Three villagers, suspected of being police informers, were killed by Maoists in Bihar’s Jamui district on Saturday, police said.
The victims were killed at night in Gadi village in the Chakai area of Jamui district which borders Jharkhand’s Giridih district. Their bodies were recovered by the police on Sunday morning
While one of the victims – Tipan Mandal (30) – was picked up from his house in Gadi, one Mukesh Kumar Rai (25) was from Chowki, and another Yogendra Turi (35) was brought from Garanga, both villages located in Giridih district.
According to sources, a group of armed men reached Gadi village around midnight and carried out the executions.
Police found Maoist posters at the crime scene which stated that the information provided by the victims led to the killing of a front ranking CPM leader, Chirag, in a police encounter this January. The Maoists also claimed two of men killed were special police officers (SPOs).
The posters further said the killings were a warning for other police informers.
Confirming the incident, Jamui superintendent of police, Jayant Kant said the victims were killed by Maoists. Kant said the Central Reserve Police Force and district police had started a combing operation in the area to catch the killers.
Media in-charge of Giridih police, sub divisional police officer RK Mehta rubbished the claim that two of the victims were SPOs.
“Those killed were neither police informers nor SPOs. They were innocent villagers and had nothing to do with the police or the security forces,” he said, adding that the Maoists had killed in frustration. “(It was done) to make their presence felt in Bhelwaghati and suburban areas, especially after the death of Chirag Da.”
Deputy inspector general of police, eastern range, Barun Kumar Sinha, who holds charge of Munger range too, said police were investigating various possibilities behind the killings.
Giridih superintendent of police, Akhilesha B Variar told reporters that though the incident is under Bihar police jurisdiction, a high alert had been sounded in Jharkhand.
“In Giridih too we have sounded a high alert in order to avoid any untoward incident. Apart from intensifying ongoing operations, additional police force has been to deployed for enhancing long-range patrolling,” he said.
The killings have revived memories of the Bhelwaghati massacre in September 2005.
Maoists had killed 15 unarmed members of the Gram Raksha Dal, a group of local youngsters organised by former chief minister Babu Lal Marandi at Bhelwaghati village to check the Maoists.
Marandi was instrumental in organising anti-Maoist operations across the region during his stint as chief minister. However, the incident set him back and the group was disbanded.