Villagers of Gattepalli demand probe, compensation

Exactly a month after the twin encounters in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, in which 40 Maoists were reportedly killed, villagers from Gattepalli has demanded a probe into the death of eight youths from their village. PTI file photo

Exactly a month after the twin encounters in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, in which 40 Maoists were reportedly killed, villagers from Gattepalli has demanded a probe into the death of eight youths from their village and necessary compensation.

In a letter that contains signatures or thumb impressions of the parents of the eight deceased and 33 villagers, the villagers said that the youths were innocent.

"The villagers have said that the youths were innocent, they had no arms at home, and even when they left the village, they had no arms. They have no links with Maoists," said Alsu Nagoti, a tribal leader and lawyer, who is the member of the Zilla Parishad at Arewada-Nelgunda.

The eight youths have been identified Zarpa Vatte Madavi (23), Mangesh Baklu Atram (25), Mangesh Chandu Madavi (17), Buji Karve Usendi (17), Nursey Pedu Madavi (18), Raso Pocha Madavi (23), Raso Chakku Madavi (15) and Anita Devu Gawade (18).

Copies of the letter have been sent to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, Gadchiroli Guardian Minister Ambrishrao Raje Satyavanrao Atram, National Human Rights Commission, Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Maharashtra State Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Commission and Gadchiroli district's Superintendent of Police Dr Abhinav Deshmukh.

According to reports, Sainath alias Dolesh Madi Atram, a Divisional Committee member (DVC) of the Perimeli dhalam, who was among those killed in the encounter, was from Gattepalli village.

In a memorandum, the villagers have said that eight youths, aged between 15 and 25, were among those who had left Gattepalli for Kasnasur on April 21 to attend the wedding of one Somu Rainu Madavi.

While two of them, Gonglu Muka Gawde and Tulsi Chaitu Gawde, returned on 22 April, the remaining eight did not.

Thereafter, on April 23, the families made frantic enquiries and even visited Kasnasur for their missing family members, but in vain.

The next day, the distraught families finally lodged missing complaints with the Perimeli police station.

The local police took the families to various morgues where the bodies of the slain 40 Maoists were kept prior to identification and handing over to their families.

The villagers said that from among the killed Maoists, they identified one body — Buji Karve Usandi's. They performed the last rites and returned.

"Since all of them were together, we believe they too have died," said locals.

The authorities then ordered a DNA test to match the bodies with the family members who had lodged the complaint. "The DNA reports have not come so far," says the memorandum.

"Its true that Sainath hailed from Gattepalli, but he never visited the village nor lured our people to join him," the villagers pointed out.

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Villagers of Gattepalli demand probe, compensation

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