Bastar IG Kalluri is a disgrace but nobody can touch him

Is Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh unable to take action against the Bastar IG because he enjoys immunity from the PMO?

Photo courtesy: Youtube
Photo courtesy: Youtube

NH Political Bureau

The Inspector General of Bastar Range Shivram Prasad Kalluri was so ill in November that he was hospitalised in Vishakhapatnam. The Government claimed he was suffering from kidney and heart ailments and was undergoing dialysis. Since then he has returned and has been again in the news.

Following a mob attack on researcher and activist Bela Bhatia on the outskirts of Jagdalpur, anxious activists tried to get in touch with the IG seeking his intervention , especially since the mob was widely believed to enjoy the support of the police.

But the IG allegedly replied to the text messages sent by Sandeep Singh by texting: “Maoists and their dogs like you will be stoned out of Bastar”.

When Supreme Court lawyer Pyoli Swatija sent a similar message, she tweeted that he once again replied by texting: Naxals will be kicked out of Bastar.

When the indignant lawyer pointed out that his reaction had no connection to her query, the IG’s reply was even more colourful. His cryptic reply was ‘FU’. Now Kalluri may well claim he meant ‘ Friend of You’ but the abbreviation is known as an insult unacceptable in civilised conversations.

But despite exhibiting signs of having been himself bitten by a mad dog, Kalluri has not been touched by the Chhattisgarh Government. No attempt has been made to institute an inquiry into his extravagant claims, the fake encounters he has been accused of ordering and the false cases allegedly lodged under his instruction against lawyers, activists and journalists. No suspension for him and no transfer either.

Insiders in the Chhattisgarh Government claim that Chief Minister Raman Singh is helpless because Kalluri, a Kamma from Andhra Pradesh, derives his power from the PMO. This impression was strengthened ever since he was specially summoned from Bastar to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the tarmac of Raipur airport. Photographs of the two chatting went viral and myths around Kalluri grew so much that some officers seem to believe that he is guided by the office of the National Security Advisor.


Kalluri, however, has a lot to answer for. In October, 2016 two teenaged boys Sonaku and Bijlu had gone to their aunt’s village to inform her of a death in the family. Since it was late, they were invited to stay back for the night. In the early hours, police broke into the house and took them away. They were then shot in the forest. While Kalluri and the police claim the boys were killed by Maoists, even the MLA from Dantewada, Devti Karma, who is sympathetic to the police, was forced to admit that it seemed to be a case of fake encounter.

One of his erstwhile mentors, former chief minister Ajit Jogi has distanced himself after admitting that Kalluri appeared to have pronounced the death sentence to all adivasis. As many as 150 adivasis are said to have been killed in Bastar during 2016, but while it is well known that Maoists in Bastar are led by Maoists from Kalluri’s home state Andhra Pradesh, he does not seem to have been successful in apprehending even one of them.

When Kalluri was the SP in 2011, he led a five-day operation during which policemen burnt houses, killed villagers and assaulted many more. Five years later in 2016, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against seven police constables. But Kalluri escaped without even an indictment.

Late last year Bastar Police in a ridiculous move lodged an FIR and accused four Delhi University teachers including Nandini Sundar and Archana Prasad for murder of an Adivasi boy. When they approached the Supreme Court, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the Chhattisgarh Government and admitted that there was no evidence against the DU teachers. He assured the court that there would be no arrest of the teachers.

But an unfazed Kalluri was quoted as saying defiantly that Sundar would not be allowed to enter Bastar.

By all accounts, the police officer is a disgrace to the service. But he seems to enjoy immunity from even disciplinary action. Could it be because he enjoys the protection of the PMO?

Researcher and activist Bela Bhatia’s letter to Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, dated January 25, 2017

4 pm update

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, officials meet activist Bela Bhatia, assures safety. Bela Bhatia has been threatened and given 24 hours to leave Bastar by a mob that came to her house on January 23.

Full text of researcher and activist Bela Bhatia’s letter to Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh

Shri Raman Singh

The Chief Minister


25 January, 2017

Dear Sir,

As you may know I am striving to leave peacefully in Bastar as an independent social-science researcher and human rights worker. Various attempts have been made to intimidate me, the last time on 23 January when I was told be a belligerent mob to vacate my house within 24 hours. Further to these incidents and similar incidents that have occurred to outspoken activists, journalists, lawyers, scholars and other citizens, I appeal to you to ensure the following:

  1. Observation of the rule of law by all state institutions including the police.
  2. Unrestricted access without interference to all independent observers and others who may be visiting and residing in the Bastar region in their professional capacity.
  3. No state support or sponsorship for any private groups that attempt to intimidate or interfere with such visitors or residents.
  4. Swift and strict punishment of anyone who has indulged in such intimidation or interference.

Yours sincerely,

Bela Bhatia

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Published: 26 Jan 2017, 3:05 PM