121 tribals, arrested for 2017 Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh, acquitted after 5 years in jail
The NIA particular courtroom, which pronounced the judgement on Friday, mentioned the prosecution couldn’t show that the accused, tribals who have been behind bars for nearly 5 years, have been both on the spot of the incident, have been in possession of any arms or explosives or have been even members of the CPI(Maoist). “Thus it is clear that the prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” the courtroom of Justice Dipak Kumar Deshlahare mentioned whereas acquitting all of the accused.
The Burkapal ambush had occurred when a staff of 70 troopers of the CRPF’s 74th Battalion had gone to offer safety cowl for street constructing in Burkapal in Sukma on April 24, 2017. The CRPF contingent had been surrounded and attacked by a bunch of 150 CPI(Maoist) cadres.
Following the incident, which was the largest ambush on the CRPF for the reason that 2010 Chintalnar bloodbath through which 76 CRPF troopers died, the Chhattisgarh Police had arrested 121 tribals from varied villages within the area. All of them have been arrested in 2017 and remained in jail until Friday. One accused turned out to be minor, whereas one died in detention.
The Chhattisgarh Police registered the case within the matter beneath varied sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and even invoked provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on the time of the cost sheet. As many as 120 tribals have been arrested within the preliminary section with another arrest being made later. Accused Dodi Mangalu of Patel Para in Sukma died in jail.
According to the judgement, 20 prosecution witnesses turned hostile through the trial the place they refused to recognise or know the accused. They additionally didn’t help the prosecution’s claims of restoration of explosives from the accused. Fifteen of them mentioned their statements have been by no means recorded by the police.
In May-June 2017, the Chhattisgarh Police first arrested some half a dozen tribals in reference to the case. Based on their statements, it claimed to have made recoveries of some arms and explosives from different tribals—together with a bow and an arrow, a metre of codex wire, a non-electric detonator, a crude bomb and many others.
“In the context of the incident, the prosecution witnesses have not made any statement with regard to the identity or presence of the accused at the spot of the incident. No recovery of any arms or explosives from the custody of the accused has been proven. Thus, on the basis of statements of prosecution witnesses recorded before this court no charge can be proven against the accused,” mentioned the courtroom.
According to the courtroom, there was no plausible reality within the statements of witnesses that might show that the accused have been members of the CPI(Maoist).