On the road leading out of a newly established CRPF security camp near Silger village in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district are signs of Monday’s clash: strewn stones, charred tree trunks, embers, and the dented windshield of a bulletproof anti-landmine vehicle.
On Monday, three people were killed here and several injured as police opened fire on a group of tribals protesting against the CRPF camp that came up on May 12.
Over the last four days, tribals from over 30 villages of Sukma and Bijapur have been protesting outside the camp. “We had been camping here for four days and were running out of ration. So we thought we would hand over a memorandum against the camp, and maybe return a few days later if they still don’t remove the camp,” said Korsa Somaru, 65, one of the protesters. But now, with three of their own dead and many others injured, he said, they have decided to stay put.
While the tribals say security forces opened fire to bring an end their protest, the latter alleged that Naxal cadres, in the garb of protesting villagers, were among those who attacked the Silger camp with stones and gun shots, forcing them to retaliate.
“Our men returned the fire and managed to bring the situation under control,” said Bastar IG P Sundarraj.
Police detained five people, including a woman, and have not handed over the bodies of the three people killed, claiming they have not yet been identified.
Villagers, however, identified the dead as…