Tribal leaders seek probe into police crackdown

Tribal leaders in Chhattisgarh on Saturday sought a judicial probe into alleged police atrocities committed against tribals during a street protest in the state capital.

The tribals were demanding  higher percentage of quota in government jobs this week. Former Union minister and leading tribal leader Arvind Netam said that policemen cane-charged peaceful protesters on March 19 in which dozens of tribals were injured.

He said the police specifically targeted tribal leaders on instructions of the state government and a judicial probe would bring out the facts.

"It was unprovoked police assault on hundreds of tribal people who were marching to state assembly to press their demands. I was surprised that dozens of injured protesters were rushed to central jail instead of hospital after the brutal cane-charge," he said.

Netam was among the 75 tribal leaders who were arrested on March 19 while leading the protest rally.

The government released them unconditionally on March 22, only after the Opposition Congress created ruckus in the state assembly for two days againt the incident.

Sarv Adivasi Samaj, the group under which the March 19 protest was taken out, has also demanded a high-level probe into the police action while the Congress has said it would launch a state-wide protest in Raipur.

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