CRPF troopers gun down child, woman in Chhattisgarh camp

May 23rd, 2008 - 8:45 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, May 23 (IANS) A child and a woman were allegedly killed on the spot when dozens of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers lined up men and women and opened fire on them in a village deep in Chhattisgarh’s forested Bijapur district, which is a Maoist hot-bed, official sources said Friday. Raju, 2, and Ram Bai, 25, died on the spot in the CRPF troopers’ gunfire. A six-year-old boy and a woman were critically injured when the CRPF men posted at Cherpal village assaulted the tribals.

The injured have been rushed to district hospital at Bijapur.

Bijapur district Superintendent of Police Ankit Garg told IANS: “We are probing into what circumstances gunfire broke out and two people were killed.”

Cherpal, located some 450 km south of here, is one of the villages where about 1,200 tribal persons were uprooted due to a civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, launched in June 2005 against the Maoist insurgents. They are now settled in a government-run makeshift relief camp.

Official sources say that CRPF troopers deployed at the relief camp to guard them against Maoists, asked the men and women at midnight to come out for an urgent meeting and then started beating them up.

Tension gripped the entire area after camp settlers raised slogans Friday and assembled in hundreds outside the district hospital to protest the incident.

The police have registered a case and have begun a probe.

The camp settlers claim that trouble began when a few CRPF troopers tried to molest some tribal women and were resisted.

The senior police officers at police headquarters here are not forthcoming with details. They are maintaining: “We are collecting details of the shocking incident.”

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