The Chhattisgarh Police has cleared Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar of all charges in a 2016 murder case. Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Archana Prasad and four others were also given a clean chit after investigators failed to find evidence against them in connection with the murder of Shamnat Baghel, a tribal resident of Nama village in Sukma district, the Hindustan Times reported.
In its chargesheet filed in a local court on Monday, the police said there was no direct evidence against Sundar, Prasad, Delhi's Joshi Adhikar Sansthan member Vineet Tiwari, CPM leader Sanjay Parata, local sarpanch Manju Kawasi and a villager, Mangla Ram Verma. A case of murder was registered against them at the Tongpal Police Station in Sukma in 2016.
Sukma Superintendent of Police Jitendra Shukla said during the course of their investigation into the Tongpal murder case, the police had taken statements of the villagers, which suggest that Sundar and the others were not present in the village at the time of the murder. "Hence, we have taken back the cases against them," the senior police officer was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
The Sukma Police had booked Sundar, who is a sociology professor at Delhi University, and the five others for murder, criminal conspiracy and rioting on 7 November, 2016, on the basis of the statement of Baghel's wife.
Sundar welcomed the clean chit and said the police had done the right thing by giving up concocting vague theories and making their decision on the basis of evidence.
"It was clear that the initial charges were vindictive, coming almost immediately after the CBI chargesheeted special police officers for the violence in Tadmetla," she said. "We hope that all ordinary innocent Adivasis will also experience the same justice we got, and charges against them are dropped very soon."
In November 2018, Sundar had approached the Supreme Court, seeking the removal of their name from the FIR in the murder case.
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Updated Date: Feb 12, 2019 10:55:27 IST