The Supreme Court on Monday flayed the Chhattisgarh government and the Centre for making innuendoes against Naxals and their sympathisers. The court said it was improper to make allegations against those who were not before it to defend themselves.
“Naxalites are not before us. Why repeatedly things are being said about those who are not before us…nobody is saying what they do is right,” a bench headed by Justice B.S. Reddy said.
During the hearing of a petition by activist Himanshu Kumar accusing the state police of killing 10 people in Dantewada district, Justice Reddy said somebody could genuinely feel they were fighting for a cause. “Suppose somebody fights their (victims) case, so what does that imply? First you say they are Naxals; then you say they are sympathisers; then you say they are sympatisers of sympathisers. Why all these innuendos?” the bench asked.
The court took exception to the Centre’s affidavit relying on a newspaper report to prove its point against Naxalites.
Disapproving of the Centre and the Chhattisgarh government’s stand, the bench said: “The tone appears to be to condone everything in the name of anti-Naxal operations…no concern for human rights…no concern for fundamental rights.”
Senior counsel Colin Gonsalves said in their statements recorded before the Delhi district judge, the Dantewada tribals had confirmed killings of their family members.
The court also disapproved of Chattisgarh’s decision to exhume bodies of 10 tribals allegedly killed by the local police for a fresh post-mortem without its permission.
Senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, who represented Chhattisgarh, contested the allegations about human rights violations, saying the NHRC had given a clean chit to the state.
Pointing out that the petitioners had retracted some of the allegations, Kumar accused them of trying to discredit the government by presenting a misleading picture in the media.