Home India News Policemen involved in staged shootout shunted out

Policemen involved in staged shootout shunted out


Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government Tuesday shunted out 12 personnel of a police station in Surguja district ahead of a probe into allegations they were involved in killing a teenaged tribal girl in a staged shootout July 6.

“As many as 12 policemen posted at a Chando police station under which an encounter took place with Maoists July 6, have been shifted to Reserve Police Line Ambikapur, headquarters of Surguja district,” superintendent of police Jitendra Singh Meena told IANS over phone.

He said the policemen who are alleged to have killed the girl, were moved to “ensure a transparent investigation into the killing”.

Meena has admitted that the “girl was probably unarmed and surely not in Maoist uniform when she was killed in an encounter in which police fired 11 rounds to kill a Naxal lady”. The police officer stated “we are making a detailed investigation of our own, though the government has already ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident”.

Sources say the decision to shift out policemen accused of murdering Meena Khalko, 16, in a staged shootout was taken by the state government following IANS’ report Monday ‘Family alleges teen killed in Chhattisgarh staged shootout’. The government has also announced Rs.200,000 as immediate assistance to the family which is mired in poverty for years.

Reports say that some 50 families of girl’s native village Karcha in Surguja district, over 425 km from capital Raipur, are in shock since July 6 when police pumped two bullets into the girl, killing her.

Terrorised by the incident, the girl’s father Budeshwar and mother Gotiyaro plan to flee the village, saying that the police are upset with them for talking about the killing to politicians and the media.

“Ye policewale hamri pyari ladki ko mar diye, wo hamko bhi mar denge, (The policemen have killed my lovely daughter and they will kill me as well),” Budeshwar told IANS Monday at Ambikapur town.

Meanwhile, a prominent Maoist leader, Veera Sai, active along Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border where the staged killing took place, strongly refuted police claims of a police-Maoist gunfight July 6 at Karcha village, some 25 km away from Jharkhand border.

“The girl had nothing to do with Maoists. There was no police-Maoist encounter in recent weeks in Surguja’s Karcha and its adjoining areas. Police have murdered a girl and were trying to hush up the issue,” said Sai’s statement, sent to local media outlets.

“We will ensure justice to the girl’s family from my own way if government fails to bring justice,” he added.