Four killed in Chhattisgarh had Naxal records, others still being probed, say officials
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At least four villagers who were killed and one of those injured in the anti-Naxal operations last week in Chhattisgarh had police records of being involved in Naxal activities, security agencies claimed on Monday as they sought to counter the outrage over reports that many of those killed may have been innocent.
The agencies also said that some more among the victims were suspected of being Maoists but that could be established only after an investigation. They also did not rule out the possibility that some of the minors killed may not have any Naxal connections and may have been used as human shields while the others could have been child soldiers as the extremists are known to have children's wings.
In one of the biggest anti-Naxal operations in recent months, the CRPF had gunned down 19 villagers, suspected to be Maoists or their sympathisers, about 30 km southeast of Bijapur district headquarters in the dead of the night on Thursday. The operation has come under criticism because some of the dead and injured are teenagers without any known record of being involved with Naxals.
The five men with Naxal records had cases registered against them under the Arms Act besides some other sections of Criminal Procedure Code, according to information received from Chhattisgarh police. Marakkam Suresh, Madavi Aayutu, Marakkam Nagesh, Korsa Bije and Marakkam Soma are said to have police records. All except Soma, who is injured, were killed in the encounter. Marakkam Suresh was also accused in the famous 2007 jailbreak incident at Dantewada, in which nearly 300 prisoners had escaped, according to police records.
Sources in the Home Ministry, CRPF and Chhattisgarh Police said the presence of Naxals with previous proven record among those killed and injured confirmed that no innocent meeting was being held at midnight as claimed by some villagers now.
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