For the CRPF, the killing of 25 personnel by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district does not qualify as the “human right violation” of the slain jawans, judging by the paramilitary force’s reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query.
The CRPF gave this response while refusing to share its inquiry report into the incident with an RTI applicant.
Human rights activist Venkatesh Nayak had sought the report, saying the massacre violated the human rights of those killed in April this year.
The force is exempted from making disclosures under the RTI Act unless the information sought pertains to allegations of human right violations and corruption.
Citing the exemption clause, this is what the CRPF in its response said:
“In the instant matter, there appears to be no violations of Human Rights as well as facts of the case do not attract allegations of corruption. Moreover, your application does not make any reference to such allegations. Hence this department is not liable to provide any information in this regard to your under RTI Act-2005.”
The CRPF also said the report also could not be shared because it contained operational details.
What the RTI activist say?
Nayak said the murderous attack by the ultras amounted to a violation of their human rights by “non-State actors” and by denying this “reality”, the CRPF may be doing injustice to its own personnel.
“Every time such an attack occurs, self-appointed conscience-keepers of the ‘nation’ and advocates of a belligerent brand of ‘nationalism’ … accuse human right advocates of not raising their voice against the violation of the rights of security personnel,” Nayak said.
He added that the government’s attitude towards such incidents had to be questioned.
“Why does the government and in this case, the CRPF, fight shy of treating these attacks as ‘human right violations’ of their personnel? Surely, there must be a reason for it,” he said.
Nayak said if such attacks causing the deaths of security personnel were not treated as violations committed by non-State actors, why should right activists be portrayed as “villains”, even though they always condemn such incidents.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the premier central police force for internal security.
The CRPF played a pivotal role in curbing militancy in Punjab during the 1980s and insurgency in Tripura during 1990s. Today, more than one third of the force is deployed in left-wing extremist affected areas to control extremism.