The Chhattisgarh High Court has ordered constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the alleged framing of two men from Odisha, who were arrested on the charges of supplying explosives to Maoists in Chhattisgarh.
The Court was petitioned by the family members of Niranjan Dash and Durjoti Mohankudo, who have been booked under the Explosives Act as well as various provisions of the Chhattisgarh State Public Security Act, 2005. The duo has been in jail for 15 months now.
The Petitions had alleged that the police had "kidnapped" the two from Borigumma in Odisha on 28 July last year, only to later claim that they had arrested the two from the Nagarnar thana in Chhattisgarh and then charge them falsely.
They submitted that the "high handed act of the police officers in kidnapping the petitioner No.2 and 4 from Kotpad and registering false and concocted case against them in Police Station- Nagarnar is misuse of power and is a crime in the garb of exercise of lawful power".
Opposing the plea, the Chhattisgarh Police had submitted that the duo was in fact found in possession of detonators and explosives when they were arrested. They further claimed that the accused admitted to be on their way to supply the explosives to naxalite groups.
Interestingly, the Petitioners' plea was supported by Odisha Police, who claimed that the Chhattisgarh Police was trying to frustrate their investigation. They had, therefore, demanded an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Noting the conflicting submissions made by the Police departments of the two States, Justice Rajendra Chandra Singh Samant opined, "This situation shows that there are conflicting interests and claims of police of two States namely Chhattisgarh and Orissa. To break the deadlock, some step is necessary to be taken in this case and high level enquiry is required to be done in this matter, to ascertain and find out the truth behind the claims, allegations and the cross allegations made by the respondent No.1 to 5 (Chhattisgarh Police) and by the respondent No. 5 to 10 (Odisha Police)."
The Court then observed that since the CBI had not been made a party to the case, it would constitute a joint SIT instead. The SIT would comprise of two senior police officers from both States. These officers must, however, be "unconnected in the matters relating to the police stations of Nagarnar [in Chhattisgarh] or Kotpad [in Odisha]".