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Since 1st March, 1999
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Cops fail to link skeletal find to killing

Bhagalpur, Jan. 30: Munger police today recovered four human skeletons and five decomposed bodies from Tarapur diara falls under Mufassil police station.

Police were left puzzled as to whether the skeletons belonged to the Maoists killed by the Bind gang at Kashibaba Sthan diara near Hiranmar diara, 7km from Tarapur diara, on November 29 last year.

They might be able to link the recovery to the incident once reports of various laboratory tests come in a few days.

Acting on a tip-off provided by the villagers of Maheshpur diara, the inspector- general of police, Bhagalpur range, A.K. Ambedkar, conducted a search opera- tion and recovered four damaged human skeletons and five decomposed bodies till sunset.

Ambedkar, however, refused to admit that all the skeletons and bodies belonged to those Naxalites killed on November 29.

“We have to conduct several laboratory tests to establish the identity of the recovered skeletons and bodies. The matter is being investigated. As of now, we cannot be sure of the identities of the skeletons and bodies recovered today,” he told The Telegraph over the phone.

Sources from Munger claimed that after the water level in river Ganga receded, some villagers spotted the skeletons.

“The skeletons lay scattered in the mud beside the river and villagers alerted the police about them,” said a police officer at Mofussil police station, on the condition of anonymity.

On November 29, Maoists and Bind gangsters exchanged several rounds of fire at Kashibaba Sthan diara under Bariarpur police station of Munger. The Maoists used to collect levy from the gang for the right to fish in a controversial waterbody located beside Budhi Gandak river in Munger district.

The members of the Bind gang invited the Maoists on November 29 on some pretext, before turning the guns on them. Once they killed the Naxalites, the members of the gang took the sophisticated weapons into their possession before fleeing the spot.

The next day, Munger police recovered three bodies, including that of a 12-year- old boy, from Kashibaba Sthan diara under Bariarpur police station of Munger.

After two more days, the police fished out another unidentified body from near the place of occurrence.

After the shootout, the police were not able to figure out the actual number of casualties in the incident.

On the other hand, the spokesperson of the Maoists claimed that the members of the Bind gang killed 12 Maoists and seized their arms and ammunition in the November incident.

The police administration, right from Munger to the state police headquarters at Patna, was in a fix over the incident.

The police officers were neither sure of the exact number of Maoists killed in the exchange of fire nor could they ascer- tain the identities of the bodies recovered on November 30 and on December 3, last year.

The superintendent of railway police, Jamalpur, Alok Kumar, who is holding the additional charge of the Munger superintendent of police, was not available for comment. “I am busy in an impor- tant meeting now,” he said when this correspondent tried to talk to him on his cellphone.

“The operation ended at sunset today. We are arranging dragon lights as the diara is very inaccessible in the absence of any urban facilities,” said a senior police officer in Munger, on the condition of anonymity.

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