Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhawanipatna, Nov 23:
Maoist bandh call, protesting the killing of three civilians in police encounter in Karlapat forest last week, has affected life in three blocks in Odisha’s tribal-dominated Kalahandi district today.
The roads in the three blocks wore a deserted look as buses and other vehicles remained off roads.
People remained stranded at these three blocks– Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh and Sadar block– due to the dawn-to-dusk bandh in the district. Besides, commercial establishments remained shut and residents remained indoors.
In Thuamul Rampur, the shopkeepers downed their shutters. The ultras put up road blockade at various places in Lanjigarh by felling trees on the roads. Besides, the members of the outlawed group also put up posters at various places asking people to make the bandh a success.
The bandh call was given by Umakant, secretary of Bansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali committee of the CPI (Maoist).
In an audio clip, the top Maoist leader had rubbished the claim of the police that the three villagers were killed in exchange of fire with security personnel in the Karlapat forest. He had claimed that there was no exchange of fire between the villages and the security personnel.
He had also demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation for the family members of those killed.
Notably, three villagers, including a ward member, were killed and two minors were seriously injured when a team of police and Special Operation Group (SOG) jawans opened fire on them suspecting them to be Maoists, during a combing operation in the Karlapat forest area in Kalahandi district last Sunday.
The deceased were identified as Panchu Majhi, Sukru Majhi and Jay Shankar Naik all natives of Nisanaguda in Panchakula village. Jaya Shankar Naik was a ward member of the village.
A day after the incident, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) had directed the DIG (South Western Range) to enquire into the matter and file a detailed report within four weeks.