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HC orders for autopsy of 8 tribals killed in encounter

Chhattisgarh HC directed the authorities to conduct post-mortem of eight tribals who were killed in an alleged fake encounter.

The Chhattisgarh High Court on Thursday directed the authorities to conduct post-mortem of eight tribals who were killed in an encounter that took place near Simgavaam village in Dantewada district of South Bastar on January 8.

“The court directed the authorities concerned to conduct the post-mortem between 11 am and 12 noon on February 1,” petitioner’s counsel Saurav Dangi told The Indian Express.

As the petition filed by Vanvasi Chetna Ashram director Himanchu Kumar and 20 others–all relatives of those killed in the encounter–came up for hearing on Thursday,the petitioners moved an application,pointing out that post-mortem of those killed had not been conducted so far.

Advocate General Prashant Mishra,who appeared for the state Government,did not oppose the application. According to the petitioners’ counsel,the court was informed that bodies of eight tribals were buried and the remaining bodies cremated as per local tribal traditions.

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Meanwhile,the respondents — the state government,senior police officials and 18 Special Police Officers (SPO) — had sought ten more days to file their replies on the petition. The petitioners had sought a court directive for a CBI inquiry into what they alleged was a “fake encounter” in which 19 tribals,including women,were killed.

Besides,the petitioners also prayed for a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the families of each of those killed in the “encounter” as well as a directive to initiate criminal proceedings against 18 SPOs and others who were allegedly involved in the killings.

The petitioners had submitted before the court that a group of people,including SPOs,had rounded up several people and taken them to the forests where they shot 19 of them.

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They claimed that the villagers had faced the ire of these people,mostly SPOs staying in Salwa Judum relief camps,as the local had earlier refused to move to relief camps,disobeying the anti-Naxalite movement activists.

First published on: 29-01-2009 at 06:19:55 pm
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