The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to Chhattisgarh’s chief secretary and police chief over the alleged attack last week on social activist Swami Agnivesh by members of the Salwa Judum civil militia.
“The commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report alleging that a large group comprising special police officers of Chhattisgarh police and members of the Salwa Judum attacked Swami Agnivesh on March 26, 2011 as he attempted to deliver relief to a village reportedly torched by the security forces in Dantewada district,” a statement said Wednesday.
“Considering the issues raised in the report, the commission today observed that the entire incident is a matter of great concern, and issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Chhattisgarh calling for their factual reports within four weeks in the matter,” it added.
The report referred to the aftermath of an incident in which three men were killed, three women were sexually assaulted and about 300 homes, granaries and woodsheds were torched by the security forces during a five day anti-Maoist operation in the villages of Tarmetla, Timapuram and Morpalli in Dantewada, an NHRC official said.
Swami Agnivesh had gone to the affected villages to deliver clothes, blankets and other relief material, when he was attacked twice in six hours by a mob at a Salwa Judum camp at Dornapal, the official added.
Salwa Judum is an anti-Maoist movement supported by the Chhattisgarh government.