Belying their oft-repeated claim of not targetting civilians, the naxalites of CPI(Maoists) have spilled more innocent blood.
The naxals killed two villagers — a man and his nephew — near Khobramendha village in tribal district of Gadchiroli on Thursday afternoon.
Reports reaching here this evening said that a group of armed Maoists stormed the tribal village and dragged Alam Shah Katangi (42) and his nephew Ratan (30) from their house and confronted them for an hour. Later they shot dead them both. Naxalites suspected that both the villagers were working for the police as informers.
The red rebels lost its commander-in-chief of North Gadchiroli, Nagesh and two others in a police encounter near Khobramendha village in April this year. It was alleged that Alam and Ratan were responsible for informing the hideouts of the naxalites that led to the encounter.
The naxalite-police encounter also claimed CRPF jawan Mahendra Singh and left five other police personnel injured.
Viresh Prabhu, the superintendent police (SP), however, denied that Katangi and Ratan worked as police informers. "In fact the district police had booked Alam Shah Katangi, one of the victims, under the prevention act in 2009 after branding him as a naxalite sympathizer," he pointed out and insisted that Katangis were worked for the police.
As many as 18 villagers in the district have been killed by the naxalites on suspicion of being police informers since January this year.