Beyond Metros, Chhattisgarh

Charges against DU prof Nandini Sundar over tribal man’s murder

Delhi University (DU) professor Nandini Sundar and Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) Archana Prasad are among the 10 people accused in a police complaint for the murder of a villager in Chhattisgarh.

“An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (of Delhi’s Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday,” said Inspector general of police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri to PTI.

Kalluri said that the accused had been booked for murder, criminal conspiracy and rioting, adding that ‘strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation’.

Armed Maoists killed Shamnath Baghel with sharp weapons late Friday at his home in Nama village in Tongpal area, police said. Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading a protest against Maoist activities in their village since April.

“The victim’s wife has alleged that Nandini and other workers held meetings in the area and that was provocative. There were threats received that Baghel will be eliminated if he doesn’t mend his ways,” Kalluri said.

Notably, Baghel and other villagers of the region had earlier given a complaint with Tongpal police in May 2016 against Sundar, Prasad, Tiwari, Parate and an unidentified woman activist from Sukma for allegedly inciting tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists.

After the complaint, the police wrote to the Vice Chancellors of Delhi University and JNU informing them that their professors were being investigated.

Sundar, an activist, heads the sociology department at the university and has worked extensively in Maoist-hit regions like Bastar. It was on her petition that the Supreme Court banned the state-backed anti-Maoist militia Salwa Judum, calling the force unconstitutional.

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