We’ll raise Kandhamal issue in Parliament: Jairam Ramesh

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Bhubaneswar: Former Union Environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said the Kandhamal incident in which five innocent villagers of Gumudmaha village in Phulbani district were killed will be raised in Parliament.

Before leaving for Baliguda in Kandhamal district along with an All India Congress Committee (AICC) delegation and state party leaders, Ramesh said the incident has raised question on the efficiency of the ruling party in the State.

“This is not the sole incident in the State….This is the fourth time in the year that dalit and adivasis have been killed in encounters. The State government should feel embarrassed about these incidents. Fingers are being pointed out at the efficiency of the State government. We will raise the matter in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,” Ramesh told newsmen here.

The Congress leader said the delegation will interact with the relatives and family members of the victims.

“We will make an on-the-spot inquiry and analyse what led to the firing,” stated he.

The team comprising V Kishore Chandra Deo, Jairam Ramesh, Arun Oraon, Vincent Pala and KH Muniyappa will visit Gumudumaha today and ascertain the circumstances under which five civilians, including a child, were killed by the security personnel.

Earlier, a delegation of 12 Congress MLAs led by Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra had visited the village in Kandhamal district and interacted with the family members of the victims. On Tuesday, Congress members, led by PCC chief Prasad Harichandan, had gheraoed the Baliguda police station and staged a demonstration demanding a High Court-monitored judicial probe by a sitting judge.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the materials seized from the incident spot and other places have been sent to State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL), Bhubaneswar for chemical analysis and opinion of ballistic expert.

On Friday, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the firing incident produced the materials in the Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court at Baliguda. The items produced in the court include 15 AK-47 rifles seized from SOG jawans, empty cartridges and clothes that the deceased were wearing during the incident.

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