The committee set up to review offences lodged against tribals in the Naxal-hit areas of Chhattisgarh has recommended the withdrawal of 91 such cases in eight districts.
During a meeting held on March 7 and 8, the Justice (retired) AK Patnaik committee reviewed 234 cases registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other Acts against people belonging to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community in Bastar, Dantewada, Kanker, Narayanpur, Sukma, Bijapur, Kondagaon and Rajnandgaon districts, an official statement said.
The panel has recommended the withdrawal of 91 cases from the prosecution, it said. Of these cases, the panel recommended resolving 81 cases through the Plea of Bargaining under Section 265 (A) of the CrPC, it said.
In October 2019, the committee recommended the withdrawal of 313 cases registered under the Chhattisgarh Excise Act against tribals in the above eight Naxal-affected districts.
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“The decision to withdraw prosecution in 404 cases has been taken by the panel in the past six months,” the release said.
The committee had then sent 312 cases filed under various sections of the IPC for review to a sub-committee constituted by state DGP DM Awasthi.
According to officials, soon after the formation of the Congress government in the state in December 2018, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel decided to review the police cases lodged against tribals from insurgency-hit areas, particularly Bastar region, while expressing concern over harassment faced by them.
Accordingly, a seven-member review committee led by Justice (retired) Patnaik was constituted on March 8 last year.