Raipur: A pregnant women who was injured during the open firing by police on the road leading out of a newly established CRPF security camp near Silger village in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district where villagers were staging a protest, died on Saturday.
On May 12, a police camp was set up in Silger. Villagers alleged that camps are being made on this land illegally. Besides, this increases the fear of Naxal attacks among the villagers. In this line, a large number of tribals gathered protesting against the setting up of a police camp on May 13. On May 13, the police opened fire in a violent clash between the police and the villagers in which three protestors were killed. The police have claimed that the area is a core Maoist area and the villagers were protesting under the pressure of Maoists.
The agitated villagers are still continuing their protest in Silger and are demanding action against police personnel involved in the firing incident. Thousands of people from 22 villages are standing in front of the camp and demanding closure of the camp.
Villagers involved in the protest said that the crowd was forced to move forward by trampling Poonam. After being injured, Poonam remained at home. She was pregnant for three months. Earlier one of her children had died due to illness. Three people had already died in the police firing that took place on May 13. The police said that firing has been done on the Naxalites; however, tribals claimed that they were common people.
A memorial was built here on the protest site a few hours after the pregnant woman's death. Four stones are placed on top of this monument. Villagers say that these stones have been kept in the memory of three villagers killed by police bullets and a pregnant woman who died yesterday. The villagers say that this memorial will inspire us to further strengthen this movement.
Bijapur collector Ritesh Kumar Agrawal told Dispatch News that a magisterial level inquiry in the matter is underway by the Sukma district administration.
Talking to Dispatch News Sukma Collector Vinit Nanndanvar said “ an executive magisterial has been appointed to look over the whole issue and we have talked with more than 50 villagers regarding their demands still villagers are not cooperating with the government official and continuing their protest”. Meanwhile, a team that went to investigate the Silger firing case could not reach the spot. The investigation team led by Investigating Official reached Tarrem via Bijapur. The officers have told the villagers that if they decide to give a statement to the people and decide the day, then their arrangements will be made to go to Sukma. After telling this, the investigation team returned to Sukma.