Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rebels strike again, 2 dead

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SUDHIR KUMAR MISHRA

Ranchi, May 23: Separate incidents of Naxalite violence in Garhwa, Simdega and Chatra districts during the past 24 hours have left two dead and parts of a school, that was used a polling booth, damaged by explosives.

Two persons were beaten to death by CPI(Maoist) rebels under Bhandaria police station in Garhwa district’s Banbar village last evening. According to Garhwa police superintendent Saket Singh, the rebels first asked one Paswar to provide them with a 9mm pistol. When he pleaded his inability to do so, he was beaten to death with lathis.

One Maqsood, too, was beaten to death in a similar way. A handbill left by the rebels at the spot stated that Maqsood used to extort money in the name of their party organisation and that he was also a rapist.

“Maqsood was a notorious criminal. He was released from jail about a month ago. But on what basis did the rebels demand a 9mm pistol from Paswar is rather intriguing. Both cases are being investigated,” said Singh over phone.

Jharkhand Liberation Tiger rebels set ablaze two dumpers near Hatihar village under Bano police station in Simdega district. Sources at the police headquarters maintained the incident was an outcome of a dispute over levy amounts.

In Chatra district, suspected Maoist rebels blew up two blocks of a middle school building in Kaura village under Pratapur police station. During the just concluded Lok Sabha elections, the police had put up camps in these buildings. Certain portions of Gumla, Simdega, Khunti, Ranchi, Latehar, Chatra and Palamau districts have been reeling from tension for the past few days, following the killing of two People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) activists in Gumla district in a police encounter.

The PLFI had given a bandh call yesterday, alleging that the encounter was fake.

The bandh evoked mixed response, but the PLFI have sent a handout calling for an indefinite bandh, “if the errant police officers were not taken to task soon”. They have also demanded compensation for the aggrieved families.

Last month, five villagers were killed in Barhania village in Latehar district. Initially, the police claimed the victims were rebels, but “sustained efforts” by local villagers, coupled with Maoist-inspired bandhs, compelled Governor Syed Sibtey Razi to order a high-level inquiry.

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