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Chhattisgarh cops take to streets, burn effigies of tribal rights' activists

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Chhattisgarh  Naxalites  Naxalism  Maoists  Bastar  Policemen  SRP Kalluri  Human Rights Violation  Tribals  Fake encounters  Activists  Himanshu Kumar  Soni Sori



RAIPUR: In a bizarre incident, police personnel in Bastar, burnt effigies of activists fighting for tribal rights. 

They burnt effigies of activists like Soni Sori, Himanshu Kumar, Nandini Sundaram, Bela Bhatia and journalist Malini Subramaniam amongst others.

The protesters alleged that these people [activists] were 'unnecessarily raising questions' over the role of security forces who are fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

This was a rare incident of policemen resorting to protest and burning effigies, which even surprised the administration. When asked if it was proper and didn't violate the norms, they said that it was necessary to hold this demonstration at this juncture

"We are fighting Naxalites but the activists frequently take up issues of fake encounters and atrocities on tribals", said one of the security personnel, who was part of this demonstration.

Activists turn tribal, others' minds against us: Cops

"The encounters are being dismissed as fake. In fact, anti-Naxal operations is being politicised", he asserted.

One of the main protests took place in front of the Kotwali in Jagdalpur. The security personnel expressed their anger towards activists, whom they accused of diverting the issue and creating controversies.

Also, they were unhappy with Communist leader Manish Kunjam. Another policeman said that the activists create an atmosphere against police and it affects mindset of the people in tribal areas. 

Complaints of police atrocities in Tadmetla have reached Supreme Court

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had recently presented its report of Tadmetla incident, which brought to fore the fact that security forced had burnt tribal village.

This apparently angered the policemen who took to the streets in different towns in the Bastar region. The role of SRP Kalluri has also come under severe criticism, especially, regarding the violation of human rights of tribals.

However, the manner in which policemen came out to protest, has shocked the top officials too. The policemen are not supposed to act in this manner and this could be  construed as rebellion or major act of organised indiscipline, said insiders.

"Open rebellion against government, courts"

Apart from burning effigies they also circulated leaflets in different towns of Bastar region. The  Bastar Bachao Sanyukta Sangharsh Samiti has termed the act as open rebellion against government and courts. Top officials accepted that it was wrong and action may be taken in this regard.

"After role of police was exposed--the fact that nearly 250 houses were set afire in three villages and tribal girls were raped apart from villagers' murders by securit forces", he wrote in a Facebook post. "It signals that the period of oppression would end and we would emerge victorious", he wrote. [Photo courtesy]