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Supreme Court grants bail to jailed tribal activist Soni Sori

The Supreme Court granted bail to Soni Sori, the tribal school teacher in Jabeli village of Dantewada.

Updated: Nov 12, 2013, 18:14 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to jailed tribal activist Soni Sori.

Soni Sori and her nephew Lingaram Kodopi were detained in Chhattisgarh since October and September 2011 respectively. Sori was arrested for allegedly receiving money from Essar Group on behalf of Maoists.

A bench of Justices SS Nijjar and FM Ibrahim Kalifulla granted relief to the duo but imposed a condition that they will not be in Chhattisgarh during the probe in the case.

Their plea was opposed by advocate Atul Jha appearing for Chhattisgarh government, but the court directed that the duo be released on bail as the other accused in the case, too, had received bail.
Sori was earlier denied bail to perform last rites of her husband Anil Futane, who died on August 02, 2013.

According to police, Kodopi and BK Lala, a building contractor with Essar Steel Ltd, were nabbed from a weekly market at Palnar village in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on September 9, 2011, with Rs 15 lakh in cash, which was allegedly meant to be paid to Maoist ultras.

Police had claimed that Sori was also associated with Kodopi, but had managed to flee the spot.

Sori was arrested on October 4, 2011, in New Delhi while Essar Steel Ltd general manager DVCS Verma, too, was arrested in connection with the case.

A Dantewada district court had granted bail to Verma and contractor Lala.

Sori, 36, a school teacher in Jabeli village of Dantewada, and her nephew Kodopi, 26, a journalist, were critical of human rights violations committed both by the security forces and the armed Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

Sori had alleged that she was tortured while she was in police custody on October 08 and 09, 2011. In letters written to the Supreme Court, she had said that police officials stripped and sexually assaulted her and gave her electric shocks.
A senior police official who Sori said had ordered and supervised her torture was conferred a gallantry award by the President of India in January 2012.

On September 28, Amnesty International had submitted a petition to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister urging him to drop all charges against Sori and Kodopi.

(With Agency inputs)