Four days ago, in Latehar district of Jharkhand in the Kuku-piri forest that falls under Gaaru police station, security forces fired at a group of Adivasi Youths. The group of young men had gone to the forest for hunting. 23 year old Brahmdev Singh was killed in firing and Dinanath Singh of the same village was injured.

According to the villagers including Brahmdev’s father, Sushil Chandra Singh, the six men had gone to the forest for hunting when the security forces fired at them. Along with the dead youth, Raghunath Singh, Sukul Dev Singh, Govind Singh, Rajeshwar Singh and Dinanath Singh were part of the hunting expedition. Villagers said that they were carrying local guns.

The villagers said, when security forces were to fire on the young man, the youth raised their hands and said, we are not maoists, we are from the village, still they fired at us.


Latehar SP Prashant Anand said- In the Kumundi area, CRPF, Cobra and Jharkhand Jaguar teams are carrying out joint anti maoist operations. During this time, in Piri forest, some young men were seen with arms. On seeing police, they all fired at police. Police fired in retaliation and one of the men got killed. Rest of the 5 men were taken to police station for interrogation. The men told police that they had gone to the forest to hunt and fired on seeing an animal. The young men had five local guns with them.

The next day, all the main Hindi newspapers of Jharkhand carried the news. The news read- One Maoist killed in encounter between security forces and Maoists, 4-5 local guns are recovered from them. But in the evening after the Latehar’s SP’s statement, the news was removed and the corrected version was put up.

According to Latehar SP and the Adivasi villagers, it is very clear that security forces have acted in a highly irresponsible manner. Before firing, did they not see the dress and arms carried by the villagers? They were all in normal clothing and were carrying local guns. If security forces had shown even a little bit of humanity, today that innocent young adivasi would have been alive.

Actually there is a long list of fake encounters of Adivasis in the name of maoists but till today no action has been taken even in one case. That is the reason the security forces do not hesitate about the consequences before firing a bullet. Now it is to be seen if Jharkhand govt will file an FIR against the security forces or not?

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February 2024


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