DU professor who got Salwa Judum banned accused in killing of Tribal Chhattisgarh

Nandini Sundar and Jawaharlal Nehru University's Archana Prasad are among 10 people accused in a police complaint in the murder of a villager in Chhattisgarh

A Delhi University Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru university professor have been accused by the Chhattisgarh Police of conspiring the murder of a tribal.  Nandini Sundar and Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Archana Prasad are among 10 people accused in a police complaint in the murder of a villager in Chhattisgarh.

Ms Sundar, 48, has been named in a complaint by the wife of Shamnath Baghel, who was killed by Maoists last Friday. Besides the professors, others accused in the complaint are activist Vineet Tiwari and CPI-Marxist leader Sanjay Parate.

They all have been accused of murder, conspiracy and rioting, said senior police officer SRP Kalluri, adding that “strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty” after investigation.

“We don’t go by feelings, we go by facts, we will take action based on what facts we have,” Mr Kalluri told NDTV.

On Friday night, Maoists killed Baghel with sharp weapons at his village around 450 km from state capital Raipur. Baghel and his associates had been leading a campaign against Maoist activities since April and had recently formed the “Tangiya (axe) group” to take them on.

“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,” Mr Kalluri said.

Baghel and other villagers had reportedly complained in May against Ms Sundar, Ms Prasad and others, accusing them of inciting tribals against the government and asking them to support Maoists.

Mr Kalluri alleged that Ms Sundar went to the village in June using a fake name – Richa Keshav. “She did accept it and said she didn’t want to disclose her name,” said the officer.

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

Ms 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.