M A I N   N E W S

Maoist violence continues, 3 killed
Tribune News Service & PTI

Kolkata/Rourkela, January 2
In fresh bouts of Naxal violence today, armed Maoists attacked a police outpost and a bus in Jharkhand, killing one policeman, while two CPM leaders in West Bengal were killed. One of them was beheaded by the suspected rebels.

Seven policemen were also injured, two of them critically, in the early morning raid of the outpost at Bansjor in Simdega district on the Orissa-Jharkhand border.

There were conflicting reports on the number of Naxals involved in the attack. The local police said 50-odd ultras fired and hurled bombs at the outpost, 45 km from Rourkela, while Serg Maj J.K. Jha told PTI in Ranchi there were nearly 500 Maoists and they hurled petrol bombs before firing randomly.

A Ranchi-bound bus from Biramitrapur at a railway level-crossing near the Bansjor police outpost in Jharkhand was also attacked, injuring a passenger.

The Naxals also entered Biramitrapur and fired at a police station besides other targets randomly though no one was injured, the police said.

All eight were brought to Ispat General Hospital in Rourkela where one of them, identified as Sunil Sahay, was declared dead while the rest were given medical treatment, police and hospital sources said.

The in-charge of the outpost, Amar Nath Paswan, was one of the injured, according to a report from Ranchi.

He said 20 jawans manning the outpost beat back the Maoist attack and bloodstains were found in the area where the Maoists took positions indicating some casualties on their side.

In the Jharkand incident, the ultras also blocked the road at Kerai Ghati by placing wooden logs across and planted a landmine to prevent policemen from moving in.

When a Jharkhand police team, led by Simdega SP D.B. Sharma, reached Keria Ghati, a gunbattle ensued which lasted for three hours. Sharma, who visited the hospital to see the injured Jharkhand policemen, said three Maoists were believed to have been killed in the gunbattle and their bodies taken away by the ultras.

In the West Bengal incident, the Maoists killed CPM zonal committee member Sisir Chatterjee (52) at Mangalkot in Buwdwan district. He was attacked while he was returning home after attending a party meeting. Chatterjee was a primary teacher in a government-aided school in the locality.

After the meeting when Chaterjee was crossing the village market some masked gunmen shot him.

He fell down on the ground and the armed gang chopped off his head and left the place carrying with them his head. Several villagers and CPM workers present there stood awestruck.

Burdwan SP Pijush Pande suspected that the killing was done by the Maoists. He said so far four persons, suspected to be involved in the killing of Chtterjee, were arrested.

In another incident, CPM leader Balahari Maji (45) was killed near Purulia this morning. He was dragged out of his house when he was having meal along with family members. He was forcibly lifted and taken to the adjoining fields and repeatedly hit with choppers and iron rods. His wife and children, who tried to protect him, also injured in the attack.



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