Kandhamal killings: BJP, BJD teams visit spot

Bhubaneswar: Even as a wave of outrage sweeps across the state over the killing of six innocent tribals, including a 15-month old baby, in alleged crossfire between security forces and Maoists at Krutamgada in Kandhamal district three days ago, Opposition BJP on Tuesday visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

While a 10-member team of the BJP visited the terror-stricken Gumudumaha village, a team from the ruling BJD also visited the spot where the gruesome incident had occurred and spoke to the villagers.

“We expressed our sympathy to the bereaved families and spoke to the family members. We will submit the report to the chief minister. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has already begun the probe. Based on its report, action will be taken,” said State Transport minister Ramesh Majhi, who was in the four-member BJD team including three ministers and a former parliamentarian.

Meanwhile, the saffron party said it will submit the field report to the Central team.

“We will submit the report to the Central team visiting the village on Wednesday. Our party does not believe in politics; we believe in social service. We had called a bandh today,” the saffron party’s Odisha chief Basant Panda said.

Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Rameswar Oraon is scheduled to visit the village tomorrow.

Reiterating its demand for a special investigation team (SIT) under the supervision of either the High Court or the Supreme Court, leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said, an impartial probe is possible only if it is monitored by the HC or the SC.

Earlier in the day, coming down heavily on the ruling BJD government over the incident, Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram said the State government is trying to sweep the matter under the carpet.

Talking to OTV, the Union minister said, “Necessary action will be taken after getting detailed reports from the chairman of NCST. The State government will be responsible for the consequences as it is trying to cover up the issue,” Oram cautioned.