Tell Chhattisgarh to provide security to agency teams, CBI asks apex court

September 7th, 2012 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The CBI Friday sought a Supreme Court direction to the Chhattisgarh government for adequate “safety and security arrangements” for its teams undertaking a probe into March 2011 attack on social activist Swami Agnivesh and on the Morpalli, Tadmelta and Timmapuram villages on the court’s direction.

Senior counsel Siddartah Luthra, appeasing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told a bench of Justice S.S.Nijjar and H.L.Gokhale, that when an agency team goes to Maoist-affected areas in the state they need safety and security and presence of relevant witnesses at a secure place for their examination.

Logistic support and safety and security was needed so that the “lives of the CBI officials, performing their duties, in compliance with this court’s orders are not exposed to danger again”, he said.

The CBI plea came in the wake of attack on its team in February this year at police station Dornapal by erstwhile Special Police Officers (SPOs) who were banned by the apex court by its order of July 5, 2011.

The CBI team was rescued by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and was taken to the force’s headquarter at Doranpal.

The CBI application said that the “CBI team was made captive/wrongfully confined in the room for about three to four hours and in the meanwhile one bullet was also fired in dining area of the building just besides the room (where CBI officials had taken shelter)”.

Having recounted the incident, the application said that in pursuant to the court’s directed investigation, the CBI team had to “again visit the interior areas of Chhattisgarh, which are highly naxal (Maoist) affected areas.”

“Keeping in view the above mentioned scenario , (it) does not appear safe for the CBI team to visit the most naxal affected interior area till foolproof security arrangement were made for them,” it added.

The court was told this in the course of the hearing of a contempt petition moved by the petitioner Prof. Nandini Sunder contending that even though apex court had disbanded the SPOs recruited by the state government for anti-Maoist operations, but they were back with a different name.

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