Phulbani: Senior Congress leader and head of the five-member AICC delegation V Kishore Chandra Deo today claimed that the death of five innocent villagers in Kandhamal district on the night on July 8 was not the result of any encounter between the security personnel and the Maoists, but cold blooded murder.
“Going by circumstantial evidence and the statements of the local people, I am convinced that this was cold blooded murder in the name of encounter with the Red Rebels”, Deo told newsmen after visiting Gumudumaha village this afternoon.
PCC president Prasad Harichandan said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government to probe into the incident has said that a blank 303 cartridges were found from the spot. “From this, you can know its mode of investigation. Just as swamps are covered with metal chips, the state government is trying to cover up the incident,” he alleged.
Countering the allegation of the Congress, BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said the incident was in fact an accident and the state government has taken it seriously. “The AICC observers, who have arrived in Kandhamal district late and are trying to get political mileage out of it, will never succeed in their effort,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the five-member AICC team led by Deo went to Gumudumaha village, interacted with the families of the deceased and injured villagers and collected information about the incident. Former Union minister Jayram Ramesh, KH Muniappa, Vincent Pala and Arun Oraon were the other members of the Aicc team, which was also accompanied by PCC president Prasad Harichandan, Odisha additional in-charge Subhankar Sarkar and Suresh Routray.
After its return to New Delhi, the team will submit a report on the incident to party president Sonia Gandhi., who had formed the five-member team to visit Kandhamal district for an on-the-spot investigation.