RAIPUR: The killing of 25 personnel by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma on April 24 this year apparently does not qualify as a “human rights violation” for the CRPF.
The force gave this response while refusing to share the inquiry report into the incident with a Right to Information (RTI) applicant.
Human rights activist Venkatesh Nayak had sought the report, saying the massacre violated the human rights of those killed.
The force is exempted from making disclosures under the RTI Act unless the information sought pertains to allegations of human rights violation and corruption which may or may not be committed by the CRPF personnel.
Citing the exemption clause, the CRPF in its response said, “In the instant matter, there appears to be no violations of Human Rights as well as facts of the case do not attract allegations of corruption. Moreover, your application does not make any reference to such allegations. Hence this department is not liable to provide any information in this regard to your under RTI Act-2005.”
Giving additional arguments to withhold information, the CRPF also said the report contains operational details hence cannot be shared.
Nayak said the murderous attack in April by Left Wing Extremist groups amounts to violation of their human rights by “non-State actors” and by denying this “reality”, the CRPF may be doing injustice to its own personnel.
He added that the government’s attitude towards such incidents has to be questioned.
“Why does the government and in this case, the CRPF, fight shy of treating these attacks as ‘human rights violations’ of their personnel? Surely, there must be a reason for it,” Nayak said.
The CRPF had lost 37 personnel in strife-torn Sukma, south Chhattisgarh, in two separate Maoist attacks on March 11 and April 24 this year.
Following the two attacks, the CRPF conducted inquiries.
The “failure of leadership”, issues on specific intelligence inputs along with missing appropriate local support emerged as the possible reasons.
Following the CRPF inquiry on the Burkapal attack in which 25 jawans were killed, the two officers were transferred for allegedly failing to lead the team. The details of the inquiry were not shared to the media by CRPF.