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3 men killed in 'encounter', were not Naxalites: Kin

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
February 27, 2024 12:44 IST
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The families of three men killed in a gunfight with police in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district two days ago have claimed they were not Naxalites and the encounter was fake, a charge denied by the police.

Kanker Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela said there was no wrongdoing and that locals and family members of the deceased make such claims after every encounter under the pressure of Naxalites.

Police earlier claimed the three "Naxalites" were killed on a forested hill between Bhomra-Hurtarai villages under Koyalibeda police station limits on Sunday morning in an encounter with security personnel during an anti-Naxal operation.

The police then also said the three deceased were yet to be identified.

Some locals and family members of the deceased reached the Koyelibeda police station on Monday and accused the police of staging a fake encounter.


They identified the deceased as Rameshwar Negi, Suresh Teta, natives of Marda village, and Anil Kumar Hidko, from Pairvi village in the area.

Talking to reporters, Manohar Gavde, the sarpanch of Badargi village panchayat under which Marda falls, said the tribals are dependent on the forest for wood, leaves and other produce.

"Tendu leaf collection season is going to start and for the same purpose the trio had gone to the forest to collect ropes prepared with the barks and stems of trees and other things. They had gone for two days and therefore they were carrying rice and utensils for cooking food," he said.

They were not Naxalites and were killed in a "fake" encounter, Gadve claimed.

Hidko's wife Surja also claimed her husband had gone to the forest to collect rope and was carrying a torch and an axe with him.

"We are farmers and only work at our farm and home," she added.

Teta's wife also claimed the police staged a fake encounter and her husband was not a Naxalite.

When contacted, Kanker SP Elesela denied any wrongdoing and said if the family members suspect something amiss, then they can submit their claims during a magisterial probe (conducted after the encounters).

"The police have done nothing wrong. The encounter had happened and Naxal leader Raju Salaam and his military company were involved in it. After every encounter, such claims are made by local villagers and family members of the deceased under the pressure of Naxalites," he said.

The bodies will be handed over to the relatives after post-mortem, he said.

The police were ascertaining the records of the three killed "Naxalites" and their involvement in past incidents, the official said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.