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Maoists behead two in Munger

Patna, March 2: Maoists beheaded two villagers at Ghughradih in Munger district late last night.

Police said about 50 armed guerrillas raided the village, 160km from Patna, under Haveli Khadagpur police station looking for Kamleshwari Mandal, a village chowkidar, and Kailash Pandit on the claim that they were police informers.

As the armed men reached Kamleshwari’s home, his wife Shobha Devi came out, resisting the guerrillas and pleading with them to kill her first. But the Maoists forcibly removed her from their way and broke into her house to take Kamleshwari out. They also took out Kailash from his home at gunpoint.

Subsequently, the Naxalites took them about 2km away in a field where they slit their throat before beheading them.

However, Munger deputy superintendent of police K. Chandra denied Kamleshwari and Kailash had been police informers.

“The case is being investigated and a massive manhunt has been launched to arrest the culprits,” he said.

On February 17, the Maoists had gunned down 11 people, including women and children, at Korasi village in neighbouring Jamui district on a similar pretext.

Like Kailash and Kamleshwari, those killed at Korasi too belonged to extremely poor families with below poverty line (BPL) cards.

The Maoist raids on the poor people in the state’s hinterlands of late have raised the debate on their professed policy that they had been carrying out armed struggle for the cause of “have-nots”.

Moreover, the beheading of the two in Munger has taken place after CPI(Maoist) strategist Kishen recently announced an apparent ceasefire and offered talks with the government.

There is also a simmering discontent among a large section of police in the state against chief minister Nitish Kumar for opposing the proposed Operation Greenhunt against the guerrillas and advocating a soft option.

The rebels had gained access to a vast region across Munger and Jamui districts bordering Jharkhand.

Recently, the police had unearthed a huge gun factory in a Munger village, which was catering to the armed guerrillas.

Munger is also infamous for ubiquitous arms factories catering to militants and Maoists.

Otherwise, the topography of the districts dotted with hills and forests provides an ideal setting for the armed cadres.

Clash claims three

Three persons were killed, as two groups of people clashed at a toddy shop in Mufassil police station of Samastipur district. “They clashed with lethal weapons at Garuara village yesterday in which three persons, including village chowkidar Bhikhari Rai and Manoj Rai, were killed,” Samastipur superintendent of police Ajitabha Kumar said.

The toddy shop was set ablaze by angry villagers.

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