S.R.P. Kalluri has been accused of human rights abuses against adivasis in Bastar, as well as threatening activists and journalists.
New Delhi: Controversial former Bastar Inspector General of Police S.R.P. Kalluri was Thursday appointed the head of the Economic Offences Wing and Anti-Corruption Bureau in Chhattisgarh by the two-week-old Congress state government.
While in opposition, the Congress had led calls for the dismissal of Kalluri, who has been accused of threatening journalists, human rights activists and orchestrating an attack on researcher Bela Bhatia in Bastar.
He was transferred out of the Maoist-hit region in February 2017, following the attack on Bhatia, and posted in the training department, before being reportedly sent on forced indefinite leave. Thursday marked his return to duty.
When he was sent on leave, the then Chhattisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel, who is now chief minister, had said that the punishment was not enough since the officer had flouted service rules.
“Mr Kalluri has openly flouted the All India Service rules and the government should take action against him,” Baghel had said, “Sending him on leave is not enough as he faces allegations of empowering and protecting anti-social elements, spreading terror, rape, and murders.”
Bhatia had played a key role in getting a number of women who allegedly faced sexual abuse at the hands of Chhattisgarh police personnel to file FIRs, following which she was attacked by a group of individuals at her residence in Parpa village, Jagdalpur.
While he has been lauded for weakening the Maoist insurgency, Kalluri is accused of human rights abuses against adivasis in Bastar.
In November 2016, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had summoned Kalluri to “explain the allegations of hostility and abuse of power against human rights defenders”, but he did not join the probe, citing personal reasons.
In the past, he has also been summoned by the NHRC in cases of alleged fake encounters and atrocities.
Kalluri has been on the radar of the CBI as well, over alleged police-led arson in three adivasi villages — Tadmetla, Morpalli and Timmapuram — in 2011.
Posted as the senior superintendent of police in Dantewada at the time, he was accused of being the officer responsible for an encounter where more than 300 homes were burnt in Tadmetla.