Pune: The alleged encounters by C-60 commandos of Gadchiroli police may have become a nightmare for the family of eight youngsters of Gattepalli village who went missing post encounters at Kasansur village (where they went to attend a wedding) on April 22. But for the team members of C-60 commandos, the encounter was a ticket to a foreign trip.
Sources have informed that the C-60 team which took part in the alleged encounters was immediately sent on a holiday tour package to Thailand and Singapore, after the encounters at Kasansur and Rajaram Khandla forest in Gadchiroli on April 22 and 23. The police, however, deny the entire theory stating that the commandos are on personal leave.
A source privy to the developments in Gadchiroli police said, “The team of C-60 commandos which took part in the encounters at Kasansur and Rajaram Khandla forest was sent on a foreign trip to Thailand and Singapore around 3 or 4 days after the encounters. The foreign trip was arranged for them as a token of appreciation and reward.”
“This is not the first time when a holiday trip is arranged for the police team after killing substantial number of Naxalites in encounters. In 2013, after killing six Naxalites in Govindgaon village of Aheri taluka, the police team was sent on a trip to Goa. But this time, they have killed 40 in the encounter which is the largest in the region, so the reward is bigger and they were sent to a foreign location. The expenses of the foreign trip have been taken care using security-related expenditure,” added the source.
Ashish Gupta, Convenor of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation, Delhi who was the part of the 44 member fact-finding committee which recently visited Gadchiroli between May 5 to 7 has also mentioned in the report of fact-finding committee that the C-60 commando team which took part in the encounters was heard to be sent on a foreign tour post encounters.
While talking to Sakal Times, Gupta said, “We cannot say it officially but that’s what we have been informed that the police team which took part in the encounters was sent to Thailand. They have been sent there to avoid communication with the people so that the reality behind the encounters should not come out in the open as well it was a reward for them for killing many people.”
“I don’t think that sending police team on tour post encounters has happened for the first time. It seems to be a regular practice in this region,” added Gupta.
Jagdish Meshram, a lawyer and activist based in Gadchiroli who was also part of the fact-finding committee, said, “We have been informed that the two commanders of C-60 commando along with their other team members have been sent to Thailand as their reward for taking part in the so-called encounter of Naxalites.”
A former zilla parishad member in Gadchiroli and local activist on the condition of anonymity said, “It is 100 per cent confirmed that C-60 commandos who took part in encounters last month have been sent on a foreign trip to Thailand. All these commandos are locals of Gadchiroli and this information regarding their foreign trips came out in public through their
R Raja, Additional Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, said, “We only provide appreciation and rewards as per government rules. They may have gone there personally and they can go to a foreign country if they want, but as per my knowledge, nothing of such sort has happened.”
When contacted, Abhinav Deshmukh, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, he said, “Nobody was sent on a foreign trip. This information is not correct. They were sent on a personal leave and recently, I had a meeting with them.”