Chhattisgarh probe into BSF assault on villagers

The Chhattisgarh government has ordered an inquiry into five tribal villagers being allegedly severely beaten up by Border Security Force (BSF) troopers during an anti-Maoist drive in Bastar region, an official said.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 09:39 AM IST

Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government has ordered an inquiry into five tribal villagers being allegedly severely beaten up by Border Security Force (BSF) troopers during an anti-Maoist drive in Bastar region, an official said.

"A magisterial inquiry has been ordered after tribal civilians complained in writing that they were assaulted by the BSF personnel early this week while the troopers were on an anti-Maoist drive in village Pachangi in Pakhanjoor area," Kanker District Collector Nirmal Kumar Khakha said over phone from Kanker, some 140 km south of capital Raipur.

He informed that sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Pakhanjoor, Arvind Ekka, has been asked to conduct the inquiry and submit his report within a month.

"The SDM would inquire in detail about the circumstances under which the civilians sustained injuries while allegedly being questioned by the BSF personnel, besides finding out who were responsible for the assault," he said.

BSF officials were not available for their version on the charges.

According to the complaint, a group of BSF personnel, engaged in anti-Maoists drive in Kanker district, stormed into Pachangi village on September 5 and 6 and rounded up nearly 40 people for questioning. The villagers were taken to a square called Atal chowk while some of them were taken to a nearby hilltop and allegedly severely beaten up.

Two days later, the terrified villagers went to a primary health centre in Pakhanjoor from where five seriously injured villagers - Sukhram Netam, Bidram Potai, Narsingh Komra, Sajjuram Dhruv and Prem Singh - were referred to the district hospital in Kanker town where they are still under treatment.

The alleged civilians` torture by BSF men is considered as a fallout of Maoists attack on a BSF-led patrolling party in Kanker district on August 29 in which five security personnel were killed included three from the BSF.

The rebels who were estimated to be over 100 had also walked away with two AK-47 assault rifles, one light machine gun belonging to the BSF men and two INSAS rifle carried by the district force jawans.

IANS