Reports of civilian killings a rumour: Chhattisgarh police

April 19th, 2008 - 5:42 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, April 19 (IANS) Chhattisgarh police Saturday denied as “rumours” that Maoist rebels had killed 15-20 civilians in forest in the southern part of the state a day earlier. Since Friday, there were reports that leftist militants have gunned down many civilians at a jan adalat, or public court, in Bijapur district close to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

“We found it so far totally a rumour,” Inspector General of Police Girdhari Nayak told IANS.

Maoists hold their jan adalat where they read charges against civilians, officials or policemen, who are found working against their “interests”, and execute their punishment in full public view.

The rumour had originated from Maoist bastion Pamed, located some 550 km south of here, where police killed 17 commander-ranked rebels last month.

The insurgents had then vowed to take revenge against those who helped the police to access their hideout on a hilly location to trap their senior colleagues.

“Since rumour is still doing the rounds, forces have been sent to hamlets in the forests of Pamed to find out the truth, though we are still treating it as nothing but a rumour,” Nayak said.

He said the police and paramilitary forces deployed in insurgency hit Bastar region have been asked to be cautious as insurgents often use such tactics to lure policemen to an ambush.

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