The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Murder case on encounter cop

Ranchi, Oct. 16: The Jharkhand government today registered a murder case against Pramod Kumar Singh, officer-in-charge of Chainpur police station, over the alleged encounter death of Ajay Yadav, believed to be a People's War area commander.

It has also recalled at least 21 policemen involved in the incident to the police lines pending a departmental inquiry.

The move comes after Maoist outfits in Palamau division stepped up rebel activity, triggering an explosion virtually every day last week to protest Yadav's 'killing'.

Last night, Maoists exploded a powerful bomb ripping apart the forester's office in Manika under Lathar district.

Government sources said Yadav's wife Suganti Devi has written to chief minister Arjun Munda alleging her husband was picked up by police from their house on the evening of October 8.

She said Yadav was taken to the Chainpur jungles after being arrested and was killed there.

Police claim Ajay was killed in an encounter with security forces.

Munda is learnt to have told director-general of police Shivaji Mahan Cairae to order a probe.

After conducting a separate inquiry, human rights groups in the state have concluded police doctored the encounter.

Palamau superintendent of police Murari Lal Meena has been directed to conduct an inquiry himself and submit a separate report to Jharkhand police headquarters.

'There have been specific instructions from the state police headquarters to get the allegations of the deceased's wife investigated. We are conducting an inquiry to find out the truth,' Meena said from Daltonganj.

He said there was no denying that Yadav was the area commander of the outlawed People's War and had tremendous clout in the region as well as the outfit.

The superintendent added that the commander was involved in many murders and attacks on policemen as well as government establishments.

Deputy inspector-general of police (Palamau zone) Kapildeo Prasad Singh said 21 policemen have been ordered to 'report to the police lines' after directions from Jharkhand police headquarters.

Sources in the department said the inquiry could help to rein in the discontent sparked by Yadav's killing. They said the probe could help curb the violence that the Maoists have unleashed since the killing.

The rebel outfit forced a bandh in Palamau division last Monday in protest against the incident and has been triggering blasts targeting government establishments in the region almost daily.

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