Prima facie investigation into the Maoist attack on BJP former MLA Gurucharan Nayak which led to the killing of two police constables on Tuesday evening in the West Singhbhum district has exposed disregard of security protocols by the leader on Tuesday.
“There have been several attempts made on the leader and he had been advised by the Goilkera police station official on several occasions not to venture into rebel infested area without informing the local police station. However, he did not pay heed to the warning and ventured into Jheelruwan which has a sizeable Maoist presence to attend the prize distribution ceremony of a football match at the Project High School without prior information to the police,” said a senior police official, preferring anonymity.
The senior police officer of the rank of deputy superintendent, further said that going by the statements of the driver of the BJP leader and local eyewitnesses, the Maoists this time were not keen on attacking the leader but on snatching the automatic Insas rifles of the bodyguards.
“No attempt was made by over 50 Maoists to catch hold of the BJP leader who was trying to escape from the ground on an SUV driven by a driver and a security guard. Instead over five Maoists caught hold of the two bodyguards and attempted to snatch their Insas rifles,” said the official.
West Singhbhum superintendent of police, Ajay Linda confirmed of the breach of security protocols by the former MLA.
“There are laid out standard operating procedures for going to rebel hit areas and one needs to inform the local police station before attending functions so that additional reinforcement can be sent in. However, this was not done in this case.
“The former MLA had been advised by the police officials against venturing into such areas. But unfortunately, the leader had gone to the function without any prior information to the police, that too at 5 pm with only three security personnel,” said Linda.
The police superintendent further said, “Going by the multiple injuries sustained on the bodies of the constables Shankar Nayak and Thakur Hembrom, it appears that they had resisted attempts to snatch their rifles. We have heard from locals that Maoists had hemmed in the security guards from all sides while over five Maoists had caught hold of them.”
Significantly, Maoists had started firing during the closing ceremony of a football competition held on Tuesday at the Project High School in Jheelruwan ground at around 5.30 pm.
While Nayak, who had gone to distribute prizes of the winners, managed to escape along with his driver and security personnel on an SUV. But two of his bodyguards were killed. The bodies of the bodyguards were recovered by police on Wednesday morning and sent for post-mortem at Chakradharpur sub-divisional hospital.
Nayak had survived earlier attempts made by Maoists on January 9, 2012 (while he was the Manoharpur MLA) at rebel-hit Harta village in Anandpur block of the West Singhbhum district. Another attempt was made on the same day at the Khatangbera village of the same block.
Nayak while speaking to The Telegraph admitted that he had not informed the Goilkera police station.
“I used to attend the prize distribution ceremony of the football competition every year since it is situated barely 2km from my house in Sonua and there were banners and posters all along the ground informing about my presence in the ceremony. So I did not inform the police station as they might have been aware. However, I usually do inform the police before going to rebel hit areas,” said Nayak.