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Valsa death probe plea

Ranchi/Dumka, Nov. 16: Babulal Marandi has urged the Prime Minister to order a CBI probe into the lynching of Catholic nun Sister Valsa in Pakur last year, claiming that a few arrested villagers were falsely implicated in the case.

The JVM president, who has also written to chief minister Arjun Munda to back his demand, had visited Pachuara village in Amrapara block of Pakur earlier this month to meet relatives of the accused.

“The wives of the accused told me their husbands had been falsely implicated in the case and the actual criminals have not been identified yet. They appeared unhappy with the police action and felt that only a CBI probe could bring out the truth,” Marandi wrote in his letter, dated November 13, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Sister Valsa, who spearheaded an anti-displacement campaign against Panem Coal Mines Limited for a decade, was hacked to death by 45 people, including Maoists, on the night of November 15. Panem, a joint venture of the Punjab electricity board and Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency, has been excavating coal in several villages of the district.

Marandi pointed out that he was approached by Jhanu Devi, wife of Prem Turi, Baha Kisku, wife of Pycil Hembrom, Ranjita Devi, wife of Rakesh Turi and Anshu Lily Soren, wife of Tala Hembrom.

Their husbands were among seven persons arrested in the murder.

Marandi said the women had earlier written letters to the Prime Minister and Munda demanding a CBI probe.

“The case is serious and though the incident occurred a year ago, the reason behind the murder of a popular social worker in the region is not yet known. Questions like who gained from the murder of the nun who worked for the poor and the exploited remains unanswered,” the formed chief minister wrote.

The JVM chief also teamed up with Congress leader Stephen Marandi to launch an indefinite dharna at Pachuara this evening, demanding proper implementation of the MoU signed between Panem and displaced villagers in 2006.

“The dharna will continue until representatives of the government not below the rank of a commissioner and the management of Panem turn up to promise proper execution of the MoU,” Stephen Marandi told The Telegraph.

Stephen Marandi told a gathering of villagers the Panem management had consigned the MoU to the dustbin by acting in collusion with the government and the district administration. Babulal Marandi even hinted at Panem’s hand in Sister Valsa’s murder.