The Chhattisgarh police have given a clean chit to DU professor Nandini Sunder, JNU professor Archana Prasad and five other persons in the 2016 murder case of a Sukma resident.
As per a report in the Hindustan Times, the CG police filed a charge sheet in a local court on Monday which claimed that no evidence was found against Sunder, Archana Prasad, Joshi Adhikari Sansthan’s Vineet Tiwari, CPM leader Sanjay Parata, a local Sarpanch Manju Kawasi and Mangla Ram Verma in the case of the murder of Shamnath Baghel, a resident of the Nama Village in Sukma district.
Jitendra Shukla, SP, Sukma, was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying that the police have found no evidence against the above-mentioned people in the murder case registered in Tongpal police station. The charge sheet also says that the statement by the villagers has clarified that Sunder and others were not present during the murder.
Sunder, Prasad, Tiwari and the others were booked in November 2016 over the allegations by Baghel’s wife. The former IG (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri has stated that Sunder and the others were booked under the charges of rioting, criminal conspiracy, and murder.
It was alleged that Sunder had traveled to Sukma once in May 2016 and once later under an alias Richa Keshav with Prasad, Tiwari, and the others and had held a meeting with the locals in the Nama village. 2 days later, a local tribal man, Shamnath Baghel had reported to the police that Sunder and the others were instigating the villagers not to cooperate with the police and support the Naxals instead.
Baghel had also claimed in his complaint that has been threatened for going against the Naxals and if he were to be killed Sunder and the others will be responsible. Baghel was murdered on 4 November 2016.
It is notable here that SRP Kalluri was soon transferred out of the Bastar range after the FIR was registered and is currently heading the Anti-Corruption Branch in Chhattisgarh.
In May 2017, Podium Pandu alias Pandya, a surrendered Maoist leader had named Sunder, Bela Bhatia, and several others as Urban Naxals who were in regular touch with Naxal commanders in the state. He had also claimed that he used to help Sunder and others in arranging meetings with Naxal commanders like Hidma.