Sukma police has said that on June 13, a joint team of Special Task Force and District Reserve Group had an encounter with the rebels in the jungles of Gompad and Gorkha. After the gunbattle ended, a search party found the body of a uniformed Maoist cadre, who was later identified as Madkam Hidme, police had said.
After allegations that Hidme was picked up by police, sexually assaulted and then murdered came to the fore, AAP leader Soni Sori tried to visit Hidme’s village on Wednesday.AAP leader Nagesh Bancchor said that police, however, stopped the team midway.
“The villagers want to fight for justice and had not cremated the body till Wednesday morning. They (Sori and her team) were stopped at several places and finally not allowed to go beyond the Injeram camp, which is 10 km short of the village. Both the police and the district magistrate had been notified that the team was visiting the village. This clearly shows that the government wants to hide the truth. We were told that police wanted to ensure security before letting the team go forward, but that was just an excuse. The party will file a complaint with the DGP and the home minister that political parties aren’t being allowed to function in Bastar,” he said.
On Wednesday evening, Sori and other AAP supporters staged a dharna in Sukma, demanding that they be allowed to visit the village.
Senior police officers, however, denied allegations of a fake encounter. “All these allegations are baseless. As per procedure, there will be a magisterial enquiry. Also, before any team goes to a sensitive area, it is our responsibility to ascertain safety and security,” an officer said.