Growing impunity in police raj to enable loot of resources

February 27, 2012

PEOPLE’S UNION FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS

Press Release; 27 February 2012

People’s Union for Democratic Rights has drawn public’s attention from time-to-time to the lawless conduct of the security forces in war zones across the country where ‘operation greenhunt’ is being prosecuted. Recent developments reported from Chhattisgarh show that security forces enjoy so much impunity that they have begun to flout even the instructions/orders of the state home minister. And such is their clout that they can dismiss warrant/s issued by judicial officials knowing fully well that no action against them would ensue.

Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar told reporters on February 15 that police do not follow his order. He complained to them that on February 12 he had asked the SP of Korba to file a FIR against two police personnel of the Kotwali police station for molesting and attempting to rape a minor, daughter of Milon Das, resident of Dhanmarpara, in Korba district. However, the Korba SP dismissed these allegations and claimed he had not received any such order from the minister. The home minister told the media that there is Supreme Court ruling stating that mere oral complaint by a girl victim is enough in such cases for filing a FIR. This is the same Chhattisgarh police that also eulogised as “Chhattisgarh hero” a fugitive from justice and alleged rapist and killer Kartam Surya.

Kartam Surya is a 29 year old police constable who was one of the three “informal” commanders of a band of approximately 100 SPOs dubbed as “Koya Commandos”. After Supreme Court declared as illegal the recruitment of SPOs nearly all of them were absorbed in a special auxiliary force constituted by the Chhattisgarh government. However, Kartam Surya was accused of raping three tribal women, age 19-23, at Sam Sehi village in the summer of 2006. On November 17, 2009, the sessions court issued a warrant against the accused including Kartam Surya. The prosecutor claimed that Kartam and others could not be tracked, although Kartam and other SPOs continued to engage in raid and search operations in Sukma district, living under police protection inside the police camp. Additional DG (Naxal) of police dismissed the warrant and accusation as being part of “well conceived strategy of Naxals…”, the SP (Security) at Chhattisgarh police headquarters went so far as to say that Kartam Surya “was able to instill fear in ultras for his ruthlessness” and praised him for being the “Chattisgarh hero”.

The fact that police routinely flout judicial warrants/orders against their own personnel accused of rape and killing or even refuse to obey the home minister to record FIR against their personnel for molesting a minor is not an aberration. It is the inner logic of fighting a war against our own people, one in which every means fair or foul is deemed alright. It is this brief which allows for treating a killer and a rapist as a “hero” and flout government orders knowing fully well that government cannot do much since they need police force to carry out the ‘dirty war’ to rid the area of resistance forces and enable corporate entities to grab common resources. It is this that accounts for the state of impunity which exists in war zones of Chhattisgarh (and elsewhere) where security forces do not even care for Supreme Court orders.

PUDR urges democratic minded people to see how a war against our own people to enable corporate loot of resources is ushering us into a police raj where crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity are a recurring feature and against which there is no relief. On the contrary, the perpetrators of these crimes are publicly lauded and police officials like Ankit Garg, facing criminal charges, are given gallantry awards.

Paramjeet Singh and Preeti Chauhan

(Secretaries, PUDR)