CPI (ML) Liberation raises doubts over encounter

CPI (ML) Liberation raises doubts over encounter

The CPI (ML) Liberation has raised doubts over the two recent encounters in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra where at least 39 Maoists were killed.

In a press statement, the CPI (ML) Liberation sought the implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines, an FIR and an independent enquiry into the Gadchiroli encounter.

The Left party raised doubts over the operation conducted jointly by the C60 commando team of the Anti-Naxalite Operation and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

The party stated: "In the first place, according to news reports, the number of casualties is much larger than the number of arms recovered – this raises the question if many or most of those killed were, in fact, unarmed non-combatants."

"Secondly, even the official version admits that the Maoists had been surrounded while resting in a village where they had come to attend a marriage party. Moreover, not a single police or CRPF personnel has been seriously injured or killed. This further raises questions about whether the firing by the CRPF and Gadchiroli Police was, in fact, a proportionate response in self-defence against an armed Maoist attack – i.e a genuine encounter – or in fact a one-sided massacre," the party stated.

The fact that the CRPF and police force used barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs) intended to cause maximum casualties, further indicates that the killings might not, in fact, be an encounter at all, the party added.

The statement, issued by the Central Committee of CPI (ML) Liberation, pointed to the Supreme Court observation in the PUCL vs State of Maharashtra verdict of September 2014 where the top court had stated that killings in police ‘encounters’ affects the credibility of the rule of law and the criminal justice system.

"We also demand that the state forces desist from the ongoing harassment and victimisation of the local 'Adivasi' population in the name of raids," the party stated.