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HC prod on death probe

Ranchi, Jan. 17: Jharkhand High Court today asked the Garhwa superintendent of police to report what action had been taken to nab a Naxalite who apparently led villagers to protest the alleged rape and murder of a minor girl in a village on January 13.

A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice S. Chandrashekhar, hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed suo motu after taking cognisance of police inaction in registering the murder in Bandu village, directed Michael Raj S. to furnish a sealed report on action taken to arrest Prashant Thakur.

Garhwa police had told the court about the rebelís presence in Bandu village, which falls under Ranka station.

Complying with the courtís directions yesterday, police submitted the original station diary and the case diary of the murder before the bench.

Entries on the station diary confirmed that the police received news of the 11-year-oldís murder at 7.30am on January 14. Chowkidar of Ranka station Harul Rashid, who was sent to the village, confirmed the incident by 10.30am.

He also informed the police station that the villagers had found the body of the girl tied to a tree in the jungle and alerted that a section of protesters were being led by Thakur.

The station diary further showed that the SP had passed instructions at 1.30pm to send JAP and CRPF jawans to the village that is in a Naxalite-hit area. Police also had information that a 40-member squad of the Maoist Communist Centre was camping in the area.

The forces reached the village later in the evening on January 14, informed additional advocate-general Ajit Kumar.

The bench, while directing the police to continue its probe, asked for the case diary again on January 29.


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