The Nhrc while considering the matter on 5.4.2017, inter alia, observed and directed : kondasavali

Kondasavali ,NHRC order , observed
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  • The Nhrc while considering the matter on 5.4.2017, inter alia, observed and directed as under:-

“The case pertains to a complaint submitted by Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj, General Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), alleging killing of seven persons and burning of several houses by Salwa-Judum personnel in Sukma District, Chattisgarh in 2009-2010. The reports received from the authorities including the last communication dated 08.08.2016 from District Magistrate, Sukma has taken the stand that the alleged incident had taken place in the year 2007. No FIR was registered till 2013. No post mortem was conducted and also that names five out of seven deceased persons do not appear in the voter list of the year 2009-2010. Accordingly, no financial assistance was provided in the matter to the NoK of the deceased persons. In order to make any headway in the case, it appears to the Commission that more information/statements are necessary which could probably be provided by the complainant Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj.

Director General (I) is directed to examine the records of the case and write to Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj requesting her to come to the Commission for a discussion with him regarding the matter. DG(I), after examination of the records of the case shall point out to Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj, the complainant, all the details required in the case to enable the Commission to proceed further. The complainant may, if necessary, visit the village in question, talk to the villagers to get the details.

The expenditure for travel of complainant shall be borne by the Commission. The DG(I) shall submit a comprehensive report after his discussion with Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj. This shall be done within a period of eight weeks.” Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, the file was sent to the Investigation Division. Accordingly, Investigation Division vide letter dated 16.6.2017 conveyed the directions of the Commission to Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj. In response, Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj vide letter dated 02.8.2017 has intimated that since the villages are not easily accessible and rains had already begun, she required some time to organize such a visit. She also intimated that on her behalf, Ms. J.K. Vidhya, a researcher and Ms. Soni Sori, Social Activist & HRD have been deputed to visit the concerned area and gather information in regard to this matter. She has also requested to advise the authorities concerned to cooperate with her helpers to gather information as desired by NHRC. Commission has considered the request of Smt. Sudha Bhardwaj contained in her letter dated 2.8.2017.

Commission directs the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Chhattisgarh to extend all necessary assistance to Ms. J.K.Vidhya and Ms. Soni Sori when they visit the concerned villages viz. village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara to conduct the enquiries regarding the alleged burning of houses of the villagers in these villages and killing of seven persons viz. (i) Mandavi Bhima, s/o Hadma, r/o village Kodasawali (ii) Bharse Sukalu, s/o Boda, r/o Karrepara, village Kodasawali (iii) Bharse Nanda, s/o Lati, r/o Korapara (vi) Kunjam Boda, s/o Mukka, r/o Karrepara (v) Sudam Bhim, s/o Magdu, r/o Parlagatta (vi) Sudam Bhim, s/o Joga, r/o Parlagatta (vii) Medium Ayyati, s/o Somudu, r/o Parlatta. The Commission has also carefully examined the report of the Tehsildar, Konta, District Sukma, which has been received in the Commission vide letter dated 8.8.2016 from Collector, District Sukma. Commission has also gone through once again the report of S.P., Sukma sent by him vide communication dated 17.9.2014. Having gone through the reports as above, the Commission observes as under:- i. From the facts available to the Commission, it appears that the incident of burning of houses in villages Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara and killing of seven villagers took place in the year 2007. According to the Collector, Sukma and S.P., Sukma, no case(s) was registered about these incidents because no one lodged a report with the police station having jurisdiction over these villages. ii. In a district, the responsibility for revenue collection and developments vests with the District Collector. Similarly, the responsibility for maintenance of law and order rests on the shoulders of the District S.P., who is assisted in this task by his various subordinate officials posted in police stations and police posts. In order to discharge their responsibilities, the officials of the Revenue Department and the various development related departments such as block development officers, agriculture development officers, district social welfare officer and their subordinates are required to regularly visit villages within their jurisdiction and during these visits they get/collect information about events which had taken place in those villages. Similarly, police officials posted in various police stations are required to visit the various villages within their jurisdiction on a regular basis to collect information, in connection with enquiries and for investigation, etc. In addition, each district has a network of primary and secondary schools, health sub centres and primary health centres and community health centres. These schools and the health care facilities are also manned by public servants. iii) Thus, the network of district functionaries in a district is fairly large and widespread, this is specially true of the network of the police and the revenue department officials.

Therefore, it is unimaginable and unacceptable that ghastly incidents of the nature which taken place in above named three villages and about which report was lodged ultimately only in 2013 and which form basis of case FIR No.10/2013 P.S. Jagarguda did not come to the notice of any of the village/block/police post/police station level functionaries of District Sukma. Thus, the Commission concludes that these incidents had come to the notice of police, revenue and other officials of District Sukma soon after they had taken place but police and district officials had deliberately turned a blind eye to these killings and incidents of arson. iv) In fact, the omission by the state and district Sukma Officer to take cognizance of these incidents for seven years is also a very strong circumstance to show that these crimes had been abetted by the district officials of Sukma/or state government officials of the State of Chhattisgarh. v) This willful omission of taking cognizance of these incidents for such a long period is also a very strong circumstance indicative of the fact that these ghastly crimes had been committed by the SPOs of Jagarguda base camp as has been alleged by the complainant of case FIR No.10/2013 P.S. Jagarguda. vi) That the objective of the state machinery, both the police and the magistracy is not to ascertain the truth about these incidents but to gloss over these crimes is also amply clear in the manner the investigation of case FIR No.10/2013 P.S. Jagarguda is being conducted and the manner in which the Tehsildar, Konta, District Sukma has conducted his enquiry. A mere reading of the enquiry report of Tehsildar Konta and the statements recorded by the I.O. shows that his objective is not at all to dig out the truth and that he is only conducting a cover up operation.

These acts of omission by the public servants of State of Chhattisgarh constitute a gross violation of human rights of the deceased residents of village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara and of those residents of these villages whose houses/huts were burnt. However, before the Commission takes a final view in the matter as above, it affords an opportunity to the State Government of Chhattisgarh to explain the anomalies which have been narrated above and the comments, if any, which the state wishes to offer on the above observations.

The Commission also would like to have the following information from the State Government:- 1. Names of Patwaries of village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 2. Names of Naib Tehsildar having jurisdiction over these three villages viz. Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 3. Names of Tehsildar having jurisdiction over village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 4. Names of Block Development Officers having jurisdiction over village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 5. Names of Agricultural Development Officers having jurisdiction over village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 6. Names and distance of the nearest police post(s) from the three villages viz. Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara and the names of incharges who remained posted as in-charge of these police post(s) during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 7. Distance of police station Jagarguda from the three villages viz. Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara and the names of the Station House Officers of P.S. Jagarguda during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 8.

Names of the villages in which the closest primary school is located from the village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara and the distance of these villages from the villages named above. 9. Names of Health Sub Centre located in the closest proximity of village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara and the distance of the said Sub Centres from these three villages respectively. 10. Names of the Primary Health Centres closest to the three villages viz. Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara and the distance of these PHCs from these three villages respectively. 11. Names of the Food Inspectors who were having jurisdiction over the three villages viz. Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. 12. Names of Asha Workers posted in village Kondasawali, Kamaraguda and Karrepara during the period from 1.1.2007 to 31.10.2013. The Chief Secretary, Govt. of Chhatisgarh is directed to furnish comments of the State on the issues mentioned above and also the information sought by the Commission within eight weeks. Put up after eight weeks.

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