The Chhattisgarh government Monday said a plea seeking a probe into the August 6 encounter in Sukma district was a “bogus petition”. It has also disputed the photographs produced by the petitioner saying they did not relate to the alleged encounter.
Fifteen Maoists were killed by security forces in an encounter – touted as among the largest operations in the state – in the Konta region of Sukma. As many as 86 Maoists have been killed in the state this year.
“It is a bogus petition to sympathise with the Maoists,” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the government, told a three-judge Supreme Court bench of Chief Justices Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. He said the photographs submitted by the petitioner, Telengana State Civil Liberties Committee, an NGO, were not of the alleged encounter.
Rohatgi submitted that the petitioner’s claim that a woman was also killed in the incident was “false” and urged the court not to entertain the plea as it based on false claims. He said the petitioner had rushed to the Supreme Court with the plea on August 8, two days after the encounter, without approaching any other authority, and demanded that the petitioner be prosecuted for submitting “bogus photographs”.
The court allowed the petitioner time to file a revised affidavit detailing the real facts. The CJI said the court can order an investigation only after it had ascertained all the facts.
The counsel for the petitioner, however, told the court that the people killed in the encounter were tribals, who had nothing to do with Maoists. He also claimed that seven of the dead were minors. He said “assuming they (the photographs) are not of this incident”, the court could still order exhumation of bodies.
Justice Chandrachud observed that “you (the petitioner) have said in petition that the photographs are of this incident. We want to take you seriously, but for that you have to bring the correct facts on record. Now, you can’t say ‘assuming they are not real”. Justice Khanwilkar said: “We have to consider that also. If true, it’s serious”.