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The Chhattisgarh Police on Friday refuted Maoist allegations of staging a recent encounter in which six Naxals were killed, saying it was a tactic to undermine the credibility of security forces and a diversionary method to hide their own violent acts.

Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P emphasised that Maoists often resort to such claims to divert attention from their own violent acts, highlighting the extremists’ responsibility for numerous civilian deaths.

He was reacting to a statement of banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) who claimed that the encounter in the state’s Bijapur district on Wednesday was staged and the six persons were killed by police after they were caught.

The incident in question also involved a photograph circulating on social media showing a man with his hands bound, surrounded by security personnel in a forest in Bijapur. Subsequently, police shared images of the bodies of six Naxalites.

The resemblance between the man in the photograph and one of the slain Naxalites raised questions, prompting IG Sundarraj to assure that an investigation would be carried out and the authenticity of the photograph will be checked with relevant units.

“Would gather information regarding authenticity and facts about it from the concerned units,” the IPS officer said.

A purported statement attributed to Ganga, the secretary of the South Bastar Division Committee of Maoists, alleged that two of their cadres and four villagers were detained, interrogated, and later killed by the police during the encounter, which they claimed was staged.

The Maoists denied the presence of armed cadres or any exchange of fire during the incident.

The Inspector General said, “It is the typical modus operandi of Naxals to level allegations against the security forces to puncture the credibility of security forces.” “Maoists conveniently forget that they are responsible for brutal killings of hundreds and hundreds of innocent civilians. Just to distract the attention from their inhumane act, they issue these kinds of statements. All concerned understand the reality that the Maoists are facing their extinction,” he added.