Villagers death: NCST suggests psychiatric test of SOC jawans

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Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes today suggested to the Odisha government to conduct psychiatric test of the Special Operations Group (SOG) jawans allegedly involved in the gunning down of five villagers during an anti-Maoist operation in Kandhamal.

“Certainly the jawans involved in the killings should undergo psychiatric test. They opened fire on innocent civilians without any provocation, none had attacked them.

This is wrong,” NCST chairman Rameshwar Oraon told reporters after meeting the family of the victims at Baliguda in Kandhamal district.

Rejecting the police version that the villagers were caught in the crossfire during the operation on Friday night and got killed, Oraon said “no such thing happened at all”.

“This is an unfortunate incident and it should not have happened at all,” he said.

“Nobody including the police and the district administration is contesting that the jawans opened fire unilaterally. There was no provocation at all,” Oraon said adding both the victims’ family members and the administration admitted that innocent people were killed.

He said the jawans engaged in the operation should have minimum knowledge that Naxals do not come on vehicles.

“While they (Maoist) move on foot in the jungles, civilians move in vehicles. They should have applied minimum knowledge before opening fire,” he said.

Oraon said he would suggest the state government to take steps to avoid repeat of such incidents.

“I will meet the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the DGP soon. The NCST will suggest to the state government to ensure that the incident should not be repeated in future,” he said.

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