RANCHI: Latehar police on Tuesday exhumed a body 14 days after it was buried in the forest of Nagarnao in Burwadih. The body of Lukas Minj was exhumed after the brother of the deceased lodged an FIR against “unidentified people” accusing them of killing the “hearing and speech impaired” and burying him.
The FIR was lodged by William Minj with Burwadih police alleging that his 31-year-old brother was killed on January 31 while grazing cattle. “It was the same day when police launched a major offensive against the Maoists under Operation Mass and several people were detained and interrogated,” he said. “Since my brother was a hearing and speech impaired, he must not have responded to the calls by security personnel who were combing the forest and was mistaken to be a rebel.”
The complaint, however, did not identify the killers or the security personnel.
Citing the complaint, Burwadih SDPO Mani Lal Mandal said Lukas was killed by unidentified people and police were investigating into the matter.
Laterhar SP Kranti Kumar Garhdesi, who had ordered to exhume the body, said he had taken the decision after receiving the complaint from the brother. “He (Lukas) died under the mysterious circumstances and the body has already been decomposed.”
Kanahiya Singh, a local CPI(ML) leader who helped William lodge the FIR, said the incident that occurred on January 31 coinciding with the massive operation and turning the forests into police camps. He said, “It was because of the terror of the security forces that the family members did not come up with a complaint or even object to the body being buried in the forest,” he added.
Refuting the claims, the SDPO said they had standing instructions from the SP to follow every legal procedure to deal with the case. “Had he suffered bullet injuries from the security forces, the villagers would have immediately come up with the complaint,” he said arguing that the delay in lodging the FIR smelt fishy. In the same operation, the forces recovered 32 landmines and over 100 can bombs from the region.
SDPO Mandal said a report in the matter had been sent to the DC, SP and the SDO and an executive magistrate had been deputed to monitor the process of exhuming the body, videograph the postmortem and constitute a medical board to submit the final report. The formalities of inquest and postmortem under a medical board and final report on the nature of death are pending.
The Maoists have called Jharkhand bandh on February 17 to protest against the “killing” of Lukas Minj.