Jharkhand Police on Wednesday afternoon recovered mutilated bodies of seven people aged between 20 to 40 years from Murhu — a highly Naxal-affected area in Khunti district —around 52 km south of capital Ranchi.
Five of the deceased had not been identified at the time of going to press. Police recovered blood-stained hockey sticks and liquor bottles near the bodies and suspect the killings to be the fallout of a drunken clash.
But the role of Naxals or its rival rebel group, the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) — also active in the area — has not been ruled out.
“The bodies bore no gunshots. They were beaten and butchered to death, which is not the Naxal-style of killing,” said state police spokesperson RK Mallick. The incident in the jungle area, he said, would have occurred Tuesday night.
Despite its proximity to Ranchi, Khunti, of late, has emerged as one of the most lawless districts, with the warring Maoists and PLFI indulging in wanton killings. As per police records, more than 110 people have been killed in Khunti in the past one year, most of them victims of Naxal violence.