Reliance Power general manager killed by Naxals in Jharkhand
A deputy general manager of Reliance Power was killed and his colleague was injured when unidentified rebels, reportedly members of a breakaway Maoist faction, spayed bullets on their vehicle at Jharkhand's Naxal affected Chatra district today. B Vijay Murty reports.india Updated: Apr 07, 2011 00:40 IST
A deputy general manager (DGM) of Reliance Power was killed and his colleague was injured when unidentified rebels, reportedly members of a breakaway Maoist faction, spayed bullets on their vehicle at Jharkhand's Naxal affected Chatra district on Wednesday afternoon.
The Reliance team, comprising around five officials, was traveling in the district's countryside on a Bolero surveying for an ideal site to set up their proposed power plant when the rebels fired at them.
While DGM Manoj Kumar Ojha, 42, died on the spot, his colleague - whose identity could not be ascertained - was airlifted to a hospital in Ranchi.
Two others in the vehicle also suffered minor injuries as the driver lost control and ran into a roadside pit.
Around 100 km northwest of capital Ranchi, Chatra has abundance of coal, and has hence been attracting power companies to the region.
NTPC has already laid foundation for a mega power plant in the district. Maoists and rebel groups - there are at least seven recognized splinter groups - are fighting a battle of supremacy in the coal belt.
The fight is mainly for levy from the coal companies operating in the area.
"They had not informed police before going for the survey in the troubled areas," deputy inspector general of police, MS Bhatia said.
He said it is a rule for outsiders going on for any business venture in the troubled areas to inform the local administration first, which the Reliance officers overlooked.
"It could be handiwork of some splinter group as the Maoists are not that active in the area," Bhatia said.
He said the incident was reported to them around 3:30pm after which the local police superintendent rushed to the spot and airlifted the injured person for treatment.
"Firing took place at Hesatu village in Tandwa block of the district," he said.
Prabhat Kumar Tiwari, a relative of the deceased based at Ranchi, said Ojha was recently transferred from Delhi to Jharkhand to expedite the proposed power project.
"We have no plausible explanation to establish reasons behind the firing," the DIG said, adding, they were investigating to identify the assailants.