CM Baghel Gives Key Post to IG Kalluri Whom He Had Called a Rapist
Former Bastar IG SRP Kalluri has been accused of human rights violations. 
Former Bastar IG SRP Kalluri has been accused of human rights violations. (Photo: Kamran Akhter/The Quint)

CM Baghel Gives Key Post to IG Kalluri Whom He Had Called a Rapist

The new Congress government in Chhattisgarh has appointed former Bastar Inspector General of Police SRP Kalluri as the chief of the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Economic Offences Wing. This is a surprising about-turn for Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who had demanded that Kalluri be thrown in jail, when he was part of the Opposition.

Kalluri, if we all remember, is a highly controversial police officer, who was transferred from Bastar in February 2017 after allegedly sponsoring vigilante groups to launch an attack on activist and scholar Bela Bhatia.

He has also been accused of indulging in violence and arson in three Adivasi villages in 2011, during his tenure as superintendent of police in Dantewada.

In November 2018, the CBI’s confidential internal closure report showed that two witnesses told the CBI that they saw Kalluri participating in the burning of Adivasi homes in Tadmetla in Sukma district. But the investigating team was instructed by superior officers to delete their names from the final list of witnesses.

Congress itself was very critical of Kalluri while they were in Opposition. Baghel, who was the then Congress PCC chief, had called Kalluri a rapist and murderer.

But the Congress seems to have taken a complete U-turn now by appointing him as the chief of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, even as there are multiple charges of human right violations against him.

Commenting on the move, political activist and an expert of the region, Nandini Sundar told The Quint she was “deeply disappointed with the Congress government.”

“There are show-cause notices issued in Kalluri’s name. There are charges of rape and arson. The latest revelations by CBI make clear his involvement in the burning down of three Adivasi villages in Bastar in 2011. The Congress government has given him these posts despite all this. It makes one wonder if rule of law will ever be restored in Chhattisgarh.”
Nandini Sundar, Political activist 

One of the victims of Kalluri’s crackdown on journalists in Chhattisgarh is Dantewada-based scribe Prabhat Singh, who was audacious enough to question the officer about a suspected fake encounter during a press conference. He was arrested in March 2016 for a WhatsApp message that had an “anti-state” line it.

Singh said bringing Kalluri back to the forefront will prove “suicidal for the Congress government.”

Also Read : Bastar taking a new shape leaving behind Maoism : Raman Singh

“Baghel is someone who was very vocal against Kalluri. He is the one who flagged the rape allegation against Kalluri. This will adversely affect them in the Lok Sabha elections. They will lose Adivasi votes. Chhattisgarh is the only state in this Assembly elections where 90 percent voted against the BJP.”
Prabhat Singh, Dantewada-based journalist

Human rights organisation People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has expressed dissent on the appointment of Kalluri to such a key post. The organisation said that the act is shameful and sends the message that the Congress government does not care for human rights or freedom of expression.

What Bhupesh Baghel Said About Kalluri in 2016

  • What should be done with an officer under whose orders a person has been murdered, who rapes that person’s wife?
  • A jailer committed suicide after being suspended by Kalluri and in his suicide note he wrote that Kalluri had threatened him that “his end is near”.
  • Under him, two schoolchildren Sonku and Bijlu were labelled as Naxals and killed. The IG (Kalluri) rewarded the officers behind this encounter.
  • He is an officer who has confessed that he led the people who set the homes of Adivasis on fire.
  • He is an officer under who police personnel took out a rally and burnt the effigies of politicians, social workers and journalists.
  • Jawans working under him raped and killed a woman called Meena Khalko and called it a Naxal encounter.
  • Under him, the fake encounter of Markam Hidme was carried out.
  • Instead of suspending such an officer, Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh is rewarding him.

(Translated from Rajasthan Patrika)

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