Raipur, June 30 (IANS) The opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh Saturday formed a panel to probe Friday's killing of 19 Maoist insurgents by security forces saying the presence of women and children among the dead and the "shabby way" the state government handled the issue gave rise to the suspicion they were killed in staged shootouts.
"The presence of children and women among the dead and the shabby way the state government treated the issue gives rise to suspicion of security forces committing excesses on innocent tribal people and killing them in staged shootouts," Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress President Nand Kumar Patel, who is in Jagdalpur along with other senior leaders attending the party's two-day training camp, told IANS.
To examine the facts, Patel has constituted an 11-member committee headed by the party's state vice president and Konta MLA Kawasi Lakhma. The committee will start working from Saturday itself and submit its report within a week.
Meanwhile, top police officials have brushed aside charges of killing innocent tribals and claimed that all the dead were either hardcore militants or members of Jan Militia, a frontal organisation of Maoists.
Additional Director General of Police (Naxal Operations) Ram Niwas and IG (Intelligence) Mukesh Gupta told IANS that among the killed rebels, six were hardcore Maoists including the master mind of the Dantewada jailbreak Markam Suresh, whereas 11 were members of the Jan Militia.
The six personnel of the CRPF's KOBRA battalion - Wahidul Ishlam, Gyanendra Prakash Singh, Arunabh Ghosh, Krishna Kumar Kshatri, K. Rajan and radio operator S.S. Rana have been brought to Raipur and admitted to MMI Hospital. The condition of Wahidul and Gyanendra is said to be serious as they have received injuries in the chest and stomach.
According to ADG Ram Niwas "Two seriously injured naxal cadres have also been brought to Raipur for treatment. However, one of the two ultras treated at Bijapur District Hospital later succumbed to injuries."