New Delhi: Five men killed by the CRPF as Maoists in Odisha were "daily wage earners and church functionaries", the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) said on Thursday.
The killings took place near Bhaliaguda village in Gajapati district, CDRO said in a statement.
It said an investigation by a six-member team showed that the men allegedly killed by the Central Reserve Police Force were not "militia of any leftwing extremist party”.
"Those killed were, in fact, daily wage earners and church functionaries, some of whom were actively engaged in mainstream political and social activities," it said.
The statement denied accusations that the dead belonged to the Odisha Maowadi Party, the breakaway group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist.