An activist working for the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme was killed after being mercilessly beaten by a group of 12 Maoists at Jerua village in Latehar district.
The activist, Niyamat Ansari, who was stated to be a close aide of noted economist Jean Dreze, died last night after the Maoists beat him up with lathis, police sources said.
The rebels dragged him out of his residence at 7pm and started beating him up mercilessly. He was admitted to a local hospital where he died at 10pm, the sources said.
The Maoists also searched for another activist, Bhukhan Singh, in the village but could not find him.
Ansari was active in Gram Swaraj Abhiyan in Latehar's Maneka block and was convenor of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee ACT (MG-NREGA), the sources said.
The Maoists had on July 7, 2010 pasted posters warning Ansari and Singh not to 'exploit forest land or face consequences', the sources said.
Three years ago, another MG-NREGA activist, who worked with Dreze, had been killed by unidentified persons in neighbouring Palamau district which triggered widespread protests by several people, including Dreze.
NREGS is the flagship scheme of the government for the poor and aims at enhancing livelihood security of people in rural belts by guaranteeing 100 days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household.