Rifles used in Kandhamal killings to undergo forensic test: HRPC chief

Bhubaneswar: Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) ADG Mahendra Pratap on Friday said the rifles used by Special Operation Group (SOG) jawans during the anti-Maoist operation in Kandhamal on July 8 that left five innocent people dead will undergo forensic test.

“Since we will prepare a detailed report on the incident, the rifles used by the security forces need to undergo a forensic test. It will become clear which side the firing was from only after such a test,” Pratap told OTV in an exclusive interview.

“An SP level officer will investigate the matter and other officers will be there to assist him. The facts will be clear after reviewing the situation,” said the ADG, who will be in charge of the overall supervision of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and monitoring of the probe.

Official sources said during the investigation, the six-member SIT will talk to the relatives of the victims and meet the injured in the hospital. Though an FIR has been filed by the SOG personnel with the Kandhamal PS in the matter the day after the incident, the team will verify the authenticity of the FIR.

“If needed, the team will talk to the jawans individually,” an official stated.

The team will have Gurudas Kundu, SP of the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) as the Investigating Officer (IO). The other members of the team are Ramachandra Gouda, Sadananda Guha, A. Patnaik, Nirupama Sethy and Bijay Bal.

On July 11, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the formation of the SIT to probe the matter to ensure a thorough and impartial probe into the incident.