Maoists kill three Jharkhand royal family members
RANCHI: Suspected Maoists gunned down three Jharkhand royal family members in Lohardaga district, 100km from here, late on Saturday night after the rebels kidnapped them from Peshrar police station area where they (royal family members) had gone for hunting. DIG Ranchi range Arun Kumar Singh said bodies of three members of royal Shahdeo family were recovered on Sunday morning and sent to neighboring Latehar district for postmortem. Deceased Bal Kishore Nath Shahdeo and Lal Jay Kishore Nath Shahdeo (in 50s) are brothers of former chairman Jharkhand Pollution Control Board Thakur Balmukund Nath Shahdeo and Lal Pramod Nath Shahdeo (in 30s) is his cousin. Pramod is the son of Bal Kishore Nath Sahdeo.
They lived in Murmu village in Peshrar block of the district. The erstwhile rulers in Jharkhand, many Shahdeo family members are on the hit-list of Maoists whose activities they have been opposing. The extremists have attacked several Shahdeo family members in past who own big chunk of land across south Chhotanagpur division. Lohardaga is among the worst Maoist-hit districts in Jharkhand. Chief minister Raghubar Das strongly condemned the incident and rushed state rural development minister Neelkanth Singh Munda and DGP D K Pandey to the spot.
The police have deployed central paramilitary forces in the area. “Underlying animosity Maoists have with the royal family members seems to be the reason behind the killings,” Singh said adding only complete investigation would reveal the actual reason. “A group of four Shahdeo family members had gone for hunting in the countryside two days ago. Last (Saturday) night they were holding an informal feast in a village where around two dozen locals had also gathered. There was only one exit point from the village. Maoists encircled them while they were having dinner and kidnapped three royal family members while one of them managed to escape,” a police officer said. They took them a few meters away, tortured and shot them dead. Afraid of Maoists the police arrived at the spot only next morning to retrieve the bodies.
Forces reap rich haul of arms, ammo in Jamui
PATNA: A three-day joint operation launched by the CRPF, its CoBRA battalion and STF unit of the state police deep inside the forest in Jamui district resulted in recovery of huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosives, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) like cylinder bombs and socket bombs, collected by the banned CPI (Maoist) members. Giving details of the operation, CRPF IG (Bihar sector) Arun Kumar, said the action inside Jamui forest was necessitated due to the refusal of the Maoists to allow construction of a small bridge at village Gumraha near Bhimbandh area in Jamui forest. He said the construction of a bridge would facilitate easy movement of forces in the area, so it was decided that the area must be dominated by the force.
The IG said the security forces reached three villages — Kumratari, Gumraha and Bichlitola — in Jamui simultaneously on the night of March 18-19. The operations continued till early Saturday morning. The Maoists escaped on seeing the forces, leaving their arms and ammunition hidden beneath mound of earth. The seizures included over 50 cylinder bombs and five socket bombs (explosives kept underground in water pipe). Besides, 36 rounds of 8mm cartridges, one carbine, several rounds of .303 bore cartridges, 19 detonators, one carbine magazine, 60kg of explosives and wires were seized.
A bunker of Maoists was also demolished. IEDs and bombs were defused by the bomb detection and disposal team, which had accompanied the force. CRPF DIG (in charge Jamui) Kamal Kishore Singh told TOI the area has a difficult terrain and is also located at the trijunction of Lakhisarai, Munger and Jamui districts. Due to its locational advantage, the Maoists had organized 9th Congress of the central committee of the CPI (Maoist) there in 2008, in which party brass had come from across the country to chalk out their future course of action.
Police chiefs’ meet on Maoist menace
THRISSUR: Police chiefs of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will meet soon to discuss measures to be taken to counter the Maoist menace, in the wake of a reported threat on the police station at Pulpally in Wayanad. On the sidelines of the passing out parade of sub-inspectors at the Kerala Police Academy here, home minister Ramesh Chennithala said he had met the Union home minister and home secretary earlier this week to discuss the Maoist presence in the state.
He said the Centre had assured all support to Kerala’s efforts in this regard. The Union government will also review the Maoist threats in these three states at the home ministry level. Chennithala said the police chiefs of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been meeting frequently for intelligence sharing and to assess the need for joint operations.