Sunday, November 21, 2010

Villager beheaded, Maoists gun down two CPM

TNN, Nov 22, 2010, 12.41am IST

MIDNAPORE: Suspected Maoists shot a villager and then beheaded him near West Midnapore's Binpur. The body of Ganesh Ahir was found on State Highway 9 early on Sunday morning. The severed head was lying near his left hand. A bullet mark was found on the chest of the beheaded body, police said.

According to a senior police officer, Ahir a resident of Rashidpur village under Lalgarh police station had been working with local CPM camps which had been set up to fight the Maoists. "We have reasons to believe that Maoists are behind the murder," the officer said.

Locals said a group of "miscreants" raided Ahir's residence late on Saturday night. They had reportedly been looking for his nephew Madhu, who is an active CPM supporter. When they could not trace him, the took Ganesh away with them.

Later on Sunday, the Maoists gunned down two influential CPM leaders near Kalsibhanga in West Midnapore. Interestingly, the area is now known to be a CPM stronghold.

The CPM leaders, Pashupati Singh and Rahim Pathar pradhan of Garmaal panchayat of Salboni block and member of CPM's Salboni zonal committee respectively were going to their Bhadutala party office from Kalsibhanga area of Salboni block when the incident occurred.

Pathar and Singh were on a motorcycle and the two others party workers were accompanying them on another bike.

These to CPM workers later told police that it was around 2.30pm when they were passing through Kharikasuli forest near Kalsibhanga. When they reached an area between Kharikashuli and Godamouli, they heard gunshots and accelerated to leave the place as soon as possible. The CPM workers claimed that the guerrillas were firing on them from the forest.

Pathar and Singh, however, could not flee and were stopped by a group of suspected Maoists, who reportedly dragged them deep into the forest.

After local CPM leaders contacted police, a combing operation was launched and the lifeless bodies of Singh and Pathar were found inside Kharikashuli forest.

Syam Pandey, secretary of CPM's Salboni zonal committee, said: "They have been killed by the Maoists while on their way to our party office." Midnapore superintendent of police Manoj Verma confirmed the murders as the handiwork of the Maoists.

The attack is quite significant, as the area had been recaptured by CPM just a few months ago. Salboni area, which once was a CPM bastion, turned into a favourite hideout of the rebels, including their politburo member Kishanji. But since last June, CPM started regaining the turf. In the past couple of months, the party set up several armed camps in this area and police also started believing that Maoists have moved out of the area. For long, no major Maoist activity was noticed in this area, which encouraged the CPM leaders to enter the forest villages.

Sunday's double murder came as a big jolt for the CPM as the Maoists have proved that they are still active in the area and hold power to retaliate.

Read more: Villager beheaded, Maoists gun down two CPM - The Times of India

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