Relatives of CRPF constable Subhas Sourav Barla, killed in Wednesday’s militant attack in Srinagar, mourn at Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi on Friday. They returned with the martyr’s body to his native Hazaribagh in the evening. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, March 15: A group of 20-odd Maoists razed the boundary wall of a middle school in Latehar when the students were attending their last period on Tuesday, apparently fearing that the building might be later used as a camp by security personnel.
The incident came to light only on Wednesday, as the residents of Salve village did not report the matter to police.
Officers at Garu police station, 12km from the village, came to know about the incident from an informer following which they visited the spot, 150km the district headquarters, yesterday afternoon.
According to a source, the rebels feared security forces engaged in anti-Naxalite operation might use the school premises. The CRPF has a camp near Garu police station.
“Before the last period was over, around 20 Maoists who were armed reached the school and demolished the newly built boundary wall. The Maoists also assaulted president of the local gram siksha samiti Vishram Oraon, who was in the school to supervise the finishing work on the boundary wall. The rebels were also looking for a schoolteacher, Prasad Baitha, who fortunately escaped,” the source added.
The residents are terrified after the incident, but the Maoists asked them to keep sending their children to the school, the only one at the village.
The source pointed out the school has 275 children, who are taught by four teachers, two of them para-teachers.
Latehar SP Kranti G. Kumar said: “No one turned up at the police station to register an FIR. The matter came to the fore after the police, who were informed by sources on Wednesday, visited the school yesterday to get details.”
A Maoist was killed in a fresh encounter with the police and paramilitary forces at Kudabera village of West Singhbhum this afternoon. The encounter followed a search operation by the personnel to trace the bodies of six villagers who were reportedly killed by the rebels at a people’s court at Manmaru village on March 12.