Sukma ‘Maoist’ arrests divide activists, cops

Questions are being raised over the Sukma police claiming arrest of seven Maoists cadres involved in the IED blast that killed nine CRPF jawans at Kistaram on March 13.

Published: 26th March 2018 04:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2018 04:29 AM   |  A+A-

Nine CRPF personnel were killed in the March 13 blast at Kistaram | PTI

Express News Service

RAIPUR: Questions are being raised over the Sukma police claiming arrest of seven Maoists cadres involved in the IED blast that killed nine CRPF jawans at Kistaram on March 13.“During the search operation in the region a joint team of CRPF, special task force and district reserve guard found seven men inside the jungle under suspicious condition. All seven have confessed regarding their involvement in the March 13 attack. They were produced before the court and sent to jail,” Sukma superintendent of police Abhishek Meena told TNIE.

The police contention, however, were questioned by activists and others. “How come the Maoists who were engaged in such a major attack, were found so easily by the police? Those arrested are said to be innocent villagers who were initially detained, later arrested and put behind bars for justifying strong follow-up actions after every Maoist attack,” an activist questioned.

There was neither any weapon recovered from the seven arrested nor were they produced before the media, a Bastar-based journalist said.“After every major Maoist encounter or attack, it’s apparently seen as a standard practice by the security forces to detain innocent villagers on fake charges and, later, implicate them as maosists,” said Isha Khandelwal, a member of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group. Khandelwal was among the group members who assisted tribals and others “falsely implicated” in Maoist-related cases for free.

According to the Bastar-based tribal and Aam Aadmi Party leader Soni Sori, the villagers living close to Kistaram in Sukma district have been complaining about the security forces forcibly detaining and arresting tribal villagers without any concrete evidence.

But, the Sukma police stated nothing was done covertly. It  asserted that the force had issued a press release carrying the details of various sections of the Indian Penal Code under which the seven Jan militia (the lower cadres of Maoists at the village level) were charged along with their images.

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