MALKANGIRI:Tension prevailed in Balakati village of Tumsapalli panchayat under Malkangiri police limits after two villagers were killed by Andhra Pradesh Greyhounds, who mistook them for Maoists. Sileru (AP) police handed over the bodies to Chitrakonda police on Thursday.
The villagers identified the bodies at Chitrakonda police station as those of Ganga Padiami (52) and Muka Madkami (55), said Malkangiri IIC Rajkishor Das.
The Malkangiri IIC said about 12 days back, nearly 22 villagers, armed with traditional weapons, including bows and arrows, set out for hunting in Koyur forest. During hunting, they entered the forest under Visakhapatnam agency area, where AP Greyhounds were engaged in a combing operation. While 18 villagers were busy cooking, others went deep inside the forest in search of animals. Presuming the tribal hunters to be Maoists, the AP police opened fire killing Ganga and Muka on the spot. Two other tribal villagers, Ganga Madkami and Irma Kawasi, were seriously injured and admitted to a hospital in Visakhapatnam. The other tribal hunters returned after hearing the firing, said the Malkangiri IIC, basing on inputs from Sileru police.
The Sub-Inspector of Sileru police station B Satyanarayan said the encounter took place on February 21 and post-mortem was conducted by Mumpa police under Visakhapatnam district three days back before the bodies were handed over to Chitrakonda police.
Meanwhile, the locals denied the charges of AP police who termed the villagers as Maoists and also claimed that two guns were recovered from the tribals, who died in the firing.
Stating that they were in the forest only to hunt, the villagers have sought the intervention of the Chief Minister in the matter.
Swapna Padiami, daughter of Ganga Padiami, has demanded justice and compensation for the death of her innocent father.