In response to an RTI application by a human rights activist seeking the inquiry report into the Sukma attacks, the CRPF said that the killing of 25 personnel by Naxals on April 24 does not qualify as a “human rights violation”, news agency PTI reported. CRPF reportedly refused to share the inquiry report requested by human rights activist Venkatesh Nayak in the RTI application.
Seeking the report, Nayak said the massacre violated the human rights of those killed. Under the RTI Act, the CRPF is exempted from making disclosures unless any such information sought pertains to allegations of human rights violation and corruption “which may or may not be committed by the CRPF personnel”.
“In the instant matter, there appear to be no violations of Human Rights as well as facts of the case do not attract allegations of corruption. Moreover, your application does not make any reference to such allegations. Hence this department is not liable to provide any information in this regard to your under RTI Act-2005,” CRPF was quoted as saying by PTI in its response.
In its argument over withholding any such information, the CRPF also said the report contains operational details due to which information cannot be shared.
According to Nayak, the Sukma attacks in April amounted to the violation of human rights of CRPF personnel by “non-State actors” and by denying this, the CRPF may be doing injustice to its own personnel.
“Every time such an attack occurs, self-appointed conscience-keepers of the ‘nation’ and advocates of a belligerent brand of ‘nationalism’ … accuse human right advocates of not raising their voice against the violation of the rights of security personnel,” Nayak said. “Why does the government and in this case, the CRPF, fight shy of treating these attacks as ‘human rights violations’ of their personnel? Surely, there must be a reason for it,” he said questioning the government’s attitude.
Nayak also said that human rights activists should not be portrayed as ‘villains’, even as they have always condemned such attacks in “unequivocal terms”.