Odisha tribal killed, declared Maoist, rights body rejects theory 4yrs later

Four years after Odisha police claimed to have gunned down a Maoist in Rayagada district, the Odisha human rights commission on Thursday ruled out the deceased being a rebel and asked the state government to pay Rs 1.5 lakh compensation to his next of kin.

On February 27, 2016, Manda Kadraka was shot down by Border Security Force (BSF) and District Voluntary Force personnel during a combing operation in the forest area near Dangamatia village under Kalyansinghpur police limits of Rayagada district.

Drika, the brother of the deceased, had alleged Manda and another person named Dambaru Sikka had gone to the hill top to collect local brew ‘salap’ when they came under fire. Manda fell to the bullet injuries, while Sikka escaped and alerted the villagers. Later, Kadraka’s body was brought to the village and last rites performed.

OHRC chairperson BP Das and member secretary Asim Amitabh Das in their order said the claim that Kadraka was a Maoist could not be substantiated.

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“There was no evidence against Kadraka that he had indulged in Maoist-related offences and was planning to kill the collector and SP. It would not suffice to just make a claim that he stayed in the Maoist camp and was part of any Maoist group. The state is liable to pay compensation. The state home department should pay Rs 1.5 lakh compensation to the next of the kin of the deceased,” the OHRC order said.

The police had claimed that Kadraka was at a Maoist camp organised by their leader Sukdev alias Bunty.

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