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‘Martyr’ Kishan in poster

Midnapore, Nov. 12: Posters police found at the site of an encounter with Maoists in West Midnapore today refer to rebel leader Kishan as “shaheed (martyr)”.

The police said the four posters were accredited to a previously unheard-of group — the Tribal Platoon of CPI (Maoist). The police said the group could be a breakaway faction of the CPI (Maoist).

The posters appear to criticise the parent organisation.

One of the posters says the Tribal Platoon of CPI (Maoist) would not allow the name of “shaheed Kishanji” to be used for “personal gains”. Another claims the rebel group will not tolerate the “humiliation” of Marshal, an expelled Maoist leader. A third poster calls Maoist leader Bikash a “traitor”. Bikash had led the villagers who demolished CPM functionary Anuj Pandey’s house in Dharampur last year.

An officer said the Maoists in Lalgarh had broken up into two factions after rebel leaders “started killing poor tribals”.

West Midnapore superintendent of police Manoj Verma said there was no information on Kishan since an encounter with the Maoists inside the Hatilote forest in the district on March 26 in which the rebel leader was “badly injured”.

A Maoist source said the posters had been “doctored” as part of a police ploy to track Kishan.

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