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Maoists on killing spree

Ranchi, July 25: CPI(Maoist) rebels have killed at least five persons in Lohardaga and Gumla districts in the past two weeks, prompting South Chotanagpur range DIG Praveen Kumar Singh to order probes.

During a law and order review meeting with senior officers of five districts today, Singh directed Lohardaga and Gumla police to locate the bodies and families of the victims.

Apart from these two districts, the police brass of Ranchi, Khunti and Simdega were present at the meeting that was convened in the wake of reports that Maoists were forcing villagers to send their wards to join Bal Dalam, a non-combat wing of the banned outfit.

“Maoists have killed these people and disposed of their bodies. The families have not come forward to lodge any complaint. So, police have been asked to file FIRs on their own and start investigations,” Singh said later.

The DIG, however, added that reasons behind the murders were not clear yet. Asked if the killings had any connection with the recent Maoist diktat, he conceded that the rebels had forcefully taken away around 40 children from the two districts, but ruled out a link to the murders.

Lohardaga police have identified two of the three victims from the district. Govind Turi (50) of Chainpur was shot dead and his body burnt between July 12 and 14. Bandhan Oraon (17) of Putrar village, who left the outfit two years ago, was beaten to death around the same time. Both killings took place within 45km of the district headquarters.

“Maoists branded Turi a police informer and took revenge on Oraon,” said Lohardaga SP Mrityunjay Kumar.

In Gumla, one of the deceased was a resident of Kumari village and the other of Nirasi. “We don’t want to reveal names. Without verification, we can’t pronounce anyone dead,” said SP Bhimsen Tuti.


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