Tribal teacher Soni Sori and her activist-nephew Lingaram Kodopi were released from Jagdalpur jail on Thursday after the Supreme Court granted them bail following their arrest two years ago for allegedly receiving money on behalf of Maoists from a corporate house in Chhattisgarh.
"The Supreme Court gave conditional bail to Sori and Kodopi on November 12 and we received the order today, after which which we released them," Jagdalpur Jail Superintendent Rajendra Gaikwad told PTI.
According to Bastar Additional Superintendent of Police S R Salaam, the duo were taken to Dantewada where they were given permission to spend 24 hours with their family, after which they will be taken to New Delhi on Friday where they have to report to the police station on a weekly basis.
The bail has been given on the condition that they would not visit Chhattisgarh while their case is being probed, Salaam said.
Thirty-six-year-old tribal teacher Sori and her activist-nephew Kodopi, 25 were arrested on charges of acting as conduits of protection money by paid by the Essar group to Maoists.
According to the police, on September 9, 2011, Kodopi and B K Lala, a building contractor with Essar Steel Ltd, were nabbed from a market at Palnar village in Dantewada district, along with Rs 15 lakh in cash, which was allegedly meant to be paid to the Maoists.
The police had claimed that the recovered cash was protection money allegedly originating from the Essar Group and Kodopi had received it on behalf of the Maoists. The police had also claimed Sori was also associated with Kodopi but she managed to flee from the spot.
Later, she was arrested on October 4, 2011, in New Delhi. Essar Steel General Manager DVCS Verma was also arrested in this connection.
However, the Dantewada district court had granted bail to Verma and Lala.