Sunday, November 4, 2007

Villagers warned against joining anti-Maoist campaign

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has threatened villagers in Jharkhand with dire consequences if they join an anti-Maoist campaign launched by former chief minister Babulal Marandi.

'We will destroy the Gramin Surakasha Samiti (GSS). Do not join the GSS otherwise you (villagers) meet the fate of people killed in Chilkhari village,' said posters put up by Maoists Friday night in rural areas of Giridih district.

GSS is a community policing initiative launched by Marandi two years ago to counter Maoist attacks.

'Do not come under Marandi's influence. If you do, be ready to face the consequences,' said some posters.

Maoist rebels gunned 18 people, including Marandi's son Anup, on Oct 27 during a cultural function in Chilkhari village of Giridih district.

As Chilkhari lies near the Jharkhand-Bihar border, police forces of both states launched a joint search for the Maoist rebels involved in the attack. Police sources said 15 companies of paramilitary forces were involved in the joint operation. Till now, three Maoist guerrillas have been arrested.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. More than 1,000 people, including 290 security personnel, have been killed in the last seven years in Maoist related violence.

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