(Asian Independent)- It has been reported that 26 Naxals were killed in fierce encounters with the elite C-60 unit of crack commandos of Anti Naxal Operations by the Maharashtra Police. This is said to have happened on Saturday 13th November in the dense forest in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisghar, ‘at multiple locations by several forces in the region’ (reference Business Standard). Amongst those killed was Milind Teltumbde, said to be a central committee member of the CPI Maoist.
Several questions arise from the police’s account.
- Encounter is said to have taken place in several locations. How many locations were involved? What was the physical distance between the locations? Was it a single police operation or several operations combined? How did the police manage to conduct operations in several areas without the Naxals getting information of the pending attacks?
- How come there were no police causalities?
- If the police surrounded the Naxal’s camps in the middle of the night, what attempts were made to make arrests?
- How many of those killed by the Indian State were ordinary Adivasi People?
- Before resorting to killing, what attempts were made to verify that the victims were genuinely those against whom the authorities had alleged cases of crime?
- How constitutional rights of those killed were observed? Their right to life. Their right to justice. There right to fair trial.
- Will there be any independent enquiry to verify police’s account?
Indian citizens demanding their Constitutional rights of freedom of expression and right to dissent against the ruling government are being arrested under the draconian laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), etc. Those expressing dissent are being locked up for months and years on end without bail, without final conviction. To top the Indian armed police and paramilitary forces are frequently resorting to ‘encounters’ of the nature described above. Such ‘encounters’ are increasingly becoming the norm, which are gross violation of the Constitutional rights of the Indian citizens, impermissible under any international law.
Indian Workers Association-GB (IWA-GB) condemns: