Clean chit for Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar and others in Chandigarh murder case

The tribal, identified as Shamnath Baghel, was allegedly killed by naxals with sharp weapons on the night of November 4, 2016 in Nama village under Tongpal police station limits.

Published: 12th February 2019 04:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2019 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi University

Delhi University. (File photo | PTI)

By PTI

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Police have cleared Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar, Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Archana Prasad and four others of the charges of murdering a tribal in Sukma district in 2016, for lack of "concrete evidence", an officer said Tuesday.

Police also gave clean chit to activist Vineet Tiwari, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sanjay Parate, and Manju Kavasi and Mangla Ram Karma, Sukma superintendent of police Jitendra Shukla told PTI.

The tribal, identified as Shamnath Baghel, was allegedly killed by naxals with sharp weapons on the night of November 4, 2016 in Nama village under Tongpal police station limits.

As per the complaint lodged by Shamnath's wife Bimla, the ultras had accused her husband of disobeying Sundar and five others who are their "well-wishers", a police officer said.

The complainant had claimed that Sundar and others had visited Nama village and asked Shamnath to support the naxal cause, the officer said.

Based on Bimla's complaint, a case was registered against Maoists, Sundar, Prasad and four others under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 302 (punishment for murder), 450 (house trespass in order to commit offence) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and the Arms Act, he said.

Sundar and others were never arrested. Shukla said a special team led by Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police Shalabh Kumar Sinha was constituted to investigate the murder.

"During the investigation, no concrete evidences were found against Sundar and five others. As per the villagers' statements and eye-witnesses, these six were not present at the spot at the time of murder. Hence, because of lack of evidence, we have taken back the charges against them," the SP said.

Police are yet to file charge sheet in the case and may file it later this week, he said.

Shukla said Sundar and five others are being given a "clean chit", as no pieces of evidence were found against them during a probe.

"Efforts are on to trace the naxals involved in the incident. The charge sheet in the case will be filed in the court this week," he said.

The then BJP government had drawn flak from activists and educationists after the murder case was registered against Sundar and others.

Rights activists had alleged that the then Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) SRP Kalluri was trying to falsely implicate them in various cases.

The murder case was later handed over to state Crime Investigation Department (CID). Sundar has welcomed the development.

"We are happy that all charges have been dropped. This was a vindictive case that was filed immediately after SPOs (special police officers) were charge-sheeted in Tadmetla incident.

An incident in which SRP Kalluri (IPS officer) had also been involved," Sundar told PTI over the phone.

In Tadmetla area in Bastar, houses of locals were allegedly set ablaze during an anti-Naxal operation in 2011 by police personnel.

"We hope that all the other people who are in jail in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere on false charges will also be released soon," she added. SRP Kalluri didn't respond to calls.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp