Chhattisgarh: S.R.P. Kalluri, Ex-Bastar IG Accused of Human Rights Abuses, Gets Plum Appointment
Kalluri's tainted administration in Bastar saw arrests of journalists, attacks on human rights activists and lawyers.
S.R.P. Kalluri, the IPS officer who was accused of rampant human rights abuses during his tenure as the Inspector General of Police (IG-P) of Bastar range, has been reportedly been appointed the IG of Economic Offences Wing (EoW), Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) by the newly-elected Congress government in Chhattisgarh.
A 1994 batch Indian Police Service officer, Kalluri was appointed the IG of the range in 2014. His administration in Bastar saw arrests of four journalists, attacks on human rights activists and lawyers including members of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group.
in 2017, researcher Bela Bhatia, who was working in the region to document rights violations, was reportedly attacked in her home by men who were allegedly tacitly supported by Kalluri.
In 2016, Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Archana Prasad and Delhi University professor and activist Nandini Sundar, were named along with four Maoists in an FIR for the murder of a villager in Dantewada. The FIR invited condemnation from the civil society which dubbed it ‘vendetta politics’ by the Raman Singh government and Kalluri. Later, the Chhattisgarh government had told the Supreme Court that Prasad and others would not be investigated in the case.
Kalluri was removed from his post of IG Bastar in February 2017. A month after the removal, the Director General of Police had sent him two showcause notices and a warning letter on grounds of indiscipline. These were issued in connection with a private event held in Jagdalpur in which the SP, Sukma, I K Elsela had allegedly said that human rights workers should be run over by vehicles. Elsela had also ostensibly referred to lawyers of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid group, Shalini Gera and Isha Khandelwal.
Given Kalluri’s tainted record, his appointment to a top post by the Bhupesh Baghel-led government in Chhattisgarh raises concerns about the status of human rights in the state.
(With PTI inputs)