Ranchi, Oct. 2: A 24-year-old youth with links to several rebel factions was picked by a group of unidentified men from his home around 30km from Ranchi on Tuesday and shot dead.
SP (rural) A. V. Minz said he got to know about the murder of Manoj Mahto at Kedli around 4pm. But according to police officials from Burmu, the armed group abducted the youth around 2.30pm from his home in the presence of family members and killed him at a spot 200m away.
The group, whose members were yet to be identified, fired two rounds, said residents.
Minz said Mahto’s body bore marks of two bullet wounds. “While one was on the right side of the neck, the other was on his left leg. The body has been sent for post-mortem to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences,” he said.
But the police officer could not spell out the possible reasons behind the murder. “Prima facie it appears that Maoists are involved as those who killed Mahto were in uniform. But according to our information, Maoists aren’t active in the area. Hence, we are not sure whether it was Maoists or any other group,” he said.
While Minz said investigations were on, local residents claimed that Maoists were behind the murder. “Mahto was responsible for the murder of Ram Charan, a CPI (Maoist) area commander, who was shot dead on June 7 last year. Hence, there is every possibility that Maoists are involved,” said a middle-aged villager.
Others in the locality claimed that members of Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a Maoist offshoot, were involved in the killing of Mahto as he had developed “close links” with People Liberation Front of India.
Sources in the police denied this, but said that some days ago, Mahto helped recover as many as four rifles and more than 80 rounds of ammunition from extremists.
An FIR had not been filed till reports last came in. Minz said it would done only after complying with legal formalities after relatives of the victim turned up at the police station and register a statement with the police.