Chhattisgarh CM refutes Congress allegation of encounter

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Raman Singh
Raipur, Jul 2: Chief Minister Raman Singh has accused the opposition of politicising the counter-insurgency operation in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on Jun 28.

He was reacting to the Congress allegation that "innocent adivasi" were killed in a "completely fake encounter" at a village in Kotteguda Panchayat. The CPI-M has demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident but Singh asserted that there is no need for one.

Incidentally, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had praised the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the state police for killing three prominent Maoists in the operation. However, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Charandas Mahant is now claiming that the Chhattisgarh government misled Chidambaram.

Congress MLA Kowasi Lakma, who went as part of a fact finding mission to the village on Sunday, refuted the official version and said that Naxalites could not have been the target since the 20 victims include schoolchildren as well as women.

He cited the accounts of locals that they were merely discussing the steps to be taken during the sowing season when the CRPF men and the police opened fire. The villagers are sure Maoists were not present there, Lakma added.

His party colleagues attributed the confusion to the failure of the police system.

According to sources, the Central forces had received credible information about a gathering of Maoists at Silger in Sukma district and were in fact proceeding to that place when some Maoists in the village shot at them.

Six among the raiding party were seriously injured in the operation, the sources pointed out.

Whether the opposition's allegation is correct will be known only when the magisterial enquiry into the controversial incident is completed.

OneIndia News

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