Skip to main content

Fake encounter in Odisha? Tribal, Dalit workers shot in an incident police have called "crossfire" with Maoists

By Our Representative
In an incident which human rights activists of Odisha have characterized as “fake encounter”, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Kandhamal district of Odisha have allegedly shot dead six persons, including a child. They were all poor Adivasi and Dalit labourers. Four others were seriously injured. The firing took place in Malapanga forest under Tumudibandha police limits.
Human Rights Front convener Manoj Jena has described the incident as “fake encounter”, seeking the intervention of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Another rights campaigner, Biswapriya Kanungo, has said, since such incidents have been “frequently happening”, the government should “review its policy and strategy towards tackling Maoists.”
Demanding a special investigation team, which should directly report to court about its findings, Narendra Mohanty, convener of the Campaigning Against Fabricated Cases (CAFC), Odisha, families of the deceased should get Rs 50 lakh each.
The demand has come amidst chief minister Naveen Patnaik ordering a judicial probe into the incident and announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family members of the dead.
While the police claimed that the labourers were killed in a “crossfire” between Maoists and CRPF personnel, activists say, it is “impossible” for a vehicle to enter an area where an encounter is going on and all 12 people traveling in the vehicle to get bullet injuries.
Reports say, the labourers “shot dead” were were returning from Balliguda, the block and sub-divisional headquarter of their village Gungudmaha under Parampanka gram panchayat, along with others after receiving their wages under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) through bank.
The deceased have been identified as Kukal Digal and Luta Digal, both males, and three women, Timari Mallick, Bringuli Mallick and Midiali Mallick, apart from the two-year-old child of Luta Dugal.
They were part of a team of 12 people, who were returning to their village around 9.30 pm on Friday in a van after collecting their wages. The incident occurred when the villagers were about two kilometres away from their village.
Already, the incident has begun to acquire political overtones. Stating that innocent people were butchered by police, leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra said, being in-charge of the home department, Pathaik is “answerable” for the unacceptable state-sponsored massacre of its own people.
Terming the judicial probe ordered by the state government a “necessity” in view of the Supreme Court guidelines in the matter, he said, judicial probes in Odisha had become a joke because most of these never meet their logical end.BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said the government has become aimless in its anti-Maoist operations.
A year ago, in a similar incident, on July 26, 2015 a couple identified as Duba Nayak and his wife Budi Nayak. were killed in firing by personnel of the Special Operations Group and the Central Reserve Police Force, deployed for anti-Maoist operation in Kotagarah block of Kandhamal district.

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Ex-official: Murmu, appointed as CAG, will 'surely' perform shradh of the institution

Counterview Desk
A former senior official of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Shantanu Basu, in a Facebook comment in the wake of the appointment of GC Murmu, a Gujarat IAS cadre official of the 1985, has raised doubts about the independence of CAG following the Government of India move.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.