SOG report reiterates ‘crossfire’ theory

Phulbani: While the death of six tribals at the hands of security personnel during a combing operation in Kandhamal district on July 8 has sparked off outrage across Odisha, the Special Operation Group (SOG) has claimed that the tribals were killed as they came in the line of fire during an exchange of fire between it and Maoists.

a copy of the report in the district on the next day of the incident has been obtained by the OTV.

According to the report submitted by the Sergeant of SOG at the Baliguda police station, a copy of which is with OTV, the agency had a tip-off about the movement of some Maoists inside Malapanga forest near Gumudumaha village and had laid an ambush for the ultras. At about 9.30 PM, SOG personnel spotted the movement of some suspected Maoists inside the forest, who suddenly opened fire at them. As the Maoists did not stop firing in spite of the warning, the SOG personnel had to retaliate.

The Sergeant, in his report, has said he had asked his men to stop firing when an auto-rickshaw suddenly passed through the area. At this, the SOG personnel stopped firing. But the Maoists continued firing from the other side as a result of which the tribals were killed and an SOG jawan injured.