New Delhi: An intelligence report on top Maoist leaders' meeting in Sukma in Chhattisgarh had led security forces mount the June 28 operation, but the police parties came under sudden fire en route and retaliated. Later, 16 bodies were recovered from the shootout site, the government said Wednesday.
In a written answer in the Rajya Sabha on the killing of "17 innocent tribals" in the shootout, Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh said that an intelligence report had been received on the congregation of top leaders of the Communist Party of India-Maoist at Silger in Sukma district and the presence of two military companies of People's Liberation Guerilla Army of the CPI-Maoist to provide security to the top Maoist leaders.
"An operation was planned on June 28 by the joint forces of Chhattisgarh Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)."
Three separate police parties moved from Basaguda, Chintanlar and Jagardunda towards Silger. The party from Basaguda came under sudden fire while passing through the jungle area of village Sarkeguda. The security forces took position and returned the fire. In the exchange of fire, a total of six CRPF personnel and seven others were subsequently found in injured condition and were evacuated for medical treatment, he said.
"Thereafter, search of the area resulted in recovery of 16 dead bodies. One injured person subsequently expired in the hospital taking the toll to 17," Singh said in his reply.
"In view of the allegations of innocent villagers being killed in the operation, the state government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the matter under Justice (retd) V.K. Aggarwal," he said.