidema have been put in jail as Naxal supporters. The Naxalites punished my father for their imprisonment. I want to know from you who is responsible for this? Government or police or my father? Today there is no support or help for my father. Instead, the police administration is trying to implicate his daughter as a criminal. If he was a politician, we would have got help but my father is a ordinary villager and an Adivasi, what will the government do for the Adivasis? Tell me.

Struggling with Torture- a Chhattisgarhi woman,
Soni Sori (Sodi)

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