New Delhi: Stepping up its attack on the BJD government in Odisha, a three-member BJP team, which inquired into the killing of five tribals in Kandhamal in a police operation, has accused it of having a "nexus" with Maoists and termed the encounter as "staged".
The committee, which visited there and submitted its report to party president Amit Shah today, said the deceased were innocents and shot down by the police to give an impression that the Naveen Patnaik government was "serious" about fighting Maoists.
"They were innocent and the encounter was staged. It is beyond doubt," the party's vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe told PTI. Its national secretaries Jyoti Dhurve and Ramvichar Nitam, both ST and Members of Parliament, were two other committee members.
Five tribals, including three women and an one-year-old child, were killed on 8 July in what police said was a crossfire during its operation against Maoists.
"The state government has nexus with Maoist elements," the committee said, alleging that a top ultra lodged in jail is believed to "control" the Kandhamal administration.
The committee also accused Patnaik of showing insensitivity as he did not to meet the family members of the victims who were killed when they were on their way back to home after withdrawing MNREGA money from bank accounts.
The BJP committee alleged a tribal youth was killed last year by police on mere suspicion when he was climbing up a hillock so that his mobile could get signals.
It also highlights lack of development and corruption at the local level.
Terming the FIR filed in the case as a "fiction", Sahasrabuddhe said the state government should order a judicial probe under sitting High Court judge to bring out the truth in the case.
Under attack over the incident, the state government has ordered a probe into the incident by a Special Investigating Team (SIT). A judicial inquiry has also been ordered into it.