Kandhamal Maoist Operation: Odisha CM Orders ‘Judicial Probe’

**Bhubaneswar/Phulbani:** Expressing deep concern at the Kandhamal incident, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday ordered a judicial probe into the incident besides announcing Rs 5 lakh ex gratia for each of bereft family and cover under the Social Security Scheme.

The CM also announced that a government job will also be given to one member of each of the family of the deceased persons.

In a shocking incident, five villagers have been killed and two injured during an exchange of fire between security personnel and Maoists at Malapanga forest in Kurtamagarh on Friday night in Kandhamal district.

The incident took place under Tumudibandh police station limits.

As per reports, following intelligence inputs that a band of the red ultras would pass through the road at about 9 pm, the security personnel had taken position there.

However, the Maoists came to know about the police presence and resorted to firing and crossfire between the two sides ensued.

Unfortunately, an auto-rickshaw carrying passengers was passing through the road and got caught in the crossfire resulting in the casualties following which the security personnel had to cease their operation.

One security person has reportedly been injured in the exchange of fire.

The five dead villagers, who got killed on the spot, include three females and one male (former Naib Sarpanch) seated in the auto. Also one one-and-half-year-old girl killed.

Two other passengers of the auto have also sustained injuries and were rushed to hospital from the village.

Former DGP S.N. Tiwari in his reactions on the incident said thorough investigation into the matter could only reveal if the security personnel have committed any mistake.

“If it is found out that the security personnel have committed crime, case will be registered and legal actions will be taken against them basing on the auto driver’s statement and dying declarations of the persons killed and other evidences gathered,” said Tiwari.

Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, PCC President Prasad Harichandan has held the CM responsible for such repeated occurances in Odisha.

Harichandan also said that the CM has not done any favour by announcing the compensation but has followed the Supreme Court guidelines.