NCCI condemns Gallantry Award to Ankit Garg by the State
Chhatishgarh, January 30, 2012: It is most shocking that Mr. Ankit Garg, the Superintendent of Police from Chhatishgarh State has been given the Gallantry Award during the 63rd Indian Republic Day Celebration. This award has been given for the anti-Naxal operations he has carried out. However this very person Mr. Ankit Garg has been named by Ms. Soni Sori (an Adivasi school teacher from Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh State) in several letters to the Supreme Court, for ordering and supervising her torture and being sexually violated on the night of October 8, 2011 when she was in his custody at the Dantewada police station, being accused of acting as a Maoist courier.
Police intimidation forced Ms. Soni Sori to flee, and she reached Delhi seeking legal assistance, but she was arrested in New Delhi in October 2011 before she could submit her application (read Tehelka, 15 October 2011, “The Inconvenient Truth of Soni Sori”). Fearing for her life in Chhattisgarh, she asked to be held in custody in Delhi, despite which she was handed over to the Chhattisgarh Police. After the matter reached the Supreme Court, Ankit Garg was transferred to the police headquarters in Raipur. Ms. Soni Sori had exposed evidence of police misconduct in the framing of several cases against her. In custody, Soni Sori was brutally tortured by the Chhattisgarh police, because of her refusal to corroborate their false statements. A subsequent independent medical examination found sizable stones lodged in her vagina and her rectum and severe damage to her spinal cord.
This Gallantry Award given to Ankit Garg angers citizens of India as the State has maintained a blind eye and deaf ear to the cry of Ms. Soni Sori for justice. At this juncture, the National Council of Churches in India, which represents more than 13 million Christians in India, also joins the citizens of India in condemning the insensitivity of the State by awarding the Gallantry Award to Ankit Garg, who is responsible for the unjust brutal torture meted out to Ms. Soni Sori by the State. The NCCI expresses her solidarity with all the victims and to all those who fight against State Repression in the Republic of India.
- dr. hranthan chhungi & ms. rachael pradhan