RAIPUR: A high-level panel constituted by the Chhattisgarh government has begun reviewing cases against tribals jailed mostly for alleged involvement in left-wing extremism, and those accused of frivolous crimes.
The cases of around 4,000 such tribals would be re-assessed by a committee headed by former Supreme Court judge A K Patnaik.
Decisions would be taken on releasing “innocent” tribals jailed after false cases were foisted on them without corroborative evidence.
In a review meeting in Raipur, 1,141 such cases that landed 4,007 tribals behind bars in the Naxal-affected region of the state were discussed. The tribals whose cases are to be reassessed are inhabitants of seven Maoist-affected districts of the Bastar zone, and of Rajnandgaon.
After assuming power, the Congress government had declared it would review cases against tribals languishing in jails even when the charges against them had not been backed up with proof.
Cases related to Naxal incidents will be examined by P Sunderraj, DIG (anti-Maoist operations), and those registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act would be looked into by Sanjeev Shukla, DIG (Criminal Investigation Department).
State Advocate General Kanak Tiwari would prepare the legal notes of the cases. The Director General of Police, D M Awasthi, the DG (Jail and anti-Maoist operations) Girdhari Nayak, and Secretary (Home) A D Gautam, were present during the meeting.