The CRPF has drawn flak for the alleged killing of eight villagers, including three children, at Edsametta of Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh almost three days ago. The bodies were handed over to the villagers only on Monday.
The Chhattisgarh Government has handed over investigation of the incident to a judicial commission headed by Justice B K Agarwal, who is also holding a similar judicial inquiry into another incident that took place 10 months ago. The CRPF personnel were involved in that case also.
A five-member government team headed by Chief Minister Raman Singh and Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar met for three hours before arriving at the decision to hold an inquiry.
It is ironic that only last week Singh had begun his Vikas Yatra from Bastar amid much fanfare.
Last year, 19 villagers were killed in the CRPF firing at Sarkeguda. The new episode would surely corrode the confidence of the villagers in their protectors.
The Edsametta villagers had gathered on Friday night to celebrate a local festival when they were surrounded by the forces.
In a firing that ensued, eight people were killed and most of them received gunshot injuries on their chest and torso. Three children aged below 15, including one as young as 10, are amongst those dead.
The CRPF claims that one of those shot was Karam Masa, 50, a Naxal.
Meanwhile, the Pradesh Congress Committee also constituted a fact-finding team under Kawasi Lakhma, Congress MLA from Bastar.