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SRP Kalluri is Accused of Raping, Lootings, Burnings and Killings; Suspend Him and Investigate His Crimes: Retd Civil Servants, Academics, Activists in Open Letter (Read Letter)

"The policies and methods that Kalluri embodies has built and reinforced a culture of impunity and unaccountability that outlive his tenure".

We are shocked and dismayed by the recent appointment of SRP Kalluri to two positions of responsibility — as Inspector General, Anti Corruption Bureau and Economic Offences Wing – of Chhattisgarh state government. SRP Kalluri, in his service tenure, has a track record of engaging in human rights violations accompanied with a brazen impunity that has exemplified him as an officer who has scant respect for the ‘Rule of Law.’ 

Operations by police and security forces under his leadership have included many fake encounters, large-scale sexual violence on women, fake surrenders, arson, looting, arbitrary arrests and forced displacement. Indeed, the “Kalluri way” of handling counterinsurgency has been illegal, counterproductive and has eroded the basic trust that citizens need to have in the police and government.

There is evidence to suggest that Mr. Kalluri has not only led such operations but also participated in them. He was accused of having allegedly raped a tribal woman in Sarguja district when he was serving as Superintendent of Police, Balrampur, in 2007 In 2011, he was transferred out of Dantewada for his role in the burning, looting, raping and killings in Tadmetla, Timmapuram and Morpalli villages of Sukma district while he was Senior Superintendent of Police, Dantewada. Leaked CBI documents also directly implicate Mr. Kalluri in the arson at Tadmetla village, and he himself has admitted that he was in charge of the operations. In 2017, he was discharged of his duties as Inspector General, Bastar, after national government bodies such as the National Human Rights Commission took cognisance of his direct role in police and vigilante activities that led to human rights violations in South Chhattisgarh.

His strategy of forming and using vigilante groups to further hidden agendas was effective in eroding the social fabric of democracy and destroying several lives. Despite the Supreme Court verdict in 2011 that ruled against the use of Adivasi youth in counter-insurgency operations while calling for the disbanding of the Salwa Judum, Kalluri was quoted as saying that the members of the District Reserve Guards are “former Naxalites of lower cadres, Maoist sympathisers, villagers displaced during Salwa Judum, who are fondly called sons of soil, strongly passionate to reclaim their lost land from rebels.” In stark contrast, the judgement warns against precisely this, saying that using Adivasi youth to counter the Naxalite movement would be “tantamount to sowing of suicide pills that could divide and destroy society”(Para 20). Para 17-18 of the judgement points out that “Such misguided policies, albeit vehemently and muscularly asserted by some policy makers, are necessarily contrary to the vision and imperatives of our Constitution…” The judgment goes on to say that the use of local Adivasi youth in the identification of Maoists or Maoist sympathizers would not only result in the branding of persons unrelated to Maoist activities as Maoists or their sympathizers but would also “almost certainly vitiate the atmosphere in those villages, lead to situations of grave violation of human rights of innocent people, driving even more to take up arms against the state.” (Para 51)  It is telling that Kalluri publicly declared his disagreement with this view. He claimed that activists had been misleading the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

The policies and methods that Kalluri embodies has built and reinforced a culture of impunity and unaccountability that outlive his tenure.  He went after pro-democracy articulations with malicious vengeance and his response to public criticism was far from democratic and at times even overstepped the requirements of basic decency. During his tenure, all those who attempted to safeguard constitutional rights were sought to be silenced by vicious labelling, smear campaigns, defamatory tactics and physical attacks. Such a dictatorial response has a lingering negative effect and instils deep fear and prejudice amongst people.

He has not only inflicted great violence and broken the law on multiple occasions, he has also done great harm to the institutions of policing by reinforcing the negative qualities attributed to the institution itself. A policeman is supposed to be upright, honest and law-abiding, qualities that Kalluri demonstrably lacks. If the people stop trusting the police, and the police itself becomes a lawless institution, we create more reasons for the people to move away from the promise of constitutional democracy.

