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The Chhatisgarh government Friday assured that it would not arrest Delhi University Professor and activist Nandini Sundar and others after the Supreme Court said it was inclined to stay the FIR registered against them in connection with the murder of a tribal man by Maoists.
A bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that it would stay the FIR lodged against Sundar, JNU professor Archana Prasad, CPM leader Sanjay Parate and 17 others, pending its examination of the matter.
On his part, the ASG, representing the state government, maintained that there were “authentic and contemporaneous” records which could be placed before the court against the accused, including Sundar, to highlight the gravity of the allegations. He urged the court not to form any opinion unless the record was produced in a sealed cover on November 15, the next date of hearing.
Senior advocate Ashok Desai, appearing for Sundar and others, had informed the bench that after the last hearing, an FIR was lodged against the two professors and the activists. “This is the most astonishing thing which has ever happened, as the activists who went to the state in May were booked for the murder in November,” said Desai.
Countering him, Mehta said there was “more than what meets the eye” and that he would will file the records to show there were evidence.
During the hearing, the bench also asked the Centre and Chhattisgarh government to find a peaceful solution to the Maoist problem.
Acting on a complaint from a tribal woman whose husband was killed by Maoists last week, police in Chhattisgarh have registered a case of murder and under other sections against Sundar and 19 others named by the complainant.
The complainant, Vinita Baghel, alleged that a fact-finding team that included Sundar and Parate had earlier warned her husband, Samnath Baghel, not to oppose Maoists. Sundar and Prasad have rejected the allegations, saying the case against them was “absurd” and “fabricated”.