An officer of the special branch of police was abducted and killed by suspected Maoists in Jharkhand’s Nawatoli village on Monday night.
The officer, Badrinath Tiwari, was posted in insurgency-hit Chainpur a few months ago and, as part of his duty, had successfully developed a network of local informers and also planted moles inside Maoist camps.
Working undercover as a tribal in Nawatoli under the pseudonym Binod Tirkey, he gathered intelligence on the hideouts of insurgents and their movements. On the basis of his inputs, the Gumla police and the CRPF busted several Maoist camps and inflicted serious damage to their operation.
Officers in Chainpur told HT that around 9 pm, a squad of rebels, including top local leaders Ranthu, Birbal and Lajim, swooped down on Nawatoli, kidnapped Tiwari and took him into a nearby jungle, where he was shot dead.
“It’s an unfortunate incident. [Have] heard various reasons for the killing since last night, hence I am travelling to Gumla to personally probe [the incident],” said additional director general of police (special branch) Anurag Gupta.
The suspected Maoists left a pamphlet threatening special police officers near the body. “They mistook him to be a special police officer (SPO) and hence left a pamphlet near the body warning other SPOs of dire consequences,” said deputy inspector general of police RK Dhan.
Security forces over the last few months have been carrying out combing operations in the region. But Tiwari’s murder has reaffirmed the Maoists’ strong presence in addition to being a severe blow to the police’s intelligence-gathering network.
State director general of police DK Pandey recently said the Maoists were confined to 32 panchayats in the state, chief minister Raghubar Das in December 2014 expressed confidence that the menace would be eliminated within six months.
However, the recent incident has brought back memories of the October 2009 beheading of special branch inspector Francis Induwar in Bundu, near state capital Ranchi.