A cabinet minister in Chhattisgarh’s Congress government has written to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, alleging that the death of an Adivasi woman and injury to another in Bastar was the result of a fake encounter. State Excise and Industry Minister Kawasi Lakhma demanded compensation for the victim’s family and action against the police personnel who performed the operation, The Times of India reported.
Lakhma, who survived a Maoist attack on Congress leaders in 2013 in which 29 people were killed, was referring to an encounter by the Central Reserve Police Force and district police with alleged Maoists on February 2.
“But the real situation is that the CRPF and district police teams had left from the Puswada camp towards Rangaiguda for an operation,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “Near Godelguda, two women, Podiyam Sukki and Kalmu Deve, had gone out to cut wood. During their return on the Godelguda road, the CRPF and district police, holding that the two were suspected Maoists, opened fire, in which one woman, Sukki, was killed and another, Kalmu, was injured.”
Lakhma said that no weapons were found with the women. He said Sukki has four children, and the youngest is six months old. The legislator said that such “fake encounters” could lead to loss of confidence in the government. He said the Congress could lose the support of the Adivasi community if compensation is not provided.
Security forces had also killed at least 10 suspected Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on February 7.