Cops produce ‘missing’ tribals in court, say they are Maoists

The Andhra Pradesh police have produced the two tribal women of a Chhattisgarh village who had gone missing after a police raid on January 12 before a magistrate in Khammam court.

They sought remand of the women stating that they were arrested of being Maoist militias and informers. The police move comes two days after the Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Forum (HRF) filed a Habeas Corpus in the high court. The court sent the two, Madhvi Parvathi, 21, and Kovasi Somadhi, 15, to judicial custody till the petition in the high court is not cleared.

Khammam SP A V Ranganath, who had earlier denied that the police had even raided the village, had a different story to tell on Wednesday. "They were arrested once on January 16 and then again on January 20. Since they did not give their real names, we could not identify them. They are involved in attacking and burning down constructions in the area and were taking part in Maoist activities," he said.

He said the police had in an operation by the Dommalagudem police on January 16 arrested the two for suspected attacks but were allowed to go. They were again arrested by a different police party on January 20. Both of them have three sets of aliases besides their real names. This led to the confusion whether they were arrested or not," the SP said.

"Meanwhile, the high court Wednesday issued notices to the state government to declare the status of the two women and file a counter-affidavit on whether one of them is a minor," advocate V Vasundhara, representing the HRF, said.

"It is a strange coincidence that the high court takes up the writ petition on Tuesday and today the Khammam police produces the two women," she said.

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