Nov. 28: Four persons have been arrested and another detained for interrogation in connection with the gruesome attack on Jagadish Tiwary and his family at Bansgarh village in the Jhalda police station area of Purulia on Tuesday.
A mob of over 400 people from villages in Bokaro district of Jharkhand raided Tiwary’s house, beheaded him and seriously injured six family members. His home was ransacked and the villagers were cautioned against raising an alarm with threats of a bloodbath.
The district administration and senior police officials believe that the marauders, mainly from Ara Saran, had taken the help of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) activists. “The way they have gone about it, wearing khaki clothes, brandishing weapons and spreading leaflets, strongly indicates that MCC help was on hand,” said district superintendent of police V.K. Goyal.
Other than being the owner of a fair amount of land in both Bengal and Jharkhand, Tiwary was a member of the local forest management group.
Goyal said the attack was an organised “hit-and-run” to eliminate Tiwary.
District magistrate D.P. Jana said this is the first possible MCC attack in Purulia. “Some time back, the MCC activists had distributed leaflets but that’s all. I have asked the superintendent of police to give a detailed report and called a meeting where police officials and political leaders will discuss the incident.” Surveillance posts have been set up along the border with Jharkhand, he said.
Sources said chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who also holds charge of police, had recently agreed to the setting up of a police station at Kotshila, not far from Bansgarh, which is about 1 km from the Jharkhand border.
All the four held had been named in the FIR lodged by the family. None of them is, however, a member of the MCC, the police said. “We are coordinating with the police in Zoradi and Khasma in Bokaro to trace the activists involved,” Goyal said.
Forest minister Jogesh Burman, who expressed dismay at not being informed about the incident yesterday, said in Calcutta the MCC was trying to take over forest areas along the Purulia border in search of hideouts. “They are disguising this motive through their ‘forest for tribals’ slogan,” Burman said.