STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Phulbani, 14 November
Alleging that justice has continued to evade them, the family members of the five persons who were killed in an encounter at Bhaliaguda near Kandhamal-Gajapati borders exactly a year ago ~ on 14 November 2012 ~ reiterated their demands including a judicial probe into the matter, adequate compensation et al.
About 15 members of the families launched a hunger strike in front of the collectorate here today.
They later met collector Tirumala Nayak and submitted a memorandum addressed to governor Dr SC Jamir highlighting their three demands.
Campaign Against Fabricated Cases (CAFC), which has been supporting the cause of the families, lamented that they are yet to get justice even a year after the incident. CAFC has been alleging that it was a fake encounter and those killed had no Maoist connection.
“It is lamentable that the poor families are yet to get justice. We demand inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into the encounter and compensation of Rs 10 lakh for each family. We also want that criminal cases under section 302 of CrPC be registered against the policemen involved in it,” said Mr Narendra Mohanty, convener of CAFC.
It may be mentioned here that five persons, including Ayub Pradra of Bujuli village, Syamson Majhi of Bhinguruiguda, Ghasiram Bagsingh of Mardipanka, Sanatan Mallik of Gaheju and Lakshmikanta Nayak of the Tikabali were killed in the encounter.
The human rights activists have since then alleging that security forced gunned down the innocent persons when they were returning after attending a “Praja Court” convened by the Maoists, and they themselves were not associated with any Maoist activities.
Police, however, reiterated their stand, time and again, that they had Maoist connections.
“The charges that it was a fake encounter are false and baseless. Contrary to what the human rights activists are saying, the five persons had Maoist links. It is wrong to indict security personnel for each and every retaliation on Maoists. We also care for human lives… the baseless charges will weaken the morale of forces,” said a senior police officer, wishing not to be named.