Days after home minister P Chidambaram told Maharashtra to act against Maoists going berserk and killing civilians, there is a growing evidence that the wanton killings of civilians was not limited to Gadchiroli.
As against 92 security personnel who lost their lives in anti-naxal operations this year, more than 240 civilians have been gunned down or hacked by Naxals in the first seven months this year.
A large number of them were tribals, whose interests the Maoists claim to protect and promote.
The latest in the string of killings was in south Bihar over the last week that saw the rebels killing relatives of tribals who had stepped out of line, looting and burning down their houses.
According to information reaching Delhi, tribals in Bihar's Rohtas district had fled their houses after the Maoists unleashed a rein of terror.
The apparent provocation of the fresh round of violence beginning this Sunday came as retaliation against the killing of a zonal level commander by disgruntled tribal cadres.
Disillusioned at the way the outfit was being run, more than a dozen tribals had later surrendered before the police along with their arms in south Bihar's Rohtas and UP's Sonebhadra districts over the last one month.
This time, a group of armed Maoists raided the village on Sunday, hacked three relatives of Sugriv Kharwar, the former head of Piparditi village when they could not find him. They also looted the household goods and burnt down the house.
Sugriv had motivated other tribal cadres linked to the Maoists to surrender their arms.
The Maoists then went on a rampage and carried out a dozen attacks elsewhere in Rohtas district, targeting tribals they suspected to be defectors and their families.
The violence comes in the backdrop of the Bihar police not acting adequately against Maoists. Maoists have killed 3 security personnel across the state by mid-July this year. In contrast, they have killed 24 tribals and villagers.