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The Chhattisgarh government will be withdrawing more than 300 cases against tribals in the Naxalism-affected areas of the state, which are pending in different courts.
The ruling Congress accused the previous BJP government of implicating innocent tribals in false cases, especially in Naxal-affected incidents.
The move comes following recommendations by a high-level committee formed in March 2019, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice AK Patnaik.
The state government in a statement said that after reviewing the cases registered against the Scheduled Tribes (ST) people in eight Naxal-affected districts, the Chhattisgarh government’s Law and Legislative Affairs department has decided to withdraw the prosecution.
“In this regard, a letter has been sent by the Law Department to the district magistrate of the eight districts concerned to take immediate action to withdraw the cases under the provisions of Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” News18 quoted the statement as saying.
In the meetings held in April and October the committee headed by Justice (retired) Patnaik, passed on the matter to the Law Department. It recommended that 313 cases registered under the Chhattisgarh Excise Act be returned.
Out of the total cases, a highest of 142 are in Rajnandgaon, 115 are pending in Jagdalpur, 34 in Kanker, eight in Kondagaon, seven in Dantewada, three each in Bijapur and Sukma and one in Narayanpur.
The Patnaik committee has sent another 312 cases under Section 265A, 265B and 321 of the CRPC to a panel constituted by the Director General of Police, Chhattisgarh.
The statement said that the panel will submit its report to the Patnaik Committee. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, expressing concern over the harassment of the state’s Scheduled Tribe residents and villagers of Naxalism-affected areas, especially in Bastar region, decided to review the cases that police registered against them.
The seven-member committee headed by Justice (retired) Patnaik was accordingly formed.
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