CPI seeks judicial probe into Chhattisgarh tribal killings

New Delhi, Jan 22 The Communist Party of India (CPI) Wednesday sought a high level judicial probe into the Jan 8 killings of 17 tribal villagers in Chhattisgarh.

D. Raja and C.R. Bakshi of the CPI met President Pratibha Patil and also requested her to dismantle the Salwa Judum, a state sponsored anti-Maoist movement in Chhattisgarh.

The CPI leaders in a memorandum to the president alleged that it was a fake shootout staged by the state police in collaboration with the Salwa Judum militia Jan 8.

‘In the name of fighting the Naxalites (as Leftist insurgents are commonly known), the police in Chhattisgarh with Salwa Judum have killed 17 tribal villagers (including six women) in cold blood Jan 8 (near) Singaram village,’ the memorandum read.

The leaders also cited media reports appearing in national and local dailies to establish their claim that it was a fake shootout.

Rejecting the enquiry ordered by the Dantewada district collector, the CPI leaders sought a ‘high level judicial probe into this fake encounter which is being glorified as justified offensive against the Naxalites’.