A day after uniforms of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed in a Maoist encounter in Chhattisgarh were discovered in a garbage dump behind a hospital where their bodies were taken, CRPF officials told HT on Thursday a doctors’ team conducting post mortems could be responsible for the incident.
CRPF officials said procedure demanded the uniforms and other belongings of the deceased be handed over to state police.
“Prima facie, the lapse seems to be on the part of the doctors conducting the post mortem,” a CRPF official said.
Raipur superintendent of police OP Pal agreed, saying since it was a medico-legal case, doctors who performed the autopsy should have handed over all recovered things, including uniforms, to police.
“Now it is for the police to use the uniforms and other belongings of deceased jawans as case property (as it’s part of criminal offense) or destroy it as medical waste,” said CRPF inspector general of police HS Sidhu.
Police and Paramilatary officers carry the coffin of a colleague killed during an attack. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)
Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident that sparked nationwide outrage. Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asked the chief minister to punish the guilty.
“The uniforms are usually handed over to the relatives but they were not here. We have instituted a magisterial probe into it to find out how this all happened,” the chief minister said.
The bodies of the 14 paramilitary personnel were taken for autopsy to the state-owned Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital at Raipur from Chintagufa, where the encounter occurred. Congress workers found the uniforms and shoes dumped behind the hospital and gave them to CRPF officials, who handed them over to police.
A CRPF officer laying wreath at the body of ASI Shemsher Singh Yadav who was killed in a militant attack in district Pulwama. (PTI Photo)
Sub-divisional magistrate SK Agrawal will conduct the probe and submit a report in 15 days. A deputy inspector general-rank CRPF officer will also probe the incident and give a report in three days.
“The terms of reference for the probe has been fixed on three points — the procedure on disposal of the uniforms and other belongings of the martyred jawans after the autopsy, how was it disposed of at the hospital where post-mortems were carried out and who are guilty for this incident,” said the official statement.
The hospital administration issued a notice to the head of the concerned department seeking an explanation.