2 killed in CRPF firing on naxal camp inmates

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Jagdalpur, May 23 (UNI) A woman and a child were killed and two others injured as CRPF personnel fired at the inmates of a government-run relief camp for tribals displaced following the anti-naxal 'Salwa Judum' movement at Cherpal in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district in the wee hours today.

Tension prevailed in the camp after the Central Reserve Police Force personnel opened fire apparently after the tribals protested attempts by the jawans to sexually harass the camp inmates at 0345 hours, official reports received here said.

A group of CRPF personnel reached the Cherpal relief camp at around 0345 hours and asked all people, including women, to move to the roadside for a meeting. Subsequently, all men were asked to sit separately, local leaders of 'Salwa Judum'said.

According to preliminary reports, CRPF personnel had some arguments with the camp inmates before the firing, killing 25-year-old Ram Bai and three year old Entri Raju. A 6-year-old boy Entri Vikas and a woman Entri Maina (30) sustained bullet injuries.

Local Salwa Judum leaders, who came to know about the incident this morning, reported the matter to the local police. The complaint said CRPF personnel had illegally detained seven villagers and were still terrorizing those staying in the relief camp and were not allowing anyone from outside to reach near the village.

Though it was not immediately known as to what provoked the CRPF personnel to target those staying in the relief camp, local 'Salwa Judum' leaders allege that CRPF men had tried to sexually exploit the women in the relief camp and they began committing atrocities after facing protests.

Meanwhile, senior district and police officials have rushed to the spot and additional force has been sent to Cherpal.

More than 50,000 people, mostly impoverished tribals, are staying in relief camps in south Bastar region for last three years as they had to desert their native village following spurt in Naxalite violence ever since 'Salwa Judum' movement began in June 2005. Nearly 300 villages remained deserted.

UNI JJ SP 1051

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