New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought
the Chhattisgarh government`s response to an allegation that
tribal teacher and suspected maoist activist Soni Sori "was
dying" in a state hospital due to torture by the police.
A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and HL Gokhale asked
Chhattisgarh`s standing counsel Atul Jha to seek necessary
instructions and information from the state government on the
allegations and report to it by tomorrow.
"You take instructions. Find out about her physical
condition. He (Sori`s counsel) says she is dying. Please verify
and tell us tomorrow," the bench said.
The apex court passed the direction after senior counsel
Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Sori, alleged that the tribal
woman was on the verge of death due to police torture in
custody after her arrest from Delhi last week.
He said Sori, in fact, had filed her petition to the apex
court prior to arrest but before the matter could be taken up
for hearing by the court, she was arrested and subjected to
physical torture in Chhattisgarh.
He claimed the woman was falsely implicated in a number
of cases linking her to Maoist activities.
The senior counsel said Sori was willing to face any
probe by any agency other than the Chhattisgarh police to
prove her innocence.
A suspected Maoist conduit and accused of receiving
"protection money" from the Essar group for rebels, Sori was
arrested on October 4 in south Delhi by a Chhattisgarh
police team and taken to Dantewada for interrogation. Essar
has denied giving funds to Maoists.