Twenty-five members of a fact-finding team have been detained in Chhattisgarh since Wednesday (February 1) when they reached the state to probe charges of aerial bombing on areas said to be Naxalite hubs.
A statement to the media on Thursday said that the members of the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations were placed under detention in a tin shed in Dodatota town in Sukma district.
Also read: Chhattisgarh: 10 Naxalites surrender before police in Dantewada
The shed has been cordoned off heavily by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Chhattisgarh Police, said the statement.
Drawn from states
The members of the team hail from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
They reached Chhattisgarh to investigate allegations of aerial bombing of areas known to be under the influence of Naxalites as well as a security crackdown on villagers opposed to camps of paramilitary forces in rural areas.
They also wanted to look into complaints that land in rural areas were being forcibly taken over to build roads and security camps.
The statement said the mass detention took place even though the team members had informed the Superintendent of Police at Sukma and the Deputy Superintendent of Police at Burkapal about their mission.
“To (avoid giving) them any relief, the police administration has shut the town and not providing them proper food and such facilities since midday of February 1,” the statement said.
“The police are harassing the team members and not allowing them to leave anywhere,” it said.
The statement urged all democratic and progressive forces and individuals to demand their immediate release and allow them to exercise their democratic rights.