The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Chhattisgarh government to explain under what legislation it created an armed group of special police officers, Koyo Commando, to fight against the Naxal violence.
A bench of justice B Sudershan Reddy and justice SS Nijjar took a serious note of the allegations leveled by human rights activist Swami Agnivesh and told the state counsel to furnish detailed information on the matter. Agnivesh was allegedly attacked by the Koya Commandos.
The Chhattisgarh government has already initiated a probe into the alleged attack.
“We want to know who are these people and from what background are they recruited. Under what rules are they being supplied with arms and ammunition,” the court told the state counsel Harish Salve.
“What kind of training are Koya Commenders given. There would be no rule of law left and what would happen to the civil society,” it furthet observed.
The matter is posted for further hearing on April 15.
Alarmed at the disturbing incidents that took place between March 11 to March 25 in Dantewada region, the bench sought an explanation from the state. It directed the Madhya Pradesh government to file response on Agnivesh’s allegations that he was attacked by a group of SPOs on his way for relief work there.
Agnivesh told the court that though the state claimed to have disbandoned Salwa Judum, its members were operating in a new role now— the Koya Commandos.
“They continue to target the poor tribals. They also ran amok for those 14 days when several houses were burnt, persons were killed and women raped,” he told the court,” he said.
The bench asked Salve to ascertain the root cause to the problem and directed the affidavit should contain details of state government’s memorandum of understandings filed with various companies and how many have been implemented so far.