Former Maoist sub-zonal commander says he did not kill tribal officer Induwar
Former Maoist sub-zonal commander-turned renegade, Kundan Pahan, accused of nearly 120 cases of violence, is a young, ever-smiling and sober looking man whose looks defy his antecedents. Unlike the general perception pervading the minds of people, he doesn’t look so brutal as accounts describe him and has an easy approach towards life.
HT had met him last year at his hideout in the jungles of Bundu, his stronghold for last 18 years. Though he spoke at length about the rebel organization, the charges against him, family and future plans, he had requested not to publish the same till a ‘favourable time’.
Now that he has reportedly walked into the police custody voluntarily and is being interrogated by various agencies, including state police, special branch, Intelligence Bureau and the CRPF, HT is producing excerpts of the interview.
Among the several crimes he had allegedly committed during his 15 years of association with CPI (Maoist), Pahan became a much-talked about and dreaded name when he allegedly beheaded special branch inspector, Francis Induwar, a tribal officer, after abducting him while he was discharging his duties in the forest area on October 6, 2009. Police had put a bounty of Rs 15 lakh on his head.
Induwar’s Taliban style murder--his severed head was found at least 10 feet away from the body on the NH33—had led to widespread outrage against the Maoists menace across India and overseas with the Centre deciding to launch an all out war against the left insurgents in Jharkhand. Several politicians including Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi had visited the bereaved family of Induwar in Ranchi and expressed solidarity.
Why did he kill the special branch inspector? “I did not kill him but the blame went to me as the incident occurred in an area under my control,” Pahan said, lamenting the incident.
“Platoon commander, Kishore Munda, who reported into me, killed Induwar, keeping me in the dark,” he said, adding, Munda was later killed in an encounter with the forces.
Pahan stressed that Induwar’s killing also stirred a debate in the underground organization with several top leaders disapproving of such killings. The leaders feared killing of tribal officers would make the tribals revolt against them and they would lose ground in the villages and countryside, whose support was paramount for the organization to survive and grow.
Following the incident, the leaders, he said, issued a new set of instructions to the foot soldier on the ground.
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