A delegation of Chhattisgarh's opposition Congress urged union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the killing of 17 tribals by police last week.
The delegation led by state Congress chief Dhanendra Sahu met Chidambaram minutes after the minister landed at Raipur airport Monday evening to preside over a meeting to review the Maoist situation in Chhattisgarh, one of the worst hit by the Leftist violence.
"We handed over a memorandum to Chidambaram seeking a CBI probe into the Jan 8 killing of tribal civilians in Singaram village of Dantewada district. The 17 tribal civilians were killed in a fake encounter," Ramesh Varlyani, state Congress general secretary, told IANS.
Police have strongly rejected the Congress' claim and maintain that the people they killed in a gun battle were actually insurgents and not civilians.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and asked the Congress and other parties criticising the incident to await the final report of the inquiry.
The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) observed a daylong strike Monday in the state's southern restive Bastar region to protest the Jan 8 alleged civilian killings.