Hundreds of agitated people from nearly 30 villages of India's Sukma and Bijapur districts in Chhattisgarh are protesting against the killing of three people by security forces. The villagers are protesting on the roads near a new police camp in the Silger area and demanding a high-level probe.
The protest against the #Silger police camp in Bijapur of #Chhattisgarh continues. On Monday at least 3 tribals killed in police firing however, villagers, claim 9 death and over 10 injuries. #Maoists have called a ‘band’ on 21 May against the firing. #Bastar #LWE https://t.co/pYpuEyxpji pic.twitter.com/66TvWOEKlb— Aashish (@Ashi_IndiaToday) May 19, 2021
The camp, where personnel from Central Reserve Police Force’s 153 battalion and state police are stationed, was opened on 12 May and since 14 May, residents from nearby villages have been protesting, demanding its removal.
According to the villagers, belonging to tribal communities, hundreds of them had been camping here for four days and were running out of supplies. So they decided to hand over a memorandum against the camp set up by the security forces and would return to protest a few days later if they had still not removed the camp.
"The police opened fire on the tribals who were protesting against the camp. We demand that the incident be probed by a retired judge of the high court in a time-bound manner and a complaint be registered against those found guilty", Alok Shukla, convener of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan (CBA), told the media.
He further demanded compensation for the dead and good medical treatment for the injured.
However, reacting to the claims made by the villagers, the police stated that Maoists were part of the crowd that was protesting against the opening of the Silger camp and attacked it with gunshots and stones.
“Maoists are frustrated with the opening of new camps in their stronghold. After the Silger camp was set up on the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts, they were pressuring local residents to protest against it. The protest had ended on Sunday night but Maoists forced the villagers to return on Monday near the camp”, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P. said during a press conference.