Chhattisgarh ‘encounter’ probe indicts security forces: No firing by villagers, no proof they were Maoists 

In a damning indictment of the security forces, a one-member judicial commission set up to probe an alleged encounter in which 17 people, including six minors, were killed in Sarkeguda, in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, in June 2012, has noted the following findings: there was no firing by the villagers; there is no evidence to suggest they were Maoists; the villagers were assaulted and killed from close quarters; security forces may have fired “in panic”; and one of the victims was shot in the morning, several hours after the encounter at night.

The commission chaired by Justice V K Agarwal, a retired Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, submitted its report to the state government earlier this month. The report, reviewed by The Sunday Express, says the injuries suffered by six security personnel were due to “cross-firing”, possibly by “bullets fired by fellow members of the security forces”, and there was “clear manipulation in investigation”.

…the villagers claimed that they had assembled for a meeting to discuss a “Beej Pandum” festival, and the security forces had encircled them and opened fire. They also alleged that one person, Irpa Ramesh, was killed after being picked up from his home the next morning.…