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SC to Chattisgarh govt: What is Koya Commando?

April 06, 2011 13:41 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Chhattisgarh government to explain as to under what rule it has created an armed group of special police officers - Koya Commando - as an anti-Naxal vigilance group. A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar asked the state government to file an affidavit on the raising of Koya commando and also state under what rule they are being supplied arms and ammunition.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on April 15. "The affidavit will tell under which rule the Koya Commandos are appointed and under which rule they are given arms and ammunition? We must know it," the bench said, while making it clear that the affidavit has to be filed by a senior officer.

"What is this Koya Commando? How are they appointed and how are they given training etc? It is very dangerous giving them arms to fight," the bench observed. The court passed the order while hearing a petition against the existence of Salwa Judum in Naxal-infested regions of the state to fight Maoists.

The petition had been filed by sociologist Nandini Sundar, historian Ramchandra Guha, former bureaucrat E A S Sarma and others seeking a direction to the state government to refrain from allegedly supporting Salwa Judum. During the hearing, Swami Agnivesh informed the court about last month's incident when he was attacked by a group of people - allegedly the special police officers and Salwa Judum volunteers, when he was visiting a Naxal region near Dantewada with some people.

Chhattisgarh government informed the bench that it has already ordered an inquiry by the district judge into the incident. Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the state government, however, sought liberty from the court to persuade Chief Minister Raman Singh to order an inquiry by the Chhattisgarh High Court judge.

He said this was necessary considering the sensitivity of the incident and because of the different versions of the public about the incident. The special police officer/group has been given the name of Koya Commando on the basis of the names of a tribe of the Dantewada region.
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