A 35-year-old youth was beaten to death by armed Ultras of CPI (Maoist) in Natarhat region of Latehar district on Wednesday night. The youth was identified as Dev Kumar Prajapati, who was engaged as a forest tracker on a daily wage basis in the Palamau Tiger Reserve and was suspected by Maoist group of being a police informer.
The incident occurred on Wednesday night at Durup Panchayat under the tourist spot Netarhat Police Station limits, about 150 km from the state capital Ranchi. The banned extremist group also assaulted four other villagers with sticks. Police sources said that on Wednesday night around 15 extremist from Maoist group entered the village and barged into the house of the forest tracker and assaulted him with sticks and traditional weapons.
It is said that Naxalites caught Dev Kumar Prajapati and brought him near the village school and tied his hands and feet with a rope. After that he was brutally beaten for 2 hours. Due to the beating, the condition of Dev Kumar Prajapati became very serious. Later, after much persuasion by the family members, the Naxalites released them after giving a warning.
But while taking him home, the injured Dev Kumar Prajapati died. Here the wife of the deceased told that the armed Naxalites had reached the house late in the night and forcefully started taking Dev Kumar Prajapati away. When those people started going after him, they refused to come. Naxalites started driving them away with sticks, later her husband died due to beating.
In a message to villagers, the Maoists asked them to “leave the work of being police informers and SPO)”. It was written in Hindi on the wall of Prajapati’s house in red ink after he was killed.
The red rebels also asked them to “emphasis on anti-displacement, migration movements and real problems of Jharkhand people”.
“Maoists killed the person. Local police reached the spot and an investigation has been initiated. Raids are being conducted,” the SP Anjani Anjan said.
The police also suspected that the squad of Chhotu Kharwar, a Maoist leader, was involved in the killing of the person.
Around 14-15 Maoists visited two villages on Wednesday night, another police officer said.
The red rebels first went to Purnadih village where they thrashed three villagers and then moved to Dona Durup village where Prajapati was beaten to death, and another villager was injured there, he said. Four injured persons are undergoing treatment at local hospitals, he added.SP Latehar Anjani Anjan said the Maoists were led by Chhotu Kharwar. He said the trekker was beaten to death by the Maoists branding him as a police mole which has no iota of truth.
Anjan Anjan said it is the trick and policy of the Maoists to brand its target a police mole before bumping him off. The poor fellow Prajapati was never with the police, reiterated the SP Latehar. The Maoists also thrashed some villagers, the SP. This act of the Maoists is outright in sheer desperation, added the SP Latehar Anjani Anjan.