Expressing dissatisfaction at the investigation by SIT constituted by Chattisgarh government, the Supreme Court on May 3 directed Central Bureue of Investigation to take over the probe into Edesmeta massacre of May 2013 where 8 tribal including 4 children were allegedly killed by CRPF.
The Court directed the CBI Director to ensure that the investigation is done by an officer/officers who are not from the State of Chhattisgarh.
The bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and M R Shah passed the order in a petition filed by Degree Prasad Chauhan, a government teacher, in 2013.
The incident occurred on May 17, 2013, when eight persosn belonging to Madia/Koya ST community had died in an alleged encounter at Edesmeta village in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh.
The Chattisgarh government had constituted a Special Investigation Team ten days after the incident. The affidavit submitted by the Government in SC regarding the progress of investigation revealed that "apart from the witnesses who were examined by the investigation officer earlier, only five witnesses could be examined by the SIT and efforts were being made to trace the naxalites".
"We are not satisfied with the progress made by the SIT from 2014 till date in conducting an inquiry into the death of eight tribals on 17.5.2013", observed the Court after perusing the Government's affidavit.
"After hearing Mr.Colin Gonsalves, the learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, the learned Additional Solicitor General and the learned counsel for the State of Chhattisgarh, we are of the opinion that more than five years have passed without any effective investigation or enquiry being done in the matter of death of tribals in the State of Chhattisgarh. We are convinced that the matter pertaining to the inquiry into the abovementioned incident should be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for expeditious investigation", ordered the Court.
The matter will be listed after six months.