5 villagers killed in crossfire during anti-Maoist operation in Indian state Odisha


Published Jul 9, 2016
A five-month-old child was among the deceased, reprots said.

Bhubaneswar: At least five villagers(believed to be Christians) were killed on Friday night when security personnel deployed in anti-Maoist operations at Malapanga in Kandhamal district in Odisha ‘mistakenly’ opened fire on them.Preliminary reports said that the auto, carrying the villagers returning from local Baliguda market to their home, came under crossfire between the security personnel and Maoists in Gumurumaha forest under Tumudibandha police limits.

“The local police had information that some Maoists will pass on the route late in the evening. Along with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the security personnel had positioned themselves for an ambush on the rebels. During an exchange of fire between the security personnel, the auto-rickshaw came under the firing line,” Kandhamal superintendent of police (SP) Pinak Mishra said. The SP informed that detail information on the incident was awaited.

“Since the spot where the exchange of fire took place happens to be an inaccessible pocket and there is no mobile network, we are still not clear about the detailed casualty. Our men are in touch with the local villagers. We will surely probe if the people were killed in the firing by security personnel or Maoists,” the SP said.

Former Naib Sarpanch Kukal Digal and a five-month-old child of Malapanga village were among the deceased, reports said.

“A search operation is in progress after the firing incident. We are yet to receive detailed information about the matter. CRPF jawans have been deployed at the spot,” said Kandhamal superintendent of police (SP) Pinak Mishra.