Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar, who has been booked on charges of murder of a tribal villager in Chhattisgarh, told news agency ANI that she hasn’t been to the area since May. She also termed the filing of the FIR against her ‘absurd.’
Sundar, along with JNU professor Archana Prasad and others, were booked for the murder of Shamnath Baghel, a villager in insurgency-hit Sukma district of the state. Baghel was allegedly killed by Naxals on Friday (November 4) at his residence in Nama village in Tongpal area. The professors were booked under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station. The police told PTI that strongest action will be taken against the guilty after the investigation ends.
The complaint against Sundar and others was filed by Baghel’s wife. “As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May this year. Even armed Maoists were referring to that complaint and anti-Maoist demonstrations while attacking Baghel on Friday,” the IG told PTI.
Sundar however termed the theory ‘crazy.’
“Right from May, it is the police who have been forcing some people to name us, in some way, inciting them. We would be crazy to go around supporting the Maoists…For the last 10 years, I have been condemning Maoists for killing informers. I have been condemning the police for their fake encounters. I have been talking about peace,” Sundar told NDTV in an interview.
Baghel and other villagers in the area, who have been leading protests against Naxal activities, had complained against Sundar and others with the police and accused them of inciting tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists.
“Following the development, according to villagers, Sundar and others went in the village to allegedly threaten them not to oppose the Maoists,” the IG told PTI. Sundar had gone to the village with a fake name, Richa Keshav, he added. A letter was then written to the Vice-Chancellors of both DU and JNU, informing that Bastar police was conducting an inquiry against both the professors following complaint received against them, he added.