CBI registers case in Edesmetta encounter of Bastar
After the Chhattisgarh government gave nod to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the agency registered a case in Edesmetta encounter that took place in Bastar region in May 2013. It’s been alleged that at least eight villagers were killed in the gunfight.
The CBI has registered an FIR on July 4 against unknown persons for criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, murder and attempt to murder with its Jabalpur, unit that will investigate the case.
The Edesmetta encounter took place in May 2013 in Edemetta village of Bijapur district of Bastar when the villagers were celebrating their annual festival Beej Pandum, a ritual sowing before the rains in their village. The villagers alleged that a team of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) reached the village and indiscriminately fired that left eight villagers and a CoBRA constable dead.
On May 3, 2019, the Supreme Court while hearing a petition on the Edesmatta encounter said the case should be probed by the CBI. A writ petition was filed in the court.
The Chhattisgarh government in January 2019 decided to withdraw its consent to CBI to probe any case in the state due to which it was in a fix after the apex court order
“The Chhattisgarh government has given its consent to CBI to investigate the case on June 28 after which they have registered a case,” said a senior IAS officer of CM secretariat, preferring not to be quoted.
In 2013, just after the incident, the Chattisgarh government constituted a judicial inquiry under Justice VK Agarwal. The committee was mandated to inquire upon the case, which is still going on, and was granted an extension of six months on 19 February 2019 after Congress government was formed in the state.
The Chhattisgarh government had also constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident in May 2013.