Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soft target & revenge whiff in 5 murders

Family members of Chunku Soren. (Samir Mondal)

Midnapore, Nov. 22: Suspected Maoists shot two CPM members dead today after a kangaroo court trial in West Midnapore, while the ruling party was accused of the revenge murders of two Trinamul Congress supporters with rebel links.

Paresh Rana and Sushil Mahato were dragged out of their homes in Sankrail and killed, raising the CPM toll in Maoist hands since Saturday to five. Intelligence sources explained that the rebels were going after stray “soft targets” after losing ground to the joint forces and a regrouping CPM.

The bodies of Chunka Soren and Kalipada Tudu, Trinamul supporters linked to the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, were found in Salboni just about 500 metres from the spot where the Maoists had yesterday murdered local CPM leaders Rahim Patar and Pashupati Singh.

The families of the Trinamul duo claimed CPM cadres had killed them to avenge the deaths of Patar and Singh.

In the first incident, the police said, the Maoists forced around 200 people from neighbouring villages to march to Jambedia and Murakati. While Rana, 35, was picked up in Jambedia, Mahato, 53, was dragged out in Murakati.

The bullet-riddled bodies of Rana, a CPM branch committee member, and Mahato, a local committee member, were found in Murakati today.

Patar and Singh were gunned down in Salboni, a day after Maoists beheaded a CPM supporter in nearby Binpur.

Intelligence branch sources said Maoists were targeting “unguarded” local Left leaders after the CPM’s armed recapture of Lalgarh and villages in Salboni and Goaltore. “It is not possible for the rebels in these areas to attack the CPM cadres because they mostly remain inside heavily guarded party offices,” an intelligence official said.

So, he added, the rebels are targeting local CPM leaders who don’t have security rings around them. The rebels believe these leaders “oversee work to strengthen the party’s organisation in the Maoist belt”.

The intelligence sources said the Maoists killed the CPM men in Sankrail and Salboni on the suspicion that they had provided “inputs” to the police which led to the death of eight rebels in an encounter in Salboni in June.

The families of Soren and Tudu said around 20 armed CPM goons picked the duo up from their homes along with five others. Soren’s brother Khudon said: “The CPM goons ordered the seven to attend a meeting. This morning, five of them returned but my brother and Tudu did not.”

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