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Rebel rivals shaken

Ranchi, March 5: By killing JMM MP Sunil Mahto, the rebels have dealt a heavy blow to the Nagrik Suraksha Samity (NSS), a forum created to fight Naxalite menace in Ghatshila subdivision in which the legislator was active.

NSS was floated about five years ago by former East Singhbhum superintendent of police Arun Oraon to mobilise villagers against the rebels. Until Oraon was transferred, the district administration was forthcoming in its help to the organisation. After the government aid started ebbing, Mahto volunteered to help. He used to attend meetings and speak to the villagers on the need to take on the rebels.

NSS insiders said the killing has shaken the organisation. “If the rebels could target an elected representative so easily, it would be much more easier to target NSS members,” said a senior functionary.

The killing, NSS workers said, would make them wary of organising meetings in Naxalite-affected villages.

NSS chief Shanker Hembram said they get information about the MP’s visits to Naxalite strongholds from the organisers concerned. “But in this case, the organisers did not inform us. There must be a probe into this.”

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