New Delhi (India): The Supreme Court on Saturday, said it was “not satisfied” with the progress made by the SIT constituted by Chattisgarh government to probe Edesmeta massacre and referred the case to CBI for expeditious investigation.
The bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah directed the CBI to investigate the case and not include the officers in the team who are from 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 the death of tribals in the State of Chhattisgarh. We are convinced that the matter pertaining to the inquiry into the incident should be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for expeditious investigation.”
“The Director, CBI shall ensure that the investigation is done by an officer/officers who are not from the State of Chhattisgarh,” the Bench said in its order.
Eight members of a tribe belonging to Madia/Koya community were allegedly killed on May 17, 2013, due to the firing by combined forces.
The petition was filed by government teacher, Degree Prasad Chouhan, seeking constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising of officers from outside the state of Chhattisgarh to investigate and prosecute the members of the combined forces for the alleged massacre.
The plea also sought a direction to the government to pay compensation to the victims and their families.
A Special Investigation Team was constituted by the State of Chhattisgarh on May 28, 2013, to inquire into the incident.
The Bench had earlier directed the State of Chhattisgarh to file an affidavit informing the Court about the progress made by the SIT.
Pursuant to the direction, an affidavit was filed by the Additional Superintendent of Police, District, Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, stating 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.
The top court said it was “not satisfied” with the progress made by the SIT from
2014 till now in conducting an inquiry into the death of eight tribals.
The Bench will hear the case next in July.