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Rebel killed, finger at gang war

Ranchi, July 24: The bullet-riddled body of a rebel belonging to Jharkhand Prastuti Committee was recovered from an area in Panki in Palamau district today.

Ishwari Oraon, who was in camouflaged police uniform, is suspected to have been killed in a gang war last evening. A countrymade pistol was found near the body.

Confirming the killing, Palamau superintendent of police (SP) Y.S. Ramesh told The Telegraph over phone: “Our preliminary inquiries suggest that he was killed by his rivals following a dispute over sale/purchase of firearms. We have sought reports from different police stations about his crime record.”

The police officer further said that Oraon was earlier associated with the PLFI, a splinter group of Maoists that is mainly engaged in collecting levy. Later, he joined the Jharkhand Prastuti Committee, another rebel faction, and had been actively working for it for the past two-three years.

With security forces stepping up offensives across the state, Naxalites, even those belonging to splinter groups, seem to have been pushed into a tight corner. The internal rivalries in the rebel groups have also intensified.

In the recent past, several rebels were killed by their own men in different parts of the states following disputes, mainly over proportional distribution of levy and exchange of firearms.

In many cases, the rebels were killed by their comrades after being dubbed police informers.

As for Oraon’s death, SP Ramesh said that they were trying out to find out the gang behind the murder.

“Our investigations are on in full swing. The culprits will be soon brought to book,” he added.