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Public rebel threat spurs combing mission

Jamshedpur, Aug. 19: Police and paramilitary forces today fanned out in Chowka block, Seraikela-Kharsawan district, after a squad of some 25 armed CPI(Maoist) rebels last night threatened to blow up around 200 villagers at Palastand village on Chandil-Chowka Road, about 30km from Jamshedpur.

Dramatically around 9pm last night, the Maoists came before villagers, including some 40 women, when they were carrying the body of 50-year-old Yogendra Tuddu whom the rebels had beheaded at Hesakocha village, Chowka, on Saturday night.

Villagers, who received the body yesterday afternoon after post-mortem at the MGM Medical College mortuary, had also demonstrated before Chowka police station to seek security from rebel attacks.

Tuddu, president of Palna Dam Fishery Co-operative Society in Chowka, was fatally attacked by a group of Maoists on Saturday late night, two days after he had been critical of rebel activities at Hesakocha village.

“Last night, we put Tuddu’s body on a pick-up van and were walking behind the vehicle towards Hesakocha burial grounds when armed rebels appeared before us at Palastand village on Chandil-Chowka Road, from where the Hesakocha was about 7km away. They stopped us and said that if we proceeded even a single step, they would blow us up with bombs,” a Hesakocha villager said.

“As they had rifles, we got scared and took a U-turn,” the villager added. “We walked 2km to reach Khunti village and spent the night under the open sky and went back to Hesakocha only after daybreak today to bury Tuddu.”

Chandil circle inspector Arvind Kumar Singh confirmed the villagers spent the intervening night under the open sky fearing rebel attack.

This morning, getting news of the public threat by rebels to villagers from Chandil circle inspector Singh, Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Madan Mohan Lal ordered an extensive combing operation of Chowka jungles.

“The combing operation is still on,” Singh told The Telegraph. “Paramilitary forces, including CRPF and district police jawans, are taking part in the mission. So far they have not traced the rebels.”

Going by intelligence sources, a sizeable number of CPI(Maoist) rebels are camping deep inside the forest cover in Chowka block for the last one month.

Maoist diktat

Chatra: The CPI(Maoist) has ordered through posters and a press note that machines should not be used for coal loading at CCL’s Piparwar project. Besides, sidings at five places from where coal is transported outside the colliery area too should remain closed till further orders.