No SOP Violation in Giving Protection to Cong Leaders: Govt

There was no violation of Standard Operating Procedure by security forces providing cover to a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh in May last year which came under severe Naxalite attack leaving 27 dead, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said during Question Hour the attack in Sukma district was very unfortunate and sad.

"But there was no violation of SOP" by security forces," he said, adding that the Congress leaders had been told to avoid the particular route.

In the attack 27 people, including former state minister Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, were killed. Senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, who was injured in the attack, later succumbed to his injuries on June 11, 2013.

Singh said so far six complaints of SOP violations by security forces have been received in various Naxal violence related cases.

"Government is committed to effectively tackle the Left Wing Extremism problem. The SOP for security forces during the anti-LWE operations are dynamic in nature and revised regularly, based on changing tactics adopted by extremists," he said.

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) regularly sensitise their officers and jawans to scrupulously adhere to the guidelines contained in various SOPs.

"Instances of possible violation of SOPs are inquired into the state governments/CAPFs and, accordingly, necessary remedial measures are taken," he said.

Government issues advisories from time to time to state governments concerned and the CAPFs to adhere to SOPs, he said.

D Raja (CPI) raised the issue of arrest of wheelchair- bound Prof G N Saibaba in the middle of the night for allegedly supporting Left Wing Extremism and asked what SOPs are followed in such cases.

Singh replied, "No SOP is required in (carrying out) arrests. No violation of SOP happened here (in case of Saibaba)."

Asked about Jammu and Kashmir government's demand for withdrawal of AFSPA, he said Central government considers requests made by state governments and takes appropriate decisions.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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