Maoists seal 25-yr-old rivalry with lives of 3 Shahdeos
RANCHI: The Shahdeo family in Lohardaga has been living in the shadow of Maoist fear ever since it took on the Left-wing extremists in the 1980s. The land-holding family`s worst fears came true on Saturday when some Maoists abducted three prominent members of the family, who had gone hunting and picnicking in the forests, and later killed them in Lohardaga. One among the three had survived a rebel attack in 2002. The Maoists had reportedly held a jan-adalat before killing the three and seizing their licensed rifles. Thakur Balmukund Nath Shahdeo, who lost his brothers Bal Kishore Nath Shahdeo and Lal Jay Kishore Nath Shahdeo and nephew Lal Pramod Nath Shahdeo in Saturday`s attack, said the rivalry between the family and Maoists is more than 25 years old.
“Some assailants had opened more than 100 rounds of fire on a jeep in which several Shahdeo men were travelling from Lohardaga to Latehar in 1991. Armed with guns, the Shahdeos too shot back forcing the Maoists to run for cover. No one was injured in the incident,” said Shahdeo, a BJP leader and former chairman of the Jharkhand Pollution Control Board. The Shahdeos lived at Murmu in Peshrar block of the Red-hit district. In the past 10 years, the Maoists have claimed the lives of five members of the Shahdeo family and made several attempts to kill the rest. The terror runs so deep that the family has trained even its female members to defend themselves. Sources said the Maoists intensified their attacks on the Shahdeos since 1991.
Mukhiya Lal Awadh Nath Shahdeo was killed in 2002. Some years later, Thakur Balmukund`s brother, Lal Vijay Kishore Nath Shahdeo, was going to Latehar on a bike when Maoists opened fire on him in 2008. He, however, escaped unhurt. He was one of the three to be killed in Saturday`s attack. “The Maoists often open fire at their houses, torch their foodgrain stocks on fire and so on,” said Congress spokesperson Lal Kishore Nath Shahdeo, also a member of the Shahdeo family. Jayant Nath Shahdeo, grandson of Ratu Maharaja who was the last Shahdeo ruler in Jharkhand, said: “Maoists forced many landholding families to migrate to the state capital from Lohardaga. More than 25 families continue to live in their palatial houses in Lohardaga, which is one of the worst Maoist-hit districts in the state. They engage labourers in the fields where paddy and wheat are grown.
Telangana court dismisses petitions in Azad killing case
Hyderabad: A Telangana court on Tuesday dismissed the petitions for a murder case against policemen involved in the alleged staged gunfight in which top Maoist Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and journalist Hemchandra Pandey were killed. Judicial First Class Magistrate in Adilabad district dismissed the petitions filed by Azad’s wife K. Padma and Pandey’s wife Babita.
Reds on fast in jail for speedy trial
BHUBANESWAR: Six prisoners, including a woman, who were arrested between 2008 and 2011 for their alleged involvement in Maoist-related offences, launched an indefinite hunger strike at Jharpada Special Jail here on Monday, protesting tardy court trials. Jail sources said the agitating inmates include Ranjit Sana, 34, whose family has alleged that he was mistaken as a Maoist. Police arrested Sana from Nayagarh a few days after Maoists killed over a dozen cops and looted the district armoury on February 15, 2008.
Sana’s family claimed he accidentally landed in Nayagarh at that time and got arrested. Duna Keshav Rao alias Azad, who was secretary of Bansadhara Divisional Committee and a prominent member of Odisha State Organizing Committee of CPI (Maoist), too went on fast.
Chhattisgarh: Stop work in Maoist areas, forest employees union writes to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister
Amid claims by the Centre and the Chhattisgarh Government that Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) activities are on the decline, the state’s forest employees union has written to Chief Minister Raman Singh and, citing the Maoist threat, urged him to immediately stop all departmental works in the interior areas, reports The Indian Express on March 23. The employees have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from March 25 if their demands were not met. Dated March 21, the letter was sent by Umesh Singh, convener of Chhattisgarh Forest Employees Union. A section of the forest employees are already on strike since March 12.