Image for representation.
Image for representation.

Maoists kill Chhattisgarh Police sub-inspector in captivity on kangaroo court’s orders

The official was abducted a day after Maoist commander Kosa Handa, who carried a reward of five lakh on his head, was killed.
PUBLISHED ON APR 24, 2021 02:06 PM IST

Maoists have killed a police sub-inspector known for his role in anti-Maoist operations on a kangaroo court’s orders days after abducting him while he was on his way to meet his ailing mother in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on Wednesday, an officer said on Saturday, amid a spike in violence in the Left-wing insurgency-hit state this month.

Bijapur police superintendent Kamlochan Kashyap said a Maoist janadalat (kangaroo court) ordered Murli Tati’s killing even as a search was on to rescue him. “The Maoists dumped Murli’s body near a village at Gangalur in Bijapur district along with a note that Tati was ‘executed as decided by a people’s court’,” said Kashyap. He called Tati one of the most important fighters in anti-Maoist operations in the Bijapur district. “We have launched a hunt for the Maoists and a combing operation in a jungle is going on.”

Tati was abducted a day after Maoist commander Kosa Handa, who carried a reward of five lakh on his head, was killed in a five-hour firefight with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada. Handa had been an active Maoist for 15 years and was their Malangir area committee member and “military intelligence” in charge. He faced at least 15 cases and a 9 mm pistol, a country-made gun, three kg improvised explosive device, medicines, and items of daily use were recovered from the gunbattle scene.

Around a dozen Maoists earlier abducted two people, including a 15-year-old boy, and murdered them with sharp-edged weapons after branding them as police informers in the neighbouring Sukma district. Maoists dragged out the two from their homes and took them to a nearby forest, where their bodies were later recovered. A pamphlet recovered along with the bodies claimed the two worked as police informers and were “hence punished”. The brother of one of the two joined the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) a year back. The father of the other left his job as an assistant police constable after the Maoists threatened him last year, police said.

Twenty-two police and paramilitary personnel were killed and at least two dozen others injured in a gunfight with Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region on April 3. The Maoists ambushed the forces after possibly luring them to an area near the Bijapur-Sukma border.

A commando of the CRPF taken captive after the April 3 gunfight was released days later.

The toll from the April 3 gunbattle was the worst for security forces battling Maoists since 2017 when 25 jawans were killed in an attack. Seventeen personnel from a commando patrol were killed in an attack by more than 300 armed Maoists in Chhattisgarh in March last year.

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