Lalmohan Tudu, president of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was killed under mysterious circumstances near his home in Bengal’s extremist-dominated Lalgarh area on Monday.
Tudu, 50, was killed a couple of hours after CPI (Maoist) politburo member and spokesperson Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji issued statement offering a ceasefire for 72 days.
A section of the police claimed that Tudu was part of a Maoist team that attacked a security forces camp 5 km from Lalgarh town and that he was killed in an exchange of fire.
Condemning the killing, Kishenji said, “There has been no Maoist attack on the Katapahari camp on Monday night. We will send the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government to the grave for this atrocity.”
Strangely, West Midnapore SP Manoj Verma didn’t confirm Tudu’s death. “No one has claimed the body yet,” was his explanation.
Besides, he added, “I can’t say whether the deceased person had any plan to attack the camp. A small group of armed persons were wandering around the camp and we had to exchange fire with them.”
A police official said on condition of anonymity, “The Katapahari camp (housed in a school) is like a fortress. It is too impregnable for a small group to attack. Moreover, there is no sign of any exchange of fire in that area.”
The PCAPA has alleged that Tudu was killed in a fake encounter. “He was at home when the Centre-state force, led by CPM leaders, raided his house. They called him outside and shot him dead,” said PCAPA spokesperson Asit Mahato.
He said the security forces took away his body so no protests could take place. Mahato claimed that two villagers were also killed.