India's Swami Agnivesh Demands Probe Into Police Violence

Swami Agnivesh

Indian social activist Swami Agnivesh addresses a rally in Lalgarh, some 130 Kms west of Kolkata on August 9, 2010. (DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY - AFP / Getty Images)

A day after his turban was knocked off in a scrum with police near Dantewada, Chhattisgarh -- epicenter of India's simmering war with Maoist rebels -- social activist cum televangelist Swami Agnivesh demanded a judicial inquiry into police activities in the area and asked for charges to be filed against senior superintendent of police S R P Kalluri, reports the Indian Express.

An angry crowd, including women and locally recruited Special Police Officers (SPOs), shouted curses and threw eggs at Agnivesh over the weekend as he was proceeding towards Tadmetla near Chintalnar where the security forces had allegedly set more than a 100 houses ablaze following the death of their three colleagues in an encounter with Maoists on March 14, the paper had reported earlier.

Once upon a time, the government had trusted Agnivesh -- whose TV spot on Parliament TV was a big hit earlier thsi year -- to act as mediator in negotiations with the Maoist rebels, but these days it appears to view the activist as having gone native.