Rights panel shoots down Government claim; says three killed in anti-Naxal operation were villagers

National Human Rights Commission has said the three persons killed during an anti-Naxal operation in Kalahandi’s Nisanguda forest about two years back were innocent villagers who were out for hunting

Published: 18th June 2017 05:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2017 05:47 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: In what could be a setback for the State Police, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said the three persons killed during an anti-Naxal operation in Kalahandi’s Nisanguda forest about two years back were innocent villagers who were out for hunting though the Kalahandi Police had dubbed them as Maoists.

Holding State liable for compensation, the rights panel has issued a notice to the Government asking why each of their kin should not be paid `five lakh as ex gratia. Similarly, the two injured should be paid `50,000 each, it said. Six weeks’ time has been given to the Government to furnish its reply.

Basing on separate complaints filed by RTI activist Jayanta Das and rights activist Biswapriya Kanungo, the Commission examined reports from Kalahandi SP and its Investigation Division.

Quoting the magisterial inquiry report, the Commission said it is probable that five persons who were moving in the said forest for hunting were caught in crossfire occurred between police personnel and Maoists. “Hence, there is no foul play on part of the police in the incident. Neither the police inquiry nor the magisterial inquiry found the three deceased and two injured to be Maoists,” the national rights panel observed.

The Commission said it has come to a prima facie conclusion that three innocent persons were killed in cross firing for which the State is liable to compensate. The State should also compensate for the two children who were also injured in the incident.

In November 2015, the security personnel had gunned down Jaya Majhi, Sukru Majhi and Hari Shankar Naik while two minors Arjuna Majhi and Icchu Majhi had sustained bullet injuries.

The deceased were carrying guns for hunting purpose which were seized by police from the place of encounter. While the guns were in working condition, cartridges seized did not match with the weapons. The two injured had stated that they were in the jungle for hunting.

The Commission observed that as a result of firing between the police and Maoists, the innocent villagers were killed and two sustained injuries without any of their fault. Subsequently, the Investigation Division suggested issue of a notice for grant of monetary compensation to the next of kin of the three deceased persons and those who sustained injuries.

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