A group of activists from three different organisations held a press conference on Monday, 7 May, where they alleged that the Maharashtra Police’s operations at Boria Kasnasur and Nainar involving C-60 commandos from Gadchiroli, were “fake and cold-blooded mass murders”.
The apparent encounters took place on 22 and 23 April, The Indian Express reports.
The activists, who belong to Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers and Women Against State Repression and Sexual Violence had visited the villages in Gadchiroli, and said that at least eight people were missing from Gattepalli and had allegedly been killed in police operations.
They also alleged that when they had visited the concerned villages, they were followed by police forces, who asked them to create pressure on the villagers to not speak openly about the encounters.
The three-day visit and interaction with villagers revealed that both the so-called encounters were fake and were actually cold-blooded mass murders.Activists said in a press release
A report by The Wire quotes a statement put forth by the Communist Party of India- Maoist, which condemned the killings and said that at least three people from the list of the victims that was released by the police were “civilians” and did not belong to the rebel group.
The activists, in their press release, asked how it was possible that the police had collectively and individually not sustained any injuries, in the apparent encounters they had had with the rebel forces, which had killed so many of the latter.
The Indian Express reports that the team asked the police why at first they had said that the encounter with six maoists took place near Rajaram Khanla, when it had actually taken place near Kopewancha-Koutaran forest with eight Maoists.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh said:
They (the fact-finding team) were told that they would be given all the facts and points they have raised would be included in the magisterial inquiry. There is nothing that will be hidden from public domain.