Bhubaneswar: In a setback to the state government, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has dismissed a petition to reconsider its earlier order directing the government to pay `2 lakh additional compensation to the relatives of the deceased persons in a mistaken firing incident of 2016 during anti-Maoist operation at Gumudumaha in Kandhamal district.
Earlier, the state government had paid `7 lakh as ex gratia to the family of each deceased October 13, 2016.
The rights panel had asked the government to grant the money within two months and submit a compliance report to the commission in August 2018. It had also asked the government to provide `50,000 more to each of the persons injured in the exchange of fire.
The government, however, did not pay the additional amount to the next of kith of the victims, but submitted an application to the commission to reconsider its January 24 order. The commission, on the other hand, found no reason to reconsider its earlier order.
Recently, the relatives of the victims who are yet to get the additional relief provided by the OHRC in 2018 met the rights panel to express their grievances.
Notably, as part of an anti-Maoist operation by the Special Operation Group (SOG) jawans of Odisha Police fired at a group of tribals in Gumudumaha forest under Baliguda police limits in Kandhamal July 8, 2016.
The tribals were innocent people who were returning to their village in an auto-rickshaw under Parampanga Gram Panchayat after collecting their MNREGS. Suspecting them to be Naxalites, the SOG jawans fired at them killing five on the spot injuring four others.
The deceased were identified as Kukal Digal,50, ex-Naib Sarpanch of Parampanka GP, Luta Digal,25, Timari Mallik, Bringuli Mallik and Midiali Mallik, all women aged 40 years and Giheji Digal, a 2-year-old child.