Cops loot Bastar tribals; their boss apologises, pays damagesBy IANS
Thursday, December 30, 2010
RAIPUR - A senior police officer in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region said Thursday that he apologised to tribals for misbehaviour and loot carried out by his subordinates, and even distributed money to the villagers to compensate them.
The poor men and women of villages Pandewar, Gondpal and Kuper of Dantewada district had begun running away Wednesday in anticipation of further police excesses when a convoy of Dantewada district Senior Superintendent of Police S.R.P. Kalluri reached their village.
But a completely different scene emerged in the impoverished forested insurgency-hit villages when Kalluri personally offered apology to them for police misbehaviour and paid Rs.13,000 to tribals to compensate loot of their rice, pet chickens and other items by policemen earlier this week.
“My fellows of state police numbering around 40 extremely misbehaved with villagers. They butchered their chickens and looted their items,” Kalluri told IANS over phone.
“I have taken their act very seriously and will penalise them though I offered apology to each of the villagers personally and distributed over Rs.13,000 to compensate their losses,” he added.
Kalluri said loot by policemen was highly deplorable and such acts create a bad image about the police force among the residents of Maoist-hit forested areas.
Sources said local policemen visited the three villages Monday after Maoists removed fish plates of a portion of rail track in Dantewada district that derailed a goods train loaded with iron ore of public sector mining major NMDC Ltd.
After a brief interrogation, the policemen took some villagers to the Dantewada police station without any reason and also looted their pet chickens and pigeons besides some ration such as rice.
The act of policemen created widespread anger among residents of the three villages. Dantewada legislator Bheema Mandawi investigated the matter and asked the SSP to step in.