The Chhattisgarh Home Ministry has appointed Dantewada Deputy Inspector General of Police Sundar Raj P the chief of the Bastar range, handing over the responsibility from controversial IGP Shiv Ram Prasad Kalluri, reported Dainik Bhaskar. Subodh Singh, special secretary to Chief Minister Raman Singh, said Kalluri was going on a long leave, but refrained from commenting on why he was being replaced in the post, reported Chhattisgarh Khabar.
The order was issued a day after Sundar Raj took over as the DIG of Dantewada. Kalluri has reportedly been facing health issues, which is believed to have been a factor behind his leave. He had been the IGP of Bastar since June 2014.
There were protests against Kalluri since social activist Bela Bhatia’s house was attacked by unidentified men on January 23 in Bastar. Goons had barged into her house and threatened her to leave the district immediately. Bhatia had informed the police of the incident, but no action had been taken against the attackers.
In another case, the National Human Rights Commission had summoned Kalluri in November 2016, seeking an explanation for allegations that the Bastar police had falsely framed Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar and others for the murder of an adivasi. He was asked to appear before the commission on November 30, but the hearing was deferred after he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on November 25. Kalluri rejoined work in December after being on medical leave for a month.
According to Dainik Bhaskar, when the case was being heard in the court, the NHRC had expressed disappointment with the security arrangements in Bastar. The committee had said it will form a panel to look into the matter. This, the report said, prompted the state government to appoint Sundar Raj the IGP of Bastar region.