Deeply sorry if innocents were killed in Chhattisgarh: PChttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/deeply-sorry-if-innocents-were-killed-in-chhattisgarh-pc/

Deeply sorry if innocents were killed in Chhattisgarh: PC

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram defended the CRPF’s role in last week’s anti-Naxal operation

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today defended the CRPF’s role in last week’s anti-Naxal operation in Chhattisgarh in which 19 people were killed,but said he was “deeply sorry” if any innocent villagers were among the victims.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting,Chidambaram said he was “deeply sorry if any girl,or boy or man or woman not involved with the Maoists at all has been killed”. However,he said the role of the CRPF was “transparent” and “upfront”.

Locals and politicians in Chhattisgarh,including from the Congress,have alleged that many of those killed may not have been Maoists.

The CRPF has said that at least six of those killed and one among the injured had Naxal records,while the backgrounds of others are still being investigated.

“The CRPF DG has said he has nothing to hide,nothing to fear… I do not think any central force has been so transparent. I am not going into the political controversies. I am the home minister and the CRPF is under me. We have been absolutely candid,frank and upfront,” said Chidambaram. It is for the Chhattisgarh government to decide whether they want an inquiry,he added.

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Chidambaram’s comments came as the CRPF said it would “reconstruct the entire encounter site” at Sarkeguda to prevent any possible error in future operations.

“We will reconstruct the scene of operation to figure out future strategies. As far as our analysis is concerned,we have not gone wrong anywhere with the way the operation was carried out,” a top CRPF officer said.

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