The killing of 24 people in Chhattisgarh on May 25 could further escalate violence in the State, endangering the lives of more civilians, including adivasis, Amnesty International has warned.

“We unequivocally condemn the taking of hostages and murder of civilians in Chhattisgarh, which constitute serious human rights abuses,” said Shashikumar Velath, Director of Programmes, Amnesty International India.

According to the police, 250 Maoists ambushed a convoy of senior Congress leaders in Bastar, triggered a blast and fired indiscriminately. The attackers killed the former Home Minister, Mahendra Karma, PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh. Patel and his son were said to have been taken hostage before they were killed. The attack left 33 people injured, including the former Union Minister, V.C. Shukla. The banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has claimed responsibility for the attack. Amnesty said: “Authorities must conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the attacks and bring those suspected of criminal responsibility to trial in fair proceedings without recourse to the death penalty. In doing so, they must ensure that adivasi communities are protected from discrimination, violence and harassment.”

Both the CPI(Maoist) and security forces must refrain from any attack that could directly or indirectly lead to civilian casualties. The authorities must also take immediate steps to guard against any attack, including reprisal, which could cause further civilian deaths, it said.

  • ‘Authorities must conduct thorough, impartial probe’

  • ‘CPI (Maoist), security forces must avoid attack leading to civilian casualties’