Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 4:

Days after Odisha’s South Western Range DIG S Saini questioned the silence of human rights activists over an alleged Maoist perpetrated landmine blast that killed eight unarmed police staffers and injured five more, some of the activists today argued that an intervention is not necessary in this case.

Addressing a press conference today, some of the human rights activists of the state today argued that their involvement won’t be needed as the government has started taking action.

“The State, on its own, has taken responsibility in this incident. It has started an investigation and has also started taking action. There is no need for a special intervention by human rights activists in this case,” said activist Pradeep Pradhan.

Curiously, Pradhan shied away from denouncing the Maoist perpetrated violence in general or the incident in particular.

“Every time a Maoist is killed they (human rights activists) come over here and make a lot of noise seeking arrest of policemen. Don’t the policemen have rights too? Are they not human? Now, I understand…it is alright, the police don’t have human rights. However, I haven’t seen them standing up for the civilians being killed by the Maoists either. It is their double standard,” Saini had said.

Meanwhile, Odisha Police Association Secretary Jyoti Ranjan Samantaray sought an apology from the activists.

“They need to apologise. Why are they trying to encourage the Naxalites?  Everyone including the police and Naxalites has human rights,” said Samantaray.

It may be mentioned here that eight policemen died and five others were injured in the landmine blast in Sunki ghat on February 1 while 13 assistant drivers and driver havildars were travelling in a police vehicle towards Angul to attend a training programme.