One expects positions of responsibility to be given to officers who have a track record that is above board and who invite confidence. We ask the Congress Government, what is it in Mr. Kalluri’s service tenure that merits this treatment? We recall that not so long ago leading Congress leaders, while in opposition, had condemned the actions of Mr. Kalluri in strongest terms. To our minds, what we are seeing today is a continuation of political patronage that has enabled him to be promoted repeatedly despite having a career marked with serious blemishes. Injustice somewhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Amongst the undersigned are professionals who are  social workers, human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, social scientists,  educators,  members of civil society groups, students, and others. Many of them have suffered at the hands of the often vindictive actions adopted by the police under the leadership of Mr. Kalluri. For every one of the undersigned there are many others in the villages who have suffered miserably and would sign this statement more than willingly. In the interest of  fairness and justice, we demand that the government set up a Special Investigating Team, under the leadership of a retired Supreme Court Judge, to investigate into the crimes that Mr. Kalluri has been accused of, time-and-again, while holding positions of power in north and south Chhattisgarh. As in all such cases, he should be suspended pending the results of the enquiry.

Endorsed:

  1. Ardhendu Sen, IAS (retd) former Chief Secretary, West Bengal
  2. Amitabha Pande, IAS (retd) former Secretary, National Integration Council
  3. G Balagopal, IAS (retd) Advisor, UNICEF
  4. MG Devasahayam, IAS (retd)
  5. V Ramani, IAS (retd) former Director, YASHADA
  6. Dr KS Subramaniam, IPS (retd) Delhi
  7. C Balakrishnan, IAS (retd) former Secretary Coal,, GoI
  8. Sundar Burra, IAS (retd)
  9. Keshav Desiraju, IAS (retd) former Health Secretary, GoI
  10. J Harinarayan, IAS (retd), former Chief Secretary Andhra Pradesh
  11. Sumantra Guha, IAS (retd)
  12. KP Fabian IFS (retd) former Ambassador to Italy
  13. Arun Kumar IAS (retd)
  14. Abha Bhaiya, Jagori (Rural), HP
  15. Prof Sujata Patel, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla
  16. Ritu Menon, publisher and writer, Delhi
  17. Nandita Gandhi, Akshara, Mumbai
  18. Pamela Philipose, journalist and writer, Delhi
  19. Ritu Dewan, feminist economist, Mumbai
  20. Geeta Seshu, journalist, Mumbai
  21. Dr Panchali Ray, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  22. N Sarojini, SAMA, Delhi
  23. Purnima Gupta, Delhi
  24. Virginia Saldanha, Mumbai
  25. Tarangini Sriraman, TISS, Mumbai
  26. Hasina Khan, Bebaak Collective, Mumbai
  27. Dr Veena Poonacha, SNDT University
  28. Dr Mary John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, Delhi
  29. Runu Chakraborty, feminist activist, Delhi
  30. Gabriele Dietich, NAPM and Pennurimai Iyakkam, Madurai
  31. Radhika Khajuria
  32. Adv Indira Jaisinh, former Additional Advocate-General of India, Delhi
  33. Vandana Mahajan, feminist activist, Bangalore
  34. Adv Lara Jesani, Mumbai
  35. Lena Ganesh, feminist activist
  36. SAHELI, Delhi
  37. Vani Subramaniam, film-maker, Delhi 
  38. Dr Sadhna Arya, Saheli, Delhi
  39. Anuradha Banerji, Saheli, Delhi
  40. Anjali Joshi, Saheli, Delhi
  41. Shraddha Chickerur, PhD candidate, University of Hyderabad
  42. Vimochana, Bangalore
  43. Lakshmi Krishnamurthy, Alarippu, Bangalore
