Two DU, JNU professors booked for Chhattisgarh tribal’s killing

Sukma/New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) A case of murder was registered against two professors of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University and others folowing a tribal’s killing on November 4 in Chhattisgarh, the police said on Tuesday.

“A case was registered against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, JNU Professor Archana Prasad and others by the police on November 5 at Tongpal police station for the murder of Somnath Baghel,” Sukma Superintendent of Police I.K. Elesela told IANS.

According to police, armed Maoists killed Baghel in his home in Nama village in Tongpal area of Chhattisgarh. The police said six months ago, the accused had issued death threats to the villagers on behalf of the Maoists.

Others booked in the case include Maoist leaders Vinod and Shyamla and Communist Party of India leader Sanjay Parate. The killed tribal, Somnath, was a member of the Block Congress Committee in his area.

The accused were booked under Indian Penal Code sections dealing with murder, attempt to murder, trespassing and rioting, and the Arms Act.

The police said Baghel’s wife, in her complaint, said he was getting threats from Maoists after he and other villagers complained against Sundar in May.

In Delhi, historian Ramachandra Guha and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan expressed outrage over the registration of the FIR against the Delhi University don and flayed the Chhattisgarh government on the issue.

“This vicious and vindictive FIR (first information report) proves beyond doubt that Chhattisgarh is a police state,” Guha said on Twitter.

“Professor Nandini Sundar is one of the bravest, and most decent, Indians I have known. The Chhattisgarh government’s action shows their utter depravity,” he added.

Bhushan too expressed his outrage: “Outrageous! Raman’s killer cop (Bastar Inspector General of Police) S.R.P. Kalluri books DU Prof. Nandini Sundar, who had moved the Supreme Court to ban Salwa Judum, for murder!”

“Prof. Nandini Sundar, booked by the Chhattisgarh’s killer cops, had written a book on police atrocities on Adivasis of Bastar.”

Professor Nandini Sundar has approached the Supreme Court several times against the state government on the issue of a ban on anti-Maoist force Salwa Judam.

On Monday, an organisation had held protest and burnt an effigy to demand action against the DU don and others. A few days ago, Bastar policemen too had burnt Sundar’s effigy.