Odishatv Bureau

Phulbani: A three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by the SP, Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) Gurudas Kundu, today began its second phase probe into the death of five villagers, who were killed during an anti-Maoist operation near Gumudumaha village in Malapanga forest of Kandhamal district on July 8.

Talking to media persons at the Circuit House in the district headquarters here, Kundu said the SIT, which was formed by the state government to probe into the incident, did its first phase probe for 10 days from July 17 to 27.

“The team led by me with a DSP and an officer in the rank of deputy commandant arrived here yesterday. We have begun the second phase investigation from today. We will confine our investigation to Phulbani, Baliguda and its nearby areas. We are trying to collect relevant information in connection with the incident to bring the truth to the limelight at the earliest,” he said.

Asked about the priorities of the SIT in its second phase probe, Kundu said the SIT has sent the guns, live bullets and empty cartridges it had seized in its first phase investigation to ballistic experts. “We are yet to get the report from these experts. After getting the report, we will be sure about the nature of firing. Till then, our next phase probe will focus on the collection of allied information about the nature of firing and the nature of death of the villagers,” Kundu said.

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