Naxals set afire a panchayat building in Gadchiroli

The naxalites of CPI (Maoist) struck again in protest against the killing of Maoist leader Kishenji and set ablaze a gram panchayat office at Vairagarh under Armori tahsil, bordering Chhattisgarh in Gadchiroli district, some 250 kms from Nagpur in eastern part of Vidarbha, on Monday late night.

According to reports, a group of armed left-wing extremists stormed the village on late Monday night and set afire the four-room panchayat bhavan.

The Maoist act was on in Vairagarh when a huge public gathered at the village ground to watch a play on late Monday night. After setting the panchayat office building afire, the naxalites reached the venue of the play and announced before the people that they have set panchayat bhavan afire in protest against the killing of Kishenji.

The senior Maoist and politburo member of CPI (Maoist), Kishenji was killed in a joint operation of CRPF and the state police in Junglemahal area of West Bengal on Thursday last. Maoists have claimed Kishenji’s killing as stage managed and fake.

The district police informed that they found pamphlets and posters left behind by the naxalites in the village that vowed avenging the killing of Kishenji and condemned the government for the killing. The CPI (Maoist) pamphlets and posters accused the union government and the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of hatching a conspiracy to kill the Maoist leader.

The naxalites vowed to take revenge on the security forces “who killed Kishenji in cold blood” and called up the people to observe a “protest week,” beginning from November 29.

This is the second such incident in the district in a week. Earlier, the Left-wing extremists had set on fire a gram panchayat office at Malewada under Kurkheda tahsil in the district on Saturday last.

The naxalites also decamped with three computer sets installed in the panchayat office of Vairagarh.

Meanwhile, red alert has been sounded in the tribal district of Gadchiroli in view of the “protest week.” The district administration suggested the security forces to remain vigilant and take precautionary steps to thwart any attempt of violence during the protest week.

The district police superintendent (SP), Viresh Prabhu and other senior officials held series of meetings on Tuesday to chalk out strategies to foil any eventuality of naxalites during their week-long protest.

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