In Bastar, it’s police who burn effigies of activists

The protests come three days after the CBI, in its status report, blamed the police for the burning of houses in Tadmetla.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Raipur | Published:October 25, 2016 4:27 am
chhattisgarh village burnt, bastar police protests, chhattisgarh village burnt 2011, tadmetla village, chhattisgarh news, chhattisgarh, india news During a protest on Monday.

DAYS AFTER the CBI held the police responsible for the burning of “160 houses in Tadmetla village” in March 2011, sections of the Bastar police held protests and burnt the effigies of some activists and political leaders on Monday.

Auxiliary constables (sahayak arakshaks), many in uniform, hit the streets in Jagdalpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Narayanpur, shouting slogans and burning the effigies of activists Nandini Sundar, Bela Bhatia and Himanshu Kumar, and political leaders Soni Sori and Manish Kunjam.

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Sundar is the petitioner in the Tadmetla case, in which seven special police officers (SPOs) have been chargesheeted.

The policemen said while they “fight every day under the harshest circumstances”, they have to face allegations on a daily basis from these “Naxal sympathisers”.

Many of these auxiliary constables are former Maoists turned SPOs, who were brought into the Auxiliary Armed Force after the Supreme Court banned SPOs and Salwa Judum in 2012.

In a letter signed by “Samast Sahayak Arakshak”, handed over to SPs, they said: “Nandini Sundar, Himanshu Kumar, Bela Bhatia, Soni Sori and Manish Kunjam are Naxal sympathisers and they defame the police… Tadmetla saw the killing of 76 jawans and in operations conducted after that… They have misled the court so that their coffers continue to be filled by the Naxals.”

Kondagaon SP Santosh Singh said the constables were angry about the allegations against the police. “They are angry because they risk their lives every day to fight Naxals, but have to face all sorts of questions. The protesters were primarily sahayak arakshaks… They feel they are targeted the most, even in the CBI report,” he said.

Sundar, activist and Delhi University professor, said it was clear that the state police had no regard for any agency or court of law. “Incidents like these make me afraid for the security of people like Manish Kunjam, who has been working tirelessly for the people of Bastar. He was mandated security by the Supreme Court, but has a gunman without a gun. This is very dangerous,” Sundar said.

The protests come three days after the CBI, in its status report, blamed the police for the burning of houses in Tadmetla, contradicting the state police’s claim that Naxals were behind the incident.

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  1. R
    Oct 25, 2016 at 5:31 am
    Both sides should sit and talk, it takes 2 to tango. Reject violence and move up from that point forward.
    1. R
      Oct 25, 2016 at 5:30 am
      I am sorry, you've missed the bus. India has been a nation for decades now. This kind of mentality is precisely the reason why you cannot integrate with mainstream India. Don't expect the majority to adopt your ideologies if you cannot adapt to the majority. You will lose this revolutionary battle of ideas - India will never be a Venezuela or Cuba. There are greater goals at hand.
      1. v
        Oct 25, 2016 at 4:23 am
        These commies must be put in jail....they are the biggest raodblock for a better India.
        1. K
          Kejriwal Fan
          Oct 25, 2016 at 4:10 am
          These constables must be hanged to death. They kill innocent dalits and muslims. The dalits there must show their resistance and convert to islam
          1. L
            Laxmi Narayan Naren
            Oct 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm
            What a wrong message to the democracy. If uniformed officials organize march and effigy burning against the civil persons whoever they may be, it is clear about their intelligentsia. That's why police reform is being protracted;br/gt;It was CBI report which framed the charges. Either those uniformed personnel are illiterate or their mental level not up to the mark. Their training must include teaching about;br/gt;Their harsh conditions against naxalism do not give them the excuse for doing any wrong. Their actions revealed their mentality and at least all the involved personnel should be removed from chhattisgarh or it will not be good for residents of bastar like areas where they got biased against people as naxal sympathizers.
            1. L
              Laxmi Narayan Naren
              Oct 25, 2016 at 12:18 pm
              Whatever their thinking, it is shame for the democracy. Servants against the Master.
              1. G
                Oct 25, 2016 at 4:45 am
                As long as you say this, you won't become a nation. You are simply a communal of right-wingers who want to go back to a previous time.
                1. S
                  Oct 25, 2016 at 7:54 am
                  Only dalits and muslims? Dont expose your propoa.
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