Chhattisgarh police chief D M Awasthi has instructed the inspector general (IG) of Bastar to make arrangements for the fair trial of 120 tribals arrested for their alleged role in an attack on security forces at Burkapal in 2017.
“Everyone has right to a fair trial in court and it is established system of law,” he said in a letter to the IG on Friday after taking cognisance of an HT report that said the tribals have been jailed for three years without trial.
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Awasthi asked the IG to take a personal interest in the case and other cases pending trial. “The accused should be produced in court on time and trial should be done.”
An inspector-rank officer was among 25 paramilitary personnel killed in the April 2017 Maoist attack at Burkapal in Sukma. It was the deadliest attack since 76 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in 2010 in the Bastar region.
Bela Bhatia, a human rights activist and lawyer, said 120 innocent people from villages around Burkapal were booked. “The police framed innocent people under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code from the area where the Maoist action occurred. The trial is still in the initial stage of framing of charges.”
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