  44. Chayanika Shah, Queer feminist activist, Mumbai
  45. LABIA, Mumbai
  46. Anuradha Pati, development expert and entrepreneur, Bangalore
  47. Sujata Gothoskar, labour rights activist, Mumbai
  48. Soma KP, researcher and land rights activist, Delhi
  49. Ashima Roy Choudhury, Saheli, Delhi
  50. Amrita Shodhan, independent researcher, Hong Kong
  51. Dr Mira Shiva, Jan Swasthya Andolan, Delhi
  52. Richa Aushidhaya, Jan Chetna Sangathan, Rajasthan
  53. Meena Seshu, SANGRAM, Maharashtra
  54. Dr N Indira, Independent researcher, Hyderabad
  55. Malini Ghose, feminist activist, Delhi
  56. Seema Kulkarni, MAKAAM
  57. Arshie Qureshi, Kashmir Women’s Collective
  58. Niti Saxena, AALI
  59. Natha Wahlang, Thma u Rangli-Juki, Shillong
  60. Prof Archana Prasad, JNU
  61. Soni Sori
  62. Bela Bhatia, Advocate and Social Scientist
  63. Rajeev Dhavan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
  64. Kalyani Menon Sen
  65. Shalini Gera, Advocate, Bilaspur High Court
  66. Nisha Biswas
  67. Freny Manecksha, Journalist
  68. Pyoli Swatija, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
  69. Radhika Chitkara, Independent Legal Researcher
  70. Shreya Sangai
  71. Madhur Bharatiya, Advocate, Quill Foundation
  72. Guneer Kaur, Advocate, Delhi
  73. Meera Sanghamitra
  74. Anupama Potluri
  75. Baljeet Kaur, Quill Foundation
  76. Aritra Bhattacharya, Independent Journalist
  77. Isha Khandelwal, Advocate, Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group
  78. Kritika, Government Law College Mumbai
  79. Nikita Sonavane
  80. Arundathi  Vishwanath, Bangalore
  81. Karuna D.W., Chennai
  82. Sarah Jacobson
  83. Padmaja Shaw
  84. Dunu Roy
  85. Puja, Independent Legal Researcher, Patna
  86. Shobha R., Human Rights Activist
  87. Atindriyo Chakrabarty, Legal Researcher, Kolkata
  88. Nikita Agarwal, Advocate, Bilaspur High Court
  89. Rosamma Thomas, Pune
  90. Shailza Sharma, Lawyer
  91. Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh, Lawyer
  92. Uma Chakravarti
  93. Kiran Shaheen
  94. Sharanya Nayak
  95. Kavita Krishnan
  96. Kamayani Bali Mahabal
  97. Vidhya A.
  98. Shivani Taneja
  99. Jenny Sulfath
  100. Shikha Pandey, Advocate
  101. Chandni Chawla
  102. Manshi Asher, Himachal Pradesh
  103. Karthik Bittu Kondaiah
  104. Sohini Shoaib
  105. Tanmay Nivedita
  106. Kalyani
  107. Felix Padel
  108. Kavya Chowdhry
  109. Arundhati Dhuru
  110. Nandini Rao, New Delhi
  111. Nandini Sundar
  112. Madhushree Basu, Dancer, Chennai
  113. Alok Laddha, Chennai Mathematical Institute
  114. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Anhad
  115. Arjun Sheoran, Advocate, National Secretary, PUCL
  116. Bhamati S. Filmmaker
  117. Deepika, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Chhattisgarh
  118. Trishna Senapathy, Cornell University
  119. Taru Dalmia, New Delhi, musician
  120. Manisha Sethi, Delhi
  121. Oishik Sircar, Legal Academic
  122. Uma V. Chandru, Bangalore
  123. Manasi Pingle
  124. Ajitha, WSS
  125. Riddhi Pandey, Student, Graduate Institute, Geneva
  126. Suratno Basu
  127. Nidhi Joshi
  128. Rishika Sahgal
  129. Saswati  Ghosh, Kolkata
  130. Kalyani Badola
  131. Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression
  132. All India Progressive Women’s Association
  133. Jan Jaagran Shakti Sangathan, Bihar

Also Read: Chhattisgarh: S.R.P. Kalluri, Ex-Bastar IG Accused of Human Rights Abuses, Gets Plum Appointment

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