Maoists have struck again in West Bengal and Orissa.
While they killed three people in Bengal, in Orissa’s Sundergarh district, more than 500 villagers blocked road and railway traffic demanding unconditional release of 30 villagers who were arrested in August.
The villagers from Banai sub-division of Orissa’s Sundergarh district, about 480 km northwest of Bhubaneswar, started their blockade from Friday at National Highway 23 and the railway track between Bandhamunda and Kiriburu.
Following the murder of Orissa Police sub-inspector Ajit Bardhan by Maoists in July, the Rourkela police arrested 30 people. Among those arrested were a mass education teacher, an ayurvedic doctor and a village temple priest.
In Bengal, three people were killed on Friday night in the jungles of Kushbani, barely 40 km from West Midnapore district headquarters just before the visit of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who reached the town on Saturday afternoon.
Bhattacharjee is supposed to formally announce a Rs 1,600-crore (Rs 16 billion) development-relief package for the Maoist dominated tribal belt.
The bodies were found lying on the state highway connecting Jhargram and Belpahari, about 200 km west of Kolkata.
Posters of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) were found near the bodies. One of them read, “They have been given the ultimate punishment for being police informers.”
Claiming the three were Jharkhand Janamukti Morcha workers, CPI (Maoist) Politburo member Koteshwar Rao, alias Kishanji, said, “These three were extorting funds in the name of Communist Party of India (Maoist). They had already extorted about Rs 15 lakh.”
He said, “Our Binpur area committee members ‘arrested’ them on Thursday night and after a long trial they decided to eliminate them.”