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Cautious Cong says tribals shouldn’t be victims of cross-fire

Amid conflicting reports about the identity of the 19 alleged Maoists who were killed by security forces in Chhattisgarh,the Congress sought to tread cautiously saying tribals should not become “victims in the cross-fire” between Naxals and security forces

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2012 2:43:51 am

Amid conflicting reports about the identity of the 19 alleged Maoists who were killed by security forces in Chhattisgarh last Friday,the Congress on Monday sought to tread cautiously saying tribals should not become “victims in the cross-fire” between Naxals and security forces.

“Tribals should not become victims of the cross fire between security forces and Naxals. They should be protected at all costs. As many as 900 tribal villages in the Bastar region now wear a deserted look while out of 80,000 people,who were living in Salwa Judum camps,only 25 to 30 thousand are remaining. We do not know where the rest have gone. The state government has a responsibility for people’s security,” AICC general secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh B K Hariprasad told reporters here.

The state Congress had earlier sent a 12-member fact-finding team of MLAs,which reportedly termed it as a fake encounter in which innocent tribals were killed. “What Home Minister P Chidambaram said was on the basis of the report he received from the state government. What our party in the state is saying is on the basis of the feedback from local leaders. It’s a sensitive matter and that is why we have sent a fact-finding team. The report will be submitted to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and we will also meet the Home Minister as soon it is with us,” said Hari Prasad.

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