The MP police had claimed that Singh was killed in “crossfire” during an anti-combing operation in Balaghat. His aide Nem Singh had returned home the next morning with the information that Jham Singh had fallen prey to the “security personnel’s bullets”.
An accusation against the Madhya Pradesh police leveled by the Chhattisgarh government has stoked inter-state tensions between the two central Indian states. The Chhattisgarh government has accused the MP police of “killing a tribal man of their state and attempting to eliminate his associate” in a “fake encounter” recently.
Md Akbar, the Forest minister of Chhattisgarh, has written twice to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan seeking a probe into the death of Jham Singh Dhurve, a native of Balsamundra village of Kabirdham district in Chhattisgarh, who had ventured into MP’s Kanha Tiger Reserve area with his friend Nemsingh Dhurve for fishing on last Sunday.
The MP police had later claimed that Singh was killed in “crossfire” during an anti-combing operation in Balaghat. His aide Nem Singh had returned home the next morning with the information that Jham Singh had fallen prey to the “security personnel’s bullets”.
“A combing operation was underway inside the Kanha reserve core area on the basis of inputs about Maoists’ presence and an exchange of fire took place and the man was found (dead) there,” Balaghat range IG KP Venkateshwar Rao told the media, adding a case was registered and a magisterial probe was on.
Locals of Dhurve’s village next day went to the spot but could not find his body and later approached Jhalmala village in Chhattisgarh where they were informed that Balaghat police were probing the case.
However, in his letter dated September 14, Akbar referred to his earlier letter written on September 12 and requested a high level probe into the matter and to keep the Chhattisgarh government posted.
“It’s a murder of a tribal man from Chhattisgarh by the MP police and attempt to murder of another one which is a serious issue,” said the minister in the letter, ruing he was yet to receive anything on the action taken in the matter.
Akbar also accused the MP police of unprovoked firing on the two men, quoting primary findings of Jhalmala police in Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile, the tribal community has since been outraged and anguished with the lack of action.
Akbar also forwarded the complaint to Chhattisgarh governor Anusuiya Uike with all the evidence on Tuesday, seeking her intervention into the matter.
“Two Kawardha tribals had gone to MP for fishing and police gunned down one of them and another one narrowly escaped bullets,” said CG Congress spokesperson Sushil Anand Shukla, adding that no action has been by the MP government, which has rather called them “maoists”.
Chhattisgarh BJP president Vishnudev Saay told News18 that if the men who were shot at were not maoists then “those who fired bullets should be punished”. Though he fended off further comments saying he would first seek details of the matter.