The Chhattisgarh high court on Thursday asked the Bastar administration to exhume the bodies of two tribals who were killed allegedly in a fake police encounter and conduct a post-mortem again.
The court also issued a notice to the state government seeking its reply to a petition that claimed the tribals were killed in a fake encounter on January 28.
“The court has instructed the officials of Bastar, including collector Dantewada, to exhume the two bodies and conduct a second autopsy. The court further said that the autopsy should be video recorded in the presence of the officials and a detailed report of the case should be submitted to the court within a week,” said Kishore Nayaran, the victims’ counsel.
On January 28, police allegedly shot Bhima Kudati and Sukmati Hemla in the jungles of Hairauli Paurangal in Dantewada district. Police said both were Maoists and that a rifle along with other weapons was recovered from the encounter site.
Villagers accused the police of sexually assaulting Hemla before killing her and sought an independent inquiry as well as a second autopsy on her body. They also claimed that eyes of the two had been gouged out.
The family member of the dead tribals alleged that the police abducted them on January 27 when they were returning from the weekly Kirandul market and killed them saying they were Maoists.
For 20 days, villagers refused to bury the bodies and staged a protest outside Kirandul police station against the killing. They also demanded a registration of the case against the accused policemen.
Special director general (Naxals), DM Awasthi had sought a report from the Bastar police, who maintained that the allegations were baseless.