Two innocent tribals killed as Maoists, police admit

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

RAIPUR - A senior officer in Chhattisgarh Police admitted Tuesday that two tribal men killed on suspicion of being Maoists were most probably innocent civilians.

A day after policemen got a pat for supposedly displaying heroism, a preliminary inquiry has showed that the deceased were local civilians, probably killed in cross-firing.

The incident took place early Monday on the outskirts of Jagdalpur town, headquarters of the restive Bastar region.

Preliminary investigation indicates that Mahru, 40, and Shyam Shankar, 25, who were killed, are civilians and they belong to two villages about seven kilometers from the incident site, Superintendent of Police P. Sundarraj in Bastar district told IANS over telephone.

He added that police were trying to find out if the two tribals were ever involved in Maoist activities.

“We have to wait for a full and final investigation before reaching a conclusion,” he said.

A police officer based in Jagdalpur said that a few policemen proceeding towards Dantewada in a pick-up van got stuck around 2.30 a.m. Monday on a road after the vehicle developed a snag.

The policemen panicked when they saw some movement in a jungle and opened fire fearing a Maoist attack. The firing killed two men.

“As of now, the inputs collected shows our men committed a major crime,” the officer said, adding that more details were awaited.

This is not the first time that security forces posted in insurgency-hit Chhattisgarh have been accused of killing innocents in fake gun battles.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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