ADG to lead SIT probe into Kandhamal deaths: CM

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Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the death of six tribals, who were allegedly killed in a crossfire between the security personnel and the Maoists inside Malapanga forest near Kurtamgarh in Kandhamal district on July 8, the Odisha government today decided to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the incident.

The decision was taken at a high level review meeting on the incident presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here this afternoon.

Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Director General of Police (DGP) and Director, Intelligence were present at the meeting.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, the chief minister said to ensure a thorough and impartial probe into the incident, he has directed that an investigation of the case by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the State Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) to be monitored and supervised by an officer of the rank of Additional Director General (ADG).

“If anyone is found guilty of negligent conduct after the probe, we shall take stringent action. I have also directed the DGP to have a detailed review and apply required correctives so that such an incident is not repeated in future during anti-Maoist operations,” Patnaik said.

Terming the Kandhamal incident ‘most unfortunate’, the chief minister said his government has taken it seriously.

“My government is always concerned for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe and the deprived sections of the society,” he maintained.

The decision of the state government to this effect has come a day before the visit of the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCST) Rameswar Oraon to the state.

As per the schedule, Oraon will arrive in Kandhamal district on Wednesday and visit the place where the incident had taken place.

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