IN PERHAPS the first official revelations on the unethical conduct by the paramilitary forces in the Naxal-dominated Chhattisgarh, jawans of a Mizo battalion were found to be involved in outraging the modesty of women and terrorising people.
The official fact-finding reports in HT's possession point to Mizo jawans' repeated involvement in excessive drinking, misbehaving with women and terrorising locals.
IG (Special Intelligence Branch) Girdhari Nayak refused to comment on what action the state police would initiate to restore the confidence of the people, who besides facing the Naxal menace, have been encountering paramilitary forces' misbehaviour. "Being in a sensitive post, I am not in a position to reveal anything or share an opinion with the media," the IG said. He said that a battalion usually consists of 1,000 personnel. Only one Mizo battalion has been posted in Chhattisgarh in the insurgency-hit Dantewada district in south Bastar.
The report produced by the Kirandul police in the district stated that the complaints against the Mizo jawans were found to be correct. The Superintendent of Police (Dantewada) reported that the issue had been taken up with senior officials of the Mizo battalion, with strict instructions to keep the forces disciplined and within limits. The report also said that on the basis of repeated complaints about the misconduct of the Mizo forces in Kuwakonda, they were replaced by the CRPF in April 2007.
Subash Mohapatra, director of the Forum of Fact Finding Documentation & Advocacy (FFDA) told the Hindustan Times there were several charges against the paramilitary forces but this is the first official revelation about the involvement of these forces in frequent violation of human rights of the tribals in hyper-sensitive areas. "We hope the Chhattisgarh State Human Rights Commission would take serious cognizance of such blatant human rights violations by the security forces," Mohapatra said.
Another probe report by the police official in Konta (Dantewada) stated that there were several complaints against the Mizo forces looting the local liquor shop and outraging the modesty of women.
In yet another report, the Mizo forces were involved in killing domestic animals belonging to the villagers for their consumption and resorting to unnecessary firing to create terror among the rural folk.