Odisha: Officials did not allow us to meet victims: villagers to SIT

Phulbani (Odisha), Jul 19: Families of those killed or injured during the anti-Maoist operation in Kandhamal today claimed that some of the victims might have been saved had they been allowed to shift them to hospitals on time.

The family members of five persons killed in the July 8 firing at Gumudumaha village met visiting members of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) and said they were barred from meeting the victims by Odisha police after the incident.


"Had they (Odisha police) allowed us to shift the injured persons to hospital, some of them could have been alive today," they said.

The SIT members reached the village 10 days after the incident. The seven-member team led by ADG, Human Rights Protection Cell, Mahendra Pratap, questioned them on the details of the incident like, how and when they had gone to Baliguda for receiving their MGNREGS dues, when the firing occurred, whether it was a cross firing or one sided and how and when the injured were taken from the spot for treatment.

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The victims' family members were also asked whether they had any connection with the Maoists in any manner, was there any Maoist cadre in the village and were they satisfied with the xgratia given to them.

Five villagers, including three women and a child, were killed during the anti-Maoists operation by Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel at Malapanga forest in Kandhamal district. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had directed an SIT Team of State Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) to probe the incident.


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