Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fake encounter: Chhattisgarh police under fire

“ We are probing the incident. If police officers are found guilty, they will not be spared ”

- Ankit Garg, Investigating Officer

For latest headlines SMS NEWS to 6388 (in India & UAE), to 63880(in UK)

Reetesh Kumar Sahu
Tuesday, May 15, 2007 (Raipur)
The exhumation of six bodies in Punjer village in Dantewada district has left the Chhattisgarh police ducking for cover.

An inquiry has been set up to investigate whether it was a fake encounter. ''We are probing the incident. If police officers are found guilty, they will not be spared,'' said Ankit Garg, Investigating Officer.

Villagers say a month ago, some policemen had picked up six people for a road project. Their bodies, which were later found in an adjoining village, had bullet wounds.

Afraid villagers buried the bodies without creating a fuss and fled the village but people from neighbouring villages got wind of the incident.

It was only after some newspapers reported the incident that the police got going and the bodies were dug out.

''Policemen took them, saying they wanted directions and killed them,'' said a villager.

Vague FIR

Despite the testimonies of villagers, the FIR filed says that though the attackers were ''unknown people'' in uniform, they could have been Naxalites since they often attack in the guise of police personnel.

Doctors who conducted the post mortem say the bullets were fired from close range, ruling out an encounter.

''Lot of encounters take place in the forests. Naxalites attack dressed in police clothing. Encounter incidents are probed at the magisterial level,'' said O P Rathore, DGP, Chhattisgarh.

With questions being asked about the police's role in fake encounters, senior police officials are making token gestures to reassure villagers.

Some policemen have been asked to undergo a test identification parade and the department is also thinking of transferring the case to another investigating agency.

No comments: