Chhattisgarh Encounter Claims Lives of Civilians, Not Naxalites, Say Locals

Bijapur, In a shocking revelation from Chhattisgarh, activists and local residents have contested official claims by stating that the twelve individuals killed in a recent encounter were civilians, not Naxalites as initially reported by Indian forces.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the community in the Pedia area of Bijapur has vehemently asserted that the fatalities were a result of a staged encounter that occurred last Friday, challenging the official narrative that labeled the deceased as Maoists. The local assertion has sparked intense debate and calls for accountability.

Further details provided by the Hindustan Times highlighted the villagers’ testimony, which contradicted the police’s version of events. Residents explained that the incident involved locals who were merely collecting tendu leaves in the forest when they were unexpectedly confronted and shot by paramilitary forces. Gurunanda, a local eyewitness, described the chaotic scene where villagers attempted to flee but were met with lethal force.

Raju, from Korchuli village, also shared his grief, explaining that one of the deceased, Lalu Kunjam, was a farmer, not a militant, who was tragically killed as he tried to escape the sudden raid. This sentiment was echoed by Rakesh Alvam, who lost his brother in the encounter; he stated unequivocally that those killed were innocent villagers from nearby communities.

The incident has prompted human rights activists, including Soni Sori, to announce plans for legal action against what they describe as extrajudicial killings. The activists are preparing to file a petition in the high court to seek justice for the families of the deceased, challenging the official claims and demanding a thorough investigation.

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