Tribal youth Podiyami Mada, whose family was recently awarded Rs 5 lakh by the National Human Rights Commission as compensation after he died in custody in 2012, is an exception in Chhattisgarh with a magisterial inquiry having found the police guilty. Over the years, the police have been probed several times for alleged murder and rape in the zone of conflict with Maoists, but few cases have resulted in any action being taken. Even in Mada’s case, the magistrate’s recommendations were never followed and no FIR was registered. Taking cognisance of a report in The Indian Express that Mada was illegally detained by the CRPF and then handed over to the Sukma police, the NHRC noted that the magistrate “recommended that the matter be investigated by the CID and an FIR be registered against the offenders”.
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