Raipur, May 16: Maoists slit the throats of six Chhattisgarh villagers and threw their bodies in a forest after branding them police informers and trying them in a kangaroo court watched by scores of residents.
The incident occurred at 1am today in Rajnandgaon, chief minister Raman Singhs home district that has not had a full-time police chief for three months.
One of the victims, chosen from three villages in the Maanpur area, was a sarpanch (village head). The murders come days after Maoists in battle fatigues killed four villagers in Bengals Shilda for the same reason.
In Chhattisgarh, sources said, over 100 rebels stormed the villages and asked the residents to assemble at the kangaroo court. A district police officer said the rebels assaulted the six men, including sarpanch Veersai Mandavi, before killing them in front of the crowd and throwing the bodies in a nearby forest.
The sources said the police failed to reach the spot as the rebels had laid an ambush. The personnel were asked to stay back and send the villagers to collect the bodies, a source said.
State police chief Vishwa Ranjan said the bodies were found later today.
Sources said rebel movement in the pocketŚalong the border with Maharashtra Ś had intensified over the past few months. Last July, the rebels had killed 36 security personnel, including Rajnandgaon police chief Vinod Kumar Choubey.
Of late, with the rebels camping in the villages and seeking help, the tide had turned against them.
The district superintendent of police, Praveer Das, is working on a temporary arrangement even as the Maoists expand their base everyday.
About three months ago, Das was ordered to swap places with Korba superintendent of police Ratanlal Dangi, who is yet to join.