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“We will have to be tough on Naxalism,” the Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday during a hearing on a plea seeking an SIT investigation into an alleged massacre in a Chhattisgarh village in May 2013 which is already being probed by the CBI.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a bench of Justices M R Shah and M M Sundresh that there are organisations which send their fact-finding teams to the place of occurrence of Naxal incidents.

Such fact-finding teams come out with a pre-determined conclusion faulting the security forces and then petitions are filed in the courts, he said.

The bench was hearing a plea seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) comprising officers from outside Chhattisgarh to probe and prosecute the members of the combined forces for the alleged massacre in Bijapur district’s Edesmeta village on May 17, 2013, in which eight people were killed.

The plea has also sought a direction to pay compensation to the victims and their families.

In May 2019, the apex court had said it was convinced that the matter pertaining to the inquiry into the incident should be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for an expeditious probe.

It had said the CBI director shall ensure that the investigation is done by an officer or officers who are not from the state of Chhattisgarh.

During the hearing on Monday, Solicitor General Mehta said at the outset that the matter is serious and relates to a Naxal incident.

“We will have to be tough on Naxalism,” he told the bench.

He said the CBI probe into the incident shall be completed and a final status report will be submitted before the court by November 30.

The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on December 9.

Advocate Sumeer Sodhi appeared for the state of Chhattisgarh.

In its May 2019 order, the SC had noted that an SIT was constituted by the state on May 28, 2013 to probe the incident.

The top court had said it was not satisfied with the progress made by the SIT from 2014 till date in its inquiry.


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