Inquiry ordered in killing of 40 Maoists in Gadchiroli district
The district administration of Gadchiroli ordered two separate magisterial inquiries into the encounters of Rela-Kasnasur and Nainer jungle between the security forces and the suspected Maoists in south Gadchiroli in which 40 rebels were killed.
Gadchiroli district collector Shekhar Singh has ordered magisterial inquiries into the encounters under the provisions of CrPC Section 176.
The C-60, an elite anti-Maoist squad of the district, scripted history by eliminating 34 rebels in Rela-Kasnasur encounter alone — the highest ever since the left-extremism problem cropped up.
Six Maoists were killed in Nainer jungle near Jimalgatta on April 23 and a total of 18 more bodies were recovered from Indravati river near Rela-Kasnasur jungle in the same region where 16 rebels had died in an operation by security forces on April 22.
Gadchiroli superintendent of police Dr Abhinav Deshmukh said searches in Indravati have been discontinued but will soon resume with help from the forest department. The district police had engaged boats and magnets to search for bodies and weapons. “The chances of finding bodies are quite less now but weapons might still be there,” said Deshmukh, adding that forces are wary about conducting searches in the river due to the presence of four crocodiles on the stretch.
Police have received the post-mortem reports of 10 bodies. “It says some deaths occurred due to multiple organ failure following the bullet injuries and some due to drowning.”
However, several people, particularly civil rights activists, questioned the authenticity of the encounter as not a single jawan was injured in both the encounters and dubbed them as “fake” and a “one-sided massacre”.
The CPI (ML) Liberation had demanded an impartial judicial inquiry while noted Telugu poet and civil rights activist, Varavara Rao, demanded a judicial inquiry with either a sitting or a retired Supreme Court judge.
Meanwhile, the police widows’ association in Gadchiroli said that the Rela-Kasnasur and Nainer incidents were a perfect tribute to their martyred spouses who were brutally killed by Maoists in encounters.
Singh said that the two separate inquiries will be conducted by sub-divisional magistrates (SDM) of Etapalli and Aheri who will soon submit their reports to the administration. “The task is laborious as they will have to take down statements of eyewitnesses and other concerned persons,” the district collector said.