Silger firing: Collector orders probe, requests protesters to return home

In the firing that took place on May 17, the police claimed that 3 “maoists” were killed, while villagers deny the same

MaoistRepresentation Image | PTI

The District Collector has directed the Magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the firing by security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma that led to, reportedly, 9 deaths. As the reports of the firing came in, police claimed that those killed were “Maoists”, a claim completely denied by the residents of Silger village. 

Also, the villagers claim that 9 persons were killed, while the police maintain that 3 persons died in the firing. The families of three deceased have returned the sum of Rs. 10,000 provided to them, and travelled 17 km to Hirapur village to meet the officials. Sukma collector Vinit Nandanwar requested the protesting villagers to return home while announcing a magisterial probe into the matter.

The representatives of the tribal communities met the Inspector General of Police and the collectors of Sukma and Bijapur districts on May 23. “The probe has been set up under the executive magistrate and the report is expected to be submitted within a month,” Nandanwar said, as reported by Indian Express.

The firing took place outside the new CRPF camp on May 17. The security forces meanwhile alleged that it was “Naxal cadres, in the garb of protesting villagers,” attacked the Silger camp with “stones and gunshots… our men returned the fire and managed to bring the situation under control,” Bastar IG P Sundarraj had said.

For 10 days, more than 5000 people from over 30 villages have been protesting the decision to set up a security camp at Silger, Sukma. The police maintain that the villagers were protesting the new camp “under pressure from Maoists”. 

The Indian Express’s report from the spot on May 17 states that a villager alleged they “were beaten up by the security forces” when they went to submit the memorandum. “We also got angry and some of our people pelted stones at their vehicles and at the camp. First, the security personnel threw tear gas bombs, and then opened fire,” Krishna Kadti, 18, a Class 12 student from Jagargunda told IE adding, “people in the front fell, some of them died. When we tried to go get their bodies, we were lathi-charged again. That led to a stampede and several people fell over each other.”



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