India: demand probe of massacre in Naxalite zone

Rights advocates and left-wing political parties in India are demanding a judicial inquiry into the June 27 massacre of 19 adivasi (tribal) villagers in a remote part of Chhattisgarh state. Advocates are also demanding the government suspend its combing operations and initiate peace talks with the Naxalite rebels. The massacre took place in the forests of Silger, Bijapur district, when a contingent of some 300 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troops allegedly uncovered a Naxalite meeting at Kottaguda panchayat (village). A 15-year-old girl was among the dead. Authorities say the villagers fired first, and that six CRPF troops were wounded in the clash. Two villagers have been detained. The violence took place near Chintalnar, Dantewada district, where Naxals carried out their biggest ever attack on security forces, killing 75 CRPF troops and one state police agent in April 2010. (Times of India, July 3; IBN, July 2; PTI, June 30; PTI, June 29)

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