By- Isha Khandelwal
In the matter of the killings of seventeen villagers from Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta villages in Bijapur by security forces in Sarkeguda Village, on the night between 28th and 29th June, 2012, a Judicial Inquiry Commission headed by Justice VK Agarwal was instituted to look into the said killings.
The police and state administration contends that the seventeen killings were a casualty to the encounter that occured on the night between the security forces and the Naxalites while the villagers insist that there was no such encounter that night and a peaceful village meeting with the purpose of planning for an annual “Beej Pandum” festival was opened fire at, resulting in the death of many innocent tribals including 7 juveniles.
The inquiry is almost close to completion with only 2 witnesses remaining to testify. One from the State’s side and one from villagers which is scheduled for 12th and 13th November. In November, hopefully dates will be given for final arguments.
Over the last 4 years, various people from villagers, police’s, CRPF’s and State’s side have testified in the court. On 20th and 21st August, 2016, the VK Agarwal Inquiry Commission administered the cross-examination of Dr. G.S. Dhruv who was posted as a Medical Officer in District Hospital Bijapur on the date of the incident and was a part of a team comprising of him, Dr. Shailendra Kumar and Dr. S.K. Samad, set up to conduct the post-mortem and medical examinations of the deceased villagers and injured CRPF jawans and villagers.
The cross-examination, conducted by Dr. Yug Chaudhary, Senior Advocate, Mumbai High Court revealed in the court gross inconsistencies in the post-mortems, contradictions which to our understanding clearly indicates that the postmortem reports were written without the postmortem actually being ever conducted.
Despite all odds, villagers have been putting up a great fight for so many years and thus at this juncture, it is important that we all bring back ours (and everyone else’s) focus to this horrendous incident by writing/talking about it.
copy of the testimony of the doctor testimony