Rebels abduct 4 villagers in Khunti district

RANCHI: Maoists abducted four villagers in Adki block of Khunti district, on Saturday night. Though one of the abducted villagers, Akal Munda, managed to escape, Surendra Munda (22), Sikur Munda (45) and Hindu Munda (50) are yet to be traced. No phone call has been made by the Maoists either to the police or any local leader. The Maoists are demanding the surrender of a couple of “police informers” who are kin of those abducted.

The police suspect that the villagers might have been killed, but no report of dead body recovery from Adki has been reported. Khunti SP Amarnath Mishra said the district police is combing the hills and jungles of Adki to find the victims. Sources said that a group of Maoists, armed with weapons, had walked into Levan village and called for the four villagers. “When they did not come out, the rebels threatened the villagers of dire consequences,” said the source. The four villagers, whose names the rebels had announced, eventually surrendered.

Every household in the village, though, kept its doors shut, the sources added. The rebels announced that they (abducted persons) would be released after people of Levan handover three persons to them. After the announcement the rebels forced the abducted villagers to walk with them to the jungles, Khunti SP informed. “The rebels announced that they would release all the abducted villagers if the three persons sre handed over to them,” said Mishra.

The persons, wanted by the Maoists, are suspected to be police informers. “The Maoists have charged the three of being police informers,” said the Khunti SP. Home to 30,000-odd tribals, Khunti is a haven for PLFI rebels and othe Maoist splinter groupls, who have killed more than 90 persons in th past 10 months. The government on Monday formally launched an offensive against PPLFI), considered the biggest threat to security in the state after CPI (Maoists).

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