Visakhapatnam: Rs 1 crore sought for kin of ‘encounter’ victims

Tribal leaders point out kin of Kidari, Soma were given similar compensation.

Visakhapatnam: Accusing security forces of killing two innocent tribals in an alleged encounter at the Andhra-Odisha Border region of Visakha Agency, members of Girijan Sangham are demanding justice for the families of the deceased.

They sought ex gratia of Rs 1 crore each as announced by the government for the families of former MLAs Kidari Sarveswar Rao and Siveri Soma.

The two tribals killed in the exchange of fire that took place at Pedakodapalli village in Pedabayalu mandal during last week were identified as Batti Bhusanam and Jammanna Dora. Seeking justice for their family members, the tribal associations are planning to meet district collector and superintendent of police to submit their representation.

They alleged that a team of CRPF jawans opened the fire on tribals assuming them to be Maoists.

They were hunters roaming with country-made guns in search of animals in deep forest. The other tribals Siveri Rambabu and Koda Bonjubabu fled from the spot.

However, the police has not yet come to a conclusion about the background of the deceased.

They still claim that the two had links with Maoists. An investigation is on under the supervision of Narsipatnam officer on special duty (OSD) Krishna Rao.

He said that the CRPF started firing to rebuff an attack by the tribals with country-made guns.

If it is proven that the deceased tribals were innocent, the government may announce Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to their family members.

Girijan Sangham state general secretary Appala Narsa says that the government should give ex gratia of Rs 1 crore each, along with government job to the family members of the deceased.

“Why should poor tribal families receive only Rs 5 lakh as ex gratia, when the kin of Kidari and Siveri Soma gets Rs 1 crore each as compensation?” he asked, seeking a judicial inquiry into the case.

Mr Narsa said, “It is evident by their clothes and country-made weapons that they were tribal hunters. The security forces opened fire on them without noticing this. The officials responsible for the death of innocent tribals must be punished strictly.”

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