Six block development officers (BDOs) in Jharkhand have received letters asking them to quit office or face dire consequences.
The letters are signed by a person claiming to be a Maoist leader, Ravindra Verma from Giridih, but police said there is no Maoist with this name and he could be a mischief-monger.
The letters asked BDOs posted at Mandar, Jamtara, Birni, Saria, Murhu and Bano to relinquish their offices within 15 days and return home, failing which their offices would be blown up and they would be responsible for damage to life and property. The letters were delivered in the offices of the six BDOs by post over the last three days, robbing the officers of their sleep.
Maoists have targeted government officers and buildings but their focus has mainly been on policemen. Seldom do they kill civil servants. Last time, a BDO was kidnapped in Jharkhand was in 2010. Motorcycle-borne Maoists raided Dalbhumgarh BDO, Prashant Kumar Layak’s office in broad-daylight and took him away to the jungles. They set him free after five days.
“These are fake letters,” said additional director general of police Anurag Gupta. He said they were verifying the facts and were certain Maoists were not involved in sending the letters.
Simdega deputy commissioner Vijay Kumar Singh said the Bano BDO on Thursday informed him about receiving the threat letter. “I have asked the BDO to lodge an FIR in this connection.”
Not just the BDOs, other staff members also are also apprehensive after these letters reached their offices.
“I have informed the rural SP and the DC about the incident. I do not know why security has not been provided to me so far. It is difficult to work freely under these circumstances. My father has become ill after he read the news,” said Mandar BDO Gopi Oraon.
Giridih superintendent of police Akhilesh B Verior said there is no person in the Maoists fold called Ravindra Verma. “He seems to be a mischief monger. We raided all possible hideouts of the thug in the past when he issued a letter to the Raj Bhawan threatening to blow it up.”
Fatehpur BDO Sriman Marandi said: “I am not taking the issue lightly. BDOs should be provided security as they move about in rural areas.”