Enquiry ordered into Dantewada police atrocities
A magisterial enquiry has been ordered into alleged atrocities by the security forces in Dantewada, where Swami Agnivesh is intervening for a second time in less than two months on account of disturbances in the district.india Updated: Mar 25, 2011 21:35 IST
A magisterial enquiry has been ordered into alleged atrocities by the security forces in Dantewada, where Swami Agnivesh is intervening for a second time in less than two months on account of disturbances in the district.
The swami is visiting insurgency-hit south Bastar amid reports that special police officers (adjunct policemen) on Thursday had prevented top officials from visiting the areas where the alleged excesses were committed on March 16-17 in the name of looking for Maoists.
Tribals in three villages near Chintalnar in Dantewada, about 550 km south of Raipur, had complained about depredations of Koya commandos (a unit of local tribals raised by state police to fight the guerrillas) and special police officers (SPOs).
The villagers said their houses were burnt, money seized and women assaulted.
"Though no villager has complained, I have ordered a magisterial inquiry to probe the reported incident," Dantewada collector R Prasanna told HT.
Sources in Dantewada said police and SPOs had held up the collector and Bastar commissioner K Srinivasulu for nearly an hour on Thursday when they were on their way to the affected villages.
"The staff and security men accompanying the authorities had to struggle, arguing with police to lift the road barrier set up by them," said a staff member in the Dantewada collectorate.
Prasanna said, "It was for our safety and security."
In February the swami was in talks with the red brigade to secure the release of five policemen who were eventually let off by the Maoists.
Expressing his displeasure at the incident, the swami told HT he feared his efforts at starting a peace initiative between the state and the Maoists would be scuttled.
"The Green Hunt operation (against Maoists) should stop. The situation is again turning bad. Encounters and the reported atrocities unleashed by police will spoil every attempt at restoring peace in the area," he said.
The swami said union home minister P Chidambaram had asked him to intervene and start a peace initiative in the region. He will submit a report after visiting the affected villages.