Friday, November 19, 2010

Naxals strike Jharkhand village, kill & maim at will

B Vijay Murty and Anbwesh Roy Choudhary, Hindustan Times
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Bundu, November 20, 2010First Published: 00:21 IST(20/11/2010)
Last Updated: 00:22 IST(20/11/2010)

When Pradip Munda was about to start the feast he had been promising his friends, Sanjay Mahato and Sonaram Munda, for a long time, it was well past dinner time in a rainy night. Pradip and his friends, who were quite high on the Maoists’ hit list for their anti-Maoist campaign, also felt secured

because of the presence of a company of Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) in a school building barely 50 metres away.
But it took only four rebels to storm the hutment and kill the three and Pradip’s elder daughter. The policemen dared to come out of their camp only after one and a half hours later and making sure that the rebels had left. “They even asked the village women to shield them,” said angry women,

Next day, as the impact of the violence sank in, anger surfaced in Pradip’s Barahatu village, raising once again apprehensions of a fierce fight between the rebels and the villagers.

Agitated villagers, mostly youngsters who had pledged to resist the rebels, took out rallies with traditional weapons and forced a shutdown in the town.

A shutdown has also been called in four blocks of Ranchi district on Saturday to protest the killings. The villagers are once again regrouping to launch a campaign against the Maoists.

The scene at Pradip’s hutment on Friday morning was gory. Utensils, clothes, bed sheets and a tattered blanket were all soaked in blood and a portion of the roof was blown apart. “Since it was raining, people were inside their houses,” said Pradip’s uncle Pada Lakshman Singh Munda, who came out of his house in the neighbourhood after hearing the gunshots only to find his nephew and the three others dead.

A 14-year-old girl, witness of the incident, said: “Pradip and his friends were seated on a cot inside the house. His wife, Lakhimani, and two daughters were near the hearth when suddenly the rebels came in and sprayed bullets.”

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