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Former rebel found dead

Ranchi, May 11: A former squad member of the CPI(Maoist), wanted in a rape case and for waging war against the state, was found murdered in a Latehar forest this morning, two days after he went missing.

The body of Arun Yadav (25) recovered from Barwadih forest — barely a kilometre from his native village of Kone and 8km from the district headquarters — was trussed up, partially charred and squashed under his motorbike. While it is not exactly clear what caused his death, police suspect personal enmity behind the murder.

According to a section of local residents, Yadav was “abducted” from neighbouring Orwai village, where he went to “settle old scores” on Wednesday night. “His body was found in the forest around 10am today. Both his hands and legs were tied, his face burnt perhaps to delay identification and he seemed trapped under his own bike. Police recovered the body and sent it to sadar hospital for post-mortem,” a resident said.

Latehar SP G. Kranti Kumar confirmed the incident and said Yadav was wanted in two cases, including a rape. “He was killed by villagers over some personal dispute,” the SP added, but expressed his inability to give the exact reason behind the murder. “Why he was killed is a matter of investigation, which we have begun.”

A source, however, claimed that Yadav had come to Orwai, 5km from Kone, to participate in a tribal festival on Wednesday morning. “During the programme, he had a dispute with villagers over some issue. Police intervened and handled the situation. But, Yadav returned for revenge with six friends, all in inebriated condition, later in the night. A village mob chased them. His friends escaped, but Yadav was caught near Barwadih River. After that what happened is not clear,” he said.

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