CPI demands judicial probe in tribal killings

Bhubaneswar: Alleging that several tribals were killed in the name of anti-naxal operations in Chhattisgarh recently, CPI today demanded a judicial probe into the incident by a sitting High Court judge. "Several tribals were massacred in an attack by CRPF in Chhattisgarh. We want a judicial inquiry into the episode by a sitting judge of High Court," senior CPI leader D Raja told reporters here.

Warning that such a "massacre" of innocent people would not be tolerated, he said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram must own responsibility for the killing of tribals by CRPF personnel last week in Chhattisgarh. Maintaining that left wing extremism (LWE) should not be treated as a mere law and order problem, the CPI leader said the union home ministry should instruct the CRPF to observe restraint while operating in tribal belts.

"We cannot treat naxal issue as a law and order problem. Chidambaram should realise that the strategy adopted by the home ministry to deal with the complex issue is not proper," Raja said. The CPI leader was reacting to a crackdown by CRPF in which at least 20 Naxalites including a woman were killed in a gunfight in the dense jungles of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh on June 28 that also left six jawans wounded.