The family members of the three alleged Maoists killed in an exchange of fire in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh on Tuesday claimed that the three were “common villagers” and were killed by security forces in a fake encounter.

Bastar range Inspector General of Police, S.R.P. Kalluri had claimed that the three “Maoists” — Dudhi Bhima, Vetti Lachhu and Sodhi Muya — all three residents of Arlampalli village in Sukma, were killed in an encounter with a joint team of the CRPF, the District Reserve Guard and the Special Task Force of the Chhattisgarh police.

Agitated family members and villagers from Arlampalli and nearby habitations reached Dornapal town on Tuesday night to complain about the fake encounter.

On Wednesday, family members of the victims submitted a complaint to the Sukma Collector and Superintendent of Police and demanded that a case of murder be registered against the security forces.

According to Manish Kunjam, the president of Adivasi Mahasabha who led the villagers to the district headquarters, the encounter was “absolutely fake.” “These boys were going towards forest to get a local drink. The security personnel stopped one of the boys and started thrashing him without any reason.

When he tried to run away, he was shot dead. The policemen then asked the other two boys to carry the body of their friend to the Pollampalli police station. However, on the way to Pollamapali, both of them were shot dead,” Mr. Kunjam told The Hindu.