New Delhi: The CRPF on Thursday said it would be regrettable if innocent civilians were killed in the recent encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh`s Bijapur district, which has triggered a controversy.
"It is a concern and regret if they (the 19 killed) were innocent civilians. This information (that some of them were naxals) was based on police records shared with us...We have said that seven of those killed were naxalites," CRPF chief K Vijay Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
Kumar said an inquiry has been ordered and he should not be talking any more about the identities of those killed.
The Director General (DG) said he will not "speculate" further on the subject, including on possible action against his men who were part of the encounter.
The encounter took place last month in the dense jungles of Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh and also left six CRPF jawans wounded.
The CRPF has maintained that its troops, on way to conducting an operation to the uncharted Maoist stronghold of Silger in the same district, were fired upon first and they retaliated.
Meanwhile, the DG met a batch of 20 schoolgirls from Jammu and Kashmir`s Udhampur district.
The girls are undertaking an excursion sponsored by the forces` unit in J and K.
Kumar asked the girls aboout their career choices and wished them luck for their future endeavours.
The girls had yesterday met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram at his office in North block.