Tribal teacher Soni Sori,termed Maoist by the Chhattisgarh Police,was acquitted by a Dantewada court on Wednesday for want of evidence. The case related to Maoist attack on Congress leader Awdhesh Gautams house in July 2010,in which she was named an accused.
Besides Sori,her nephew Lingaram Kodapi and 15 others,who were accused in the case,were acquitted on Wednesday. According to the police,over 150 Maoists had attacked
Gautams house and killed two persons.
The court did not find merit in the prosecutions case,like the earlier ones in which she was falsely framed, said her lawyer K K Dubey.
Of the seven cases she was facing,Sori has now been acquitted in five.
A teacher employed at a government school in Sameli,Dantewada,she was booked by the police under a series of cases from July-September 2010. She continued to remain free,attend schools and district offices. Her arrest came after the Essar-Naxal payoff case in October 2011,in which she was named a conduit between the rebels and company. This and a case related to burning down of some vehicles are pending against her. While Essar GM D V C S Verma and private contractor B K Lala,also named accused in the case for similar charges,got bail much earlier,Sori and Kodapi are in jail. Kodapi is another accused in the case.
After her arrest,Sori alleged torture by the then Dantewada SP,Ankit Garg,and that policemen inserted stones in her body. She soon became a symbol of protest against police atrocities as activists like Himanshu Kumar termed it systematic destruction of tribals by the Chhattisgarh government. While a medical report confirmed the recovery of foreign bodies from her private parts,it also termed her condition perfectly healthy and did not find any scar,injury or infection in her body consequent to such torture.