Kandhamal Firing: NCST Chairman Assures Justice To Victims

**Bhubaneswar**: Describing the death of five innocent tribals by the security personnel in Kurtumgarh in Kandhamal district during the anti-Maoist operation on July 8 as the most ‘unfortunate’ incident, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Chairman Rameshwar Oraon said all kinds of help would be provided to the families of the victims.

“As per my observation, I felt that whatever had happened there is the most unfortunate incident and very painful. I went to Baliguda this morning and talked to villagers there in detail,” Oraon told media persons after discussion with Odisha Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and DGP at Secretariat here.

He also said the State government has taken prompt action by ordering judicial enquiry into the mishap apart from forming SIT. The Chief Secretary also assured me that he would take steps in proving electricity, construction of roads and appointing teachers at schools in the village.

The government will provide jobs and pension whoever needs in the area, Oraon assured.
Earlier in the day, the NCST chairman said they (security personnel) have not at all followed the standard operating procedures (SOP) on the fateful day. Firstly, there was no intelligence input that the Naxals were moving in a vehicle. These civilians were moving in a vehicle.

On Wednesday, Oraon left for Baliguda from Phulbani for recording the statements of the bereft and aggrieved kin.

The family members of all the victims had already been taken to Baliguda by the district administration on Tuesday itself for this purpose.

The NCST Chairman spent over three hours there and interacted with them individually in camera in absence of any other third party.

Meanwhile, DGP KB Singh, after the meeting said, “ A six-member SIT team has already been formed. Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) SP Gurudas Kundu has been appointed as the investigating officer (IO) while Ramachandra Gouda, Sadananda Guha, A. Patnaik, Nirupama Sethi and Bijay Bal are other members of the team.”