Maoists call for bandh, in protest of innocent civilian deaths

The Maoists have called for a bandh in three blocks of Kalahandi district in western Odisha on November 23 protesting against the Karlapat police encounter in which three local villagers were killed on Sunday afternoon.

In an audio tape released by top Maoist leader and Bansadhara-Ghumusara-Nagavali Division secretary Umakant claimed that there was no exchange of fire from the rebels during the encounter.

He has alleged that police opened fire indiscriminately in a bid to terrorise locals and following which the three innocent villagers were killed. Umakant has also demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation to the bereft families.

One of the injured boys has said they had gone inside the forest in search of their missing goats when the incident took place.

Menawhile, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Monday has directed the Deputy Inspector General (South Western Range) to probe and submit an inquiry report over the killing of three civilians by security personnel during a combing operation in Karlapat forest in Kalahandi district on Sunday.

Acting on a petition filed by advocate Prabir Das and human rights activist Manoj Jena, the OHRC has directed the DIG to conduct a probe into the matter and submit a report within four weeks.

It is to be noted that three villagers including a ward member were killed and two minors injured when the security personnel allegedly opened fire at them during a combing operation in Kalahandi district on Sunday.

The injured persons were admitted in the district hospital.

As per reports, the three bodies of the villagers were still lying in the forest while the two injured were admitted to the Bhawanipatna District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).

Out of the two injured, one is a minor boy who has sustained bullet injury on his nose tip while the other minor has sustained bullet injury on his back.

They have been identified as Arjun Majhi and Icchhu Majhi.

Talking to PrameyaNews7 on Sunday, the injured minor boy said they had been to the nearby forest in search of the missing goat of Panchpur Ward Member Jayshankar Naik when the jawans opened fire following which Jayshankar, Sukru Majhi and Jaya Majhi got killed on the spot.

Injured Arjun and Icchhu had run back to the village and informed about the unfortunate happening and were rushed to the Bhawanipatna District Headquarters Hospital by 108 Ambulance.

On the contrary, the district Superintendent of Police (SP) Brijesh Ray said media that during the search operation launched by the jawans the three bodies were discovered.

Amazingly, the autopsy of the three bodies were reportedly conducted on Sunday night at about 2 am and handed over to their families.

Meanwhile, the two injured minor boys have been referred to Burla VSS Medical College and Hospital.

Pertinent to note that, this is not the lone case of the jawans having killed civilians mistaking them as Maoists.

Earlier, they had killed an innocent youth in Nuapada district and buried the body and had injured other two youths.

Such incidents have also taken place earlier in Bargarh and Khandhamal districts.

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