A Key to the Decaying System: Why Congress Reinstated IG SRP Kalluri in Chhattisgarh

Surabhi Singh

One of the thousands of images of battered and hopeless lives floundering in catacombs of death, rapes, depravity and gargantuan corporate fascism across Bastar district, is that of 16 year old Meena Khalkho. Khalko was an Adivasi girl, from Dantewada District, falling under Bastar Division, who was out shepherding her livestock, when suddenly she was surrounded by a gang of 50-60 State Police personnel and shot dead without a warning. She was later declared a Maoist and the news made headlines in all relevant local and regional newspapers. The District Police personnel involved in this cold blooded murder of an adolescent girl- were later rewarded with Distinctive Medals for putting an end to a violent fugitive.

It would be another year before the buzz around this dastardly murder would begin to echo across the corridors of power. It would be almost 365 days later that it would be revealed that Meena Khalko was not only murdered, she was also gang-raped brutally.

Meena Khalkho

Apart from Khalkho, there are hundreds of other lives that have been ruined beyond repair in the name of democracy and progress in Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma and a few other neighboring districts of Chhattisgarh state. Human Rights Activists call him as one of the chief architects of these human rights abuses, fake encounters, murders, rapes and overall displacement of hundreds and thousands of Adivasis from their homes and land throughout North and South Chhattisgarh-Chief of Economics Offense Wing Chhattisgarh, Inspector General of Police (IG) SRP Kalluri.

His is a unbelievable story of rise and fall, quite like the Greek Mythical characters who are at once villains and heroes to the different set of people co existing in the same society. While he rampaged through the Adivasi lives after taking charge as the IG in 2014, he was touted as the most lethal State Police Officials having a direct link to the 2011 Tadmetla, Morpalli carnage, where in several Adivasi houses were doused in fire and several women were raped. Although the CBI chargesheeted and arrested Salwa Judum leaders P Vijay and Soyam Mooka along with a few Special Police Officers, IG Kalluri’s name was categorically missing.

IG Kalluri was instrumental in the following rampage that targeted Human Rights Activists Soni Sori, Nalini Sundar and CPIM legislator Manish Kunjam burning of their effigies, rubbing acid on faces and subsequently hounding out Sundar from Bastar. And if this was not enough, the Salwa Judum followers even attacked Swami Agnivesh and the CBI officials who were in one of the affected villages in 2012. However, such is the hallowed fame of Kalluri and his followers including the then SP D S Marawi, that the CBI ended up missing their names from the charge-sheet presented in 2016. Despite having eye witness accounts of the villagers and a massive resounding nationwide outcry against the then DIG Kalluri and the statements given by CRPF/CoBRA Battalion personnel.

Later, multiple discrepancies cropped up in the statements of the witnesses that were whitewashed. DIG Kalluri rode on all these allegations, protests and snuffed out lives to become the IG. Untill finally, he came to a head on clash with Human Rights Activist Bela Bhatia and Jagdalpur Legal Aide, a band of Lawyers working towards granting legal aide to wrongfully detained Adivasis and fake surrender victims. With extreme pressure building up following an attack on Soni Sori, he was finally driven out of Bastar in 2017.

So what is the reason that the same Congress Government that had lost their frontline leaders in the 2016 Jheeram Ghati Massacre, reinstate IG SRP Kalluri in a major department with key role? The answer could be his role as an insider in the state’s troubled, marauded and highly divided State Police. IG Kalluri remains an insider during the Jheeram Ghati incident, and also during the Nagrik Aapurti Nigam scam that mentions none other than the wife of Dr Raman Singh. He remains a key into the multi-level conspiracy that resulted in the murders of the Congress leaders. He remains a key into the intrinsic fall-out within the Congress Party. A key to the ambition of Ajit Jogi and the insecurities of ex-Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh. IG Kalluri remains a key-witness to the flailing of the state security department that witnesses significant number of suicides and Malarial deaths among its personnel. As someone, who has been repeatedly coroneted and abdicated, IG Kalluri remains the cog in the system, that cannot be ignored, much less removed from this decaying skeletal political corporate hegemony also known as Chhattisgarh.

Leave a Reply