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Swami Agnivesh calls for judicial probe in Maoist encounter

June 29, 2012 - New Delhi/ Hyderabad/ Chennai

Social activist and Maoist sympathiser Swami Agnivesh has called for a judicial probe into gunbattles between security forces and rebels in Chhattisgarh, after the latest exchange of fire.

"A judicial commission should probe all the incidences of violence and counter violence ever since release of Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh, whether it is Bijapur, Sukma, Dantewada or Narayanpur," Agnivesh told ANI here on Friday.

Huge cache of arms and ammunition has also been recovered from the site in the forests.

Earlier, at least 17 suspected Maoists were gunned down by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) during an over night encounter in Bijapur district.

Six CRPF personnel have sustained serious injuries in the operation, out of which two critically injured officials were air lifted to Raipur.

A pro-Maoist activist, Varvara Rao, questioned the veracity of the gun battle, as there was mismatch between the casualties on either side.

"It was not a real encounter. If it was a real encounter then there should be causality at both sides. But on one side, 17 to 23 villagers and innocent tribals were killed, whereas CRPF people were only injured. One or two channels have also told that the injury is due to arrows and bows they have used," Rao told ANI in Hyderabad.

Another Maoist sympathiser, G. Hargopal, said the development model of the government should be pro-poor and pro-tribal so that loss of human life could be averted.

"It is high time the government of India reconsiders its model of development and it becomes pro-poor and pro-tribal so that loss of human life could be averted. This will lead to spiral of violence," Hargopal told ANI in Chennai.


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