The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued notice to the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police of Sukma district, Chhatisgarh, over the incident of killing and injuring Adivasis in police firing in May this year.
Moved by the petition filed by prominent human rights activists and Supreme Court lawyer, Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC sought replies at the earliest but not later than four weeks.
The petitioner, Tripathy, alleged that on May 17 this year, 27 tribal villagers had been seriously affected by police firing. Out of them, five persons including a woman have been illegally detained and three people killed, whose bodies were not handed over to their family members claiming they have not yet been identified.
However, relatives of the deceased reached the incident spot claiming the bodies.
Tripathy in his plea stated that in a video circulated on social media, local villagers said no Maoists were present on the spot and all the nine killed were civilians. They said six bodies were carried off by the villagers while three of them were taken away by the police.
Tripathy, who ensured justice to some victims of fake encounters in the state earlier, pointed out that in total three people have been killed and 18 sustained injuries. Neither the family members of the deceased nor the injured have been paid any compensation. The injured have not been getting fair treatment also.
No enquiry has been made nor any action taken against any official for deaths and injuries in police firing. Villagers, however, identified the dead as “protesters” Kawasi Wagha, 37, from Chutwai; Korsa Bhima, 32, from Gundam; and Uika Murali, 22, from Timmapuram.
The villagers mostly poor scheduled tribe people from over 30 villages of Sukma and Bijapur have been protesting outside the camp, the petition contended.
Tripathy pointed out that Silger village, in the Konta block of Sukma district, was once a bustling market for Chironji seeds until, 20 years ago, Maoists demolished bridges and cut off road access up to Jagargunda, another key marketplace. Covid guidelines are also not followed in the area and now everybody lives in constant fear.
The vulnerable people were sandwiched between Naxals, Maoists and security personnel, Tripathy added
Requesting the NHRC to send a team of officials from the Commission for an impartial investigation of the case, Tripathy sought direction from the NHRC to the state for judicial inquiry by a High Court Judge, payment of heavy compensation to the family members of the deceased and to the injured as well as legal action against the guilty officials and fair medical treatment to the injured ones.
The NHRC in its order observed “A complaint of May 20, 2021, has been received in the Commission from Radhakanta Tripathy, Advocate, Supreme Court, stating about the atrocities committed by the police.
“The complainant alleges the killing of nine tribals in police firing, serious injuries/effects on 27 people, illegal detaining of five people including one woman, not handing over the bodies of three people and inaction by the state authorities.”
The NHRC in its order further stated, “The commission has taken serious note of the allegations and taken cognizance of the complaint. It is expected that the authorities would take the matter with all the seriousness it deserves.
Accordingly, a notice is served to District Magistrate, Sukma and Superintendent of Police, Sukma, Chattisgarh, to submit all the relevant reports, in this regard, at the earliest but not later than four weeks.”
Passing the order, the NHRC fixed the next date of hearing in the case to September 3. (ANI)