The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday (July 13, 2021) issued notice to the District Magistrate, and the Superintendent of Police of Sukma District, Chhattisgarh, over the incidents of killing and injuring that took place in the district in May this year.
This comes after a petition filed by human rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer, Radhakanta Tripathy filed a petition on May 17, 2021, alleging that about 17 tribal villagers were seriously affected due to police firing. Out of them, five persons, including a woman, have been illegally detained and three people killed, whose bodies were not handed over to their family members claiming they have not been identified yet. However, relatives of the deceased had reached the incident spot claiming the bodies.
“A complaint of May 20, 2021, has been received in the Commission from Radhakanta Tripathy, Advocate, Supreme Court, stating about the atrocities committed by the police. The complainant alleges that the killing of nine tribal in police firing, serious injuries/effects on 27 people, illegal detaining of five people including one woman, not handing over the bodies of three people, and inaction by the state authorities”, the NHRC order noted.
Tripathy, in his plea, stated that in a video circulated on social media, local villagers said no Maoists were present on the spot, and all the nine killed were civilians. Six bodies were taken away by villagers while three of them were taken away by the police.
He pointed out that in total, three people were killed, and 18 sustained injuries. Neither the family members of the deceased nor the injured have been paid any compensation. The injured also have not been getting fair treatment.
The State Government has so far ordered no inquiry into the incident. Earlier, Tripathy also requested the NHRC to send a team of officials from the Commission for an impartial investigation of the case. He also sought directions from the NHRC to the State for judicial inquiry by a High Court Judge and take legal action against the guilty officials and fair medical treatment to the injured ones.
Taking cognizance of the complaint the NHRC sought replies within four weeks.
“The Commission has taken serious note of the allegations and taken cognizance of the complaint. It is expected that the authorities would take the matter with all seriousness it deserves. Accordingly, a notice is served on the District Magistrate, Sukma, and Superintendent of Police, Sukma, Chhattisgarh, to submit all the relevant reports, in this regard, at the earliest but not later than four weeks,” it was stated.
After passing the order, the NHRC listed the matter to be heard on September 3.