Controversial Bastar inspector general (IG) of police S R P Kalluri has proceeded on medical leave and is unlikely to return to his posting in the Maoist-affected region of Chhattisgarh, a highly placed source said on Thursday.
Sundarraj P, Dantewada deputy inspector general (DIG) of police has been put in charge of Maoist-hit Bastar Range in south Chhattisgarh.
The position of DIG Bastar was first created in 2010 just after the Tadmetla Maoist attack in 2010 in which 76 security personnel were killed. Kalluri, a 1994 batch Indian Police Service officer, was appointed the first DIG of the range.
Kalluri has been unwell for a while. In November last year, he was admitted to hospital with kidney and heart problems. Another officer looked after the Bastar region while he was on medical leave.
“I don’t think, he (Kalluri) will return. He is seriously ill and needs rest. Recent developments also tarnished the image of state government and hence it is possible that Kalluri will not return as Bastar IG,” a senior police officer who did not want to be named told HT. “A high-level meeting on this issue called by senior administrative officers a few days ago,” the officer added.
Subodh Singh, secretary in chief minister’s office, told the media Kalluri applied for leave due to health reasons and it was sanctioned by the government.
Kalluri has been a controversial figure and has had a running battle with civil rights activists and the media of the region. He has been lauded as a hero by supporters and painted as a villain by critics.
He was again in the news last month after activist Bela Bhatia came under attack from a local outfit believed to be supporting the police in the fight against Maoists. He landed in controversy after allegedly abusing activists and lawyers on social media because they asked him to intervene to protect Bhatia, who was threatened to leave Bastar.
Kalluri has often been quoted telling journalists from outside the state that they were not welcome in the insurgency-hit region. Several journalists are still in jail in Chhattisgarh after being charged with complicity with Maoists. According to activists, these journalists have been framed.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had summoned Chhattisgarh chief secretary Vivek Dhand and Kalluri to appear before it on November 30 last year to explain the allegations of hostility and abuse of power against rights activists. Kalluri had not appeared before the NHRC citing health reasons.