The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rebels after police scalp

Bokaro, Aug. 5: A policeman has been branded a “thief” and “sentenced” to death. The young as well as the old have been asked to take up arms against the custodians of law.

In this unforgiving terrain, the Maoist Communist Centre has taken its battle to the police. Three handwritten posters left by the Naxalite outfit at the Gomia railway station have described Bokaro superintendent of police Anil Palta as a “thief” and vowed to punish him suitably.

Palta had last month led a force to Jhumra Pahad, an MCC stronghold, and recovered a trunk containing Rs 14 lakh.

The posters declared that the rebels have sentenced the officer to death and say the amount “stolen” by the SP belonged to the outfit. They also urge children, youths and the aged to take up arms against the police and avenge arrests, death and torture.

The Bokaro SP, however, seemed unruffled by the posters. He said they merely indicated the desperation of the rebels. “This is a sign of their frustration and I know how to handle them,” Palta said.

In another poster that appeared at Ghato, the rebels dismissed police claims to say the force recovered nothing from Jhumra Pahad. If the police were gloating at the recovery of a few goats, the outfit said, the MCC could also provide a long list of arms and ammunitions it had seized from the police.

“But our group does not believe in making idle boasts,” the poster said.

Palta’s name heads the hit list of extremists in Jharkhand along with another superintendent of police, Abdul Ghani Meer, who is posted in Chhatra.

Earlier, handwritten posters had appeared in the rural as well as urban areas of Chhatra declaring that Meer would have to pay with his life for the death of three of their comrades — Sandip Ganjhu, Baleshwar Ganjhu and Mahendra Ganjhu — in police encounters.

An alert has been sounded following the appearance of the posters and the week-long statewide bandh called by the MCC and the People’s War to protest the death sentences on Naxalites charged with the massacre in Beltu, Hazaribagh, a couple of years ago. Fifteen “class enemies and police informers” were butchered in that massacre.

Intelligence agencies are learnt to have alerted the state government about the possibility of “Naxalite reinforcement” being rushed from Bihar to enforce the strike.

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