On 11 November, the Chhattisgarh government assured the Supreme Court that Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar, along with the others accused of murdering Shamnath Baghel, will not be arrested for the time being, and that no coercive action will be taken against them until 15 November.
This comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's directive to the Centre and the Chattisgarh government, asking them to find a peaceful solution to the Naxal situation in the state.
Delhi University Professor Nandini Sundar had been booked along with Maoists and others on charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on 8 November.
"An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi's Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday," Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri told PTI.
They were booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station, the IG said adding, "strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation."
A letter was then written to the Vice Chancellors of both DU and JNU informing that Bastar police was conducting an inquiry against both the professors following a complaint received against them, he added.
Nandini Sundar has, however, refuted all charges levelled against her. She said it was part of the state police's vendetta against all researchers, journalists, lawyers and activists who have been critical of their fake encounters and mass gang rapes.
She added that she would take up the matter legally.
"It's part of the Chhattisgarh Police's vendetta against all researchers, journalists, lawyers, activists who have been critical of their fake encounters, their mass gang rapes of women and the complete lawlessness of the police. This FIR against us is absurd. We haven't even been to the area for five months. We will be taking it up legally," Sundar said.
--with Agency inputs