Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Two CPM men shot by Maoists

TNN 31 August 2009, 03:51am IST

PURULIA: A CPM local committee secretary and a party member were shot dead in Purulia on Saturday evening. A Maoist group active in the district has
claimed responsibility for both the killings. No arrests have been made so far. These are the fifth and sixth such killing in the district since February.

Lakshmikanta Kumar (54), secretary of CPM's Chatuhasa local committee under Arsa block, was on the way to his residence at Sidurpur after attending a meeting. The bicycle-borne Kumar was on the Sidurpur-Mundali road when two motorcycles came from behind and shot him dead.

Near his body was found a leaflet with the CPI (Maoist) insignia. Arsa block, adjoining Ayodhya hills, has been seeing Maoist attacks since April 2008. On March 28, Kanai Kumar was killed by suspected Maoists.

A little over four hours later, Maoists struck at neighbouring Balarampur block's Mahalitar. Armed Maoists chased and entered the house of Bharat Hembram (40) and shot him dead. Hembram had announced in public his decision to quit CPM, but couldn't escape Maoist bullets.

Around 11.30 pm, Bharat was in the verandah of his house at Mahalitar when he saw armed men coming towards his hut. Sensing trouble, Bharat entered his room and bolted it. But the thatch-and-bamboo door was not enough to protect him. The armed men entered the room and sprayed bullets on him. They left behind a poster claiming that Bharat was a police informer and "punished for his misdeeds." Later, a Maoist leader, who identified himself as Bikram, claimed responsibility for the killings.

SP Rajesh Yadav said raids were on to nab the killers. "It could be the handiwork of the same squad. The distance between both the places is about 8-10 km," Yadav said.

The district CPM leaders are upset with the police failure to thwart strikes by the ultras. "Till date, eight of our members have been killed at Balarampur and three at Arsa. Police haven't been able to do anything," said CPM state committee member Manindra Gope.

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