The commission has noted that there is no apparent connection between murder and visit of human rights activists
GN Bureau | November 17, 2016
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of the Nandini Sundar case and summoned chief secretary of Chhattisgarh and IGP, Bastar to explain the allegations of hostility and abuse of power against human rights defenders.
NHRC found the FIR against Sundar and others as an act in line with earlier acts of hostility displayed by police. It has questioned the state’s refusal to handover the case to an independent agency like CB CID or CBI.
On November 5, IG of Bastar Range, S R P Kalluri, registered an FIR against Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Archana Prasad, Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar, Vineet Tiwari, Sanjay Parate of CPI (M) and Manju Kawasi, for offences of murder, criminal trespass, conspiracy and for offences under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act after the murder of tribal Samnath Baghel in Sukma District on November 4.
According to reports, Baghel was killed by Maoists as he led a campaign against Maoists since April, 2016. It was alleged that these professors had visited Bastar in May, 2016, while Baghel was murdered in November.
An FIR was filed in the name of Baghel's wife. However, she told NDTV that she had not named Sundar or anyone in her complaint. She told that Maoists had attacked their house while they were sleeping. Meanwhile, Sundar told ANI that she and others were not in the area for last five months.
The NHRC has noted that there is no apparent connection between murder and 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.
The commission intervention has come after the supreme court on November 15 directed the Chhattisgarh government to issue notice of four weeks before their arrest only after gathering new material in the investigation.
Sundar had filed a petition in the apex court against atrocities by Bastar Police on tribal people by burning of their homes. The SC has ordered an investigation by the CBI, where it found, Kalluri responsible for the burning of homes.
She had earlier filed a petition in 2007 against atrocities by police in the tribal areas. She with other lawyers and journalists has in the past brought to the notice of the commission mass rape of women, murders and other crimes by security officers under the umbrella of police
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