Gadchiroli police are at the receiving end once again! This time, a senior BJP leader of the area has accused the men in khaki of gunning down two innocent tribals in a fake encounter on the pretext of Naxalites.
It was alleged that the personnel of anti-Naxalite cell had picked up Yelkurti Madnya Gattu and Ganglu Mallesh Gattu of Rangdhampetha in Sironcha tehsil of Gadchiroli district on February 25 last when they were in Borampalli jungle. They were kept in the custody of the police that night and were killed in a fake encounter at Tadgaon in Bhamragarh tehsil, far away from Rangdhampetha on February 26, claimed the senior BJP leader of the district, Madhusudan Aravelli.
He alleged that the police personnel of Naxalites' cell deliberately designed an "encounter drama". "The police abducted them from the jungle before the encounter. The police staged the encounter next day and enacted a drama of exchange of fire." He found fault with the district police for conducting the post-mortem at the encounter site instead of bringing the bodies to the hospital.
Narasingharao Silaveri, a human rights activist and general secretary of Gadchiroli Manav Adhikar Kalyan Samiti, has lodged a complaint with the state human rights commission and urged to probe the matter immediately. A copy of the letter was also sent to the deputy chief minister, RR Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, Silaveri informed. This is not the first time that such allegations were raised against the Gadchiroli police. Earlier, several times it faced charges of human rights violations, he added.
The entire issue is quite significant when the state police arrested four alleged Naxalites, including a top Maoist, Murali and the Mumbai-based Arun Ferreira at Nagpur last week and allegations were made that they were being tortured by the police. They even told the court that the police might kill them in fake encounters.
However, SDPO of Gadchiroli, Vinay Rathod dismissed the allegations saying persons who were killed in the encounters in Gadchiroli were not from the Randhampetha village. "Four-five days after the encounters, both the brothers of Yelkurti and Ganglu came to Gadchiroli police headquarters for verifications of the bodies. After seeing the bodies at morgue they were convinced that they were not the persons they were looking for. They even made a recent statement accordingly. After that wives of Yelkurti and Ganglu came to the police headquarters and saw the bodies. They were equally satisfied that bodies were not of Yelkurti and Ganglu," he pointed out.
After disposing the bodies, now a section of people are making it an issue, he said and alleged that the recent hue and cry was a part of strategy of the Naxalites to defame the police.
Former SP of Gadchiroli, Shirish Jain, who was transferred last week to Hyderabad on deputation, said that the entire hullabaloo on the issue was just to demoralise the district police, who have been effectively curbing the Naxalite menace by giving a befitting reply to the Maoists. He claimed that persons who were killed in the encounter were hardcore Naxalites and felt that both the youth of Rangdhampetha, who are missing might have joined the Naxalite movement.
"Both were known Naxalite sympathisers and later joined the outlawed organisation that might have not been known by the family members," he observed.