human rights

Nandini Sundar case: NHRC summons Bastar inspector general to explain allegations against police

The statement said SRP Kalluri has to explain allegations that the police used an FIR to settle scores with the JNU professor and other activists.

The National Human Rights Commission on Thursday summoned Bastar Inspector General SRP Kalluri, saying he must explain allegations that the police had falsely framed Delhi university professor Nandini Sundar and others in the murder of an Adivasi man.

A statement issued by the commission said the organisation had “taken suo motu cognisance of the nationwide outcry against Kalluri for registering a First Information Report against the professor and others”. He is required to appear before the commission on November 30.

The police had booked Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar, JNU professor Archana Prasad, academic Vineet Tiwari, Sanjay Parate of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Manju Kawasi and others for offences of murder, criminal trespass, conspiracy under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The NHRC statement said, “There is no apparent connection between the murder [of Shamnath Bhagel] and the visit of these human rights activists and, therefore, it has been alleged that they have been framed in mala fide manner by police to settle scores. It has been stated that FIR has been registered in the name of the wife of killed Baghel.”

The police had claimed that Vimla, Baghel’s wife, had lodged an FIR against Sundar and the others after her husband was murdered on November 4. However, Vimla later said she had not named Sundar or anyone else in her complaint. Baghel had been leading an agitation against Maoist activities in the region since April.

Earlier, the police had said that Vimla’s complaint had alleged that Baghel had been receiving threats from Maoists since May, after he had lodged a complaint against Sundar and the other accused alleging that they were inciting Adivasi villagers in the area to act against the police.

On November 15, the Supreme Court had issued an order asking the Chhattisgarh government to give the Sundar and the others fours weeks’ notice before making any arrests or interrogating them.

Sundar, who heads Delhi University’s sociology department, has written a book on Maoist insurgency and the violence in Bastar. In 2011, the Supreme Court had ordered the dissolution of state-backed militia Salwa Judum based on Sundar’s petition. Salwa Judum was set up to counter the Maoist presence in Chhattisgarh.

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