CPM leaders gunned down, finger at Maoists
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- Published 2.01.08
|(Top) Relatives grieve over the CPM leader’s body at Balarampur, Purulia. (Below) The same picture in Chapra, Nadia. Pictures by Mita Roy and Palash Debnath|
Krishnagar/Purulia, Jan. 2: Maoists shot dead two CPM leaders, in Nadia’s Chapra and Purulia’s Balarampur, within 12 hours since last night.
Ramprasad Mondal, 50, a local committee member of the CPM and a primary teacher, was cycling to school around 10.45 this morning when he ran into a gang of six, between 20 and 25 years old.
Dressed in shirts, trousers and sleeveless sweaters, the youths surrounded Mondal on a field in Madhabpur village in Chapra, about 130km from Calcutta.
Witnesses told police that two of them whipped out revolvers and shot Mondal from point-blank range in the chest and head. He died on the spot.
Mondal is the sixth CPM leader to be killed by Maoists in Nadia since June 2005.
“The murder is the handiwork of Maoists. Police movement is difficult in the area because of poor road links. The Maoists are taking advantage of that to strengthen their base in Chapra,” Nadia superintendent of police H.K. Kusumakar said.
Around 50 printed leaflets were found at the spot that warned villagers against testifying in cases pending against Maoists. “Anyone standing witness against us will meet a similar fate,” one of them read.
However, Mondal was not a witness in any such case.
Some posters also warned the villagers against hobnobbing with the police.
Local CPM legislator Samsul Alam said the rebels had earlier threatened to kill Mondal, who had been campaigning against Maoist activities
Mondal’s daughter Mohua, 20, said the family knew about the threat. “My father had not been staying out late. That is why the Maoists killed him in broad daylight,” she said.
Another band of Maoists chose the cover of darkness to kill Narayan Majhi.
The 42-year-old CPM branch committee member had gone to bed around 11 last night when 20 men in olive green fatigues barged into his house in a Balarampur village in Maoist-infested Purulia.
They tied the widower’s hands and dragged him out. The gang then shot him in the chest and ear.
“When my son shouted for help, I pleaded with them to let him go... They dragged him out and killed him,” wept Majhi’s 72-year-old mother Dhundi.
The killers left behind posters threatening to intensify Maoist movement against corruption in gram panchayats and the CPM.
“Narayan Majhi was killed by Maoists,” said Pranab Kumar Das, the additional superintendent of police.
Hours before Majhi was shot, 20 Maoists raided a house 4km away. They took away a double-barrel gun, a motorbike and a cellphone from the house of Abinash Kumar, a ration dealer at Jugidihi village.
The gang then raided two more houses before setting fire to the home of a CPM local committee member in an adjoining village.