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Maoist reprisals feared in red zones

New Delhi, April 3: The Centre and the security establishment fear fresh trouble in Bihar and Jharkhand for families of Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) whose men allegedly killed 10 Maoist leaders in Chatra district on 27 March.

The incident at Lakarbanda village, where senior CPI(Maoist) leaders including a zonal secretary, two platoon commanders and a zonal commander were killed, also threatens to divide communities further in a caste-ridden region. The slain Maoists belonged to Yadav community while the splinter group TPC is dominated by the Ganjhu caste.

Since the likes of Lawlesh Yadav, secretary of the Madhya zonal regional committee, and platoon commanders Jai Kumar Yadav and Praful Yadav went down in Chatra, the are likely to retaliate in their areas of operation that comprises Chatra, Palamau, Hazaribagh and Garhwa districts in Jharkhand and Aurangabad and parts of Gaya in Bihar.

The government, ironically, is under attack for allegedly encouraging and even orchestrating clashes, a charge that it dismisses as plain “Maoist propaganda”.

“We are not in favour of these internecine clashes, as we expect massacres of families by the CPI(Maoist) who will look for revenge,” said a senior government official here.

It is perhaps to prevent reprisals that the TPC had held around 25 Maoists captive, including IED expert Chhoru Das and area commanders Sanjeet and Neeru Yadav.

Sources said the rest were mostly Ganjhu clansmen sought to be defected and “absorbed” into the TPC fold.

TPC was formed in 2004 — the year of the merger of Maoist Communist Centre and CPI(Maoist) — by a group of primarily Ganjhu, Oraon and Bhokta communities opposed to the dominance of Yadavs first in the MCC and then in CPI(Maoist).

Those “absorbed” in TPC are apparently Ganjhus, since the outfit is dominated by the scheduled caste.

However, the seven Yadav members of the CPI(Maoist) have been kept alive and captive who might be used for a bargain later, sources in North Block said.

There is reason though for the Maoists to respond: the incident has limited its capability to move towards Chakrabandha forest from Palamau.

Lohardaga blast

Maoists blew up a panchayat building in Lohardaga on Tuesday night in protest against the killing of 10 of their cadres in Chatra last month. According to Lohardaga SP Jitendra Kumar, a 50-member squad sneaked in from neighbouring Latehar in the dead of night and detonated five explosive devices to blast the new building at Siram village, about 50km from the district headquarters in Jobang.


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