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Bihar policemen claim awards based on false Naxal encounter claims

Mar 22, 2013 06:57 PM IST India India

New Delhi: The Bihar Police recommended the names of two of its personnel for the President's gallantry medals allegedly for an encounter they did not take part in, a CNN-IBN and Open magazine expose has revealed. The Rohtas Naxal encounter took place in January 2012 and the CRPF has claimed that its officers partook in the operations and that the Bihar police officers reached the site three hours later. They filed a false FIR and reported shooting eight rounds of cartridges during the shootout in which three Naxals were killed.

A CRPF official shot a video to expose these senior policemen who were recommended for the awards. In the video, the officer asks his commandos about the operation to get all the facts on record. During the conversation, the commandos tell him that none of the police officers recommended for the gallantry medals was present during the encounter.

CNN-IBN accessed the video from Open magazine which published the revelations in its latest edition. While all commandos say the police officers, a SHO and a SP, reached the encounter site at least three hours later, the police FIR mentions that the two were actively involved and even fired eight rounds.

Days later, the Bihar government recommended the two for gallantry awards, while the CRPF commandos, who actually faced the bullets, were left out.

Photographs taken after the encounter showed the SP at the spot. The CRPF commandos who were present at the site said the SP and the SHO fired shots in the air after the encounter. Although the channel could not independently confirm this, CRPF officers said that the shots had been fired by the SP and the SHO three hours after the encounter.

Assistant Commandant Praveen Kumar said, "I wrote to the DG, the PM and the President. All I got was this acknowlegdement. But please do something about it."

In the last four years, more than 250 CRPF commandos have lost their lives in anti-Naxal operations. Senior officials of the CRPF and Bihar police refused to comment on the story. None of them wanted to speak out for their officers who actually spend months together in dense forests, fighting the Naxals. Just a week ago, the CRPF recommended commandos Imtiaz and Ramzan for a medal, but they were deprived of the highest honour that may now go to the SP and his SHO.