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Lakhisarai : Despite tall claims of police that naxalism had driven back almost from the eastern Bihar districts, rebels action against sand mafias in the wee hours of Saturday in Lakhisarai district once contradicts police’s high-pitched claims.
Rajesh Kumar, a driver of JCB payloader was shot dead by suspected Maoists who also set on fire five trucks and motorcycle in Lakhisarai district in the wee hours of Saturday. Two truck drivers are said be made hostage by the rebels, but the confirmation is still awaited.
The incident took place on the bank of Kiul river at Bataspur village, falling under the jurisdiction of Chanan police station, where sand mafia had been dumping their stock. The deceased was an employee of such a sand mafia group headed by Jivan Yadav and Bipin Yadav of Batashpur village. He had been working to operate the JCB on Rs 7000 per month’s remuneration. The duo, noted figures in illegal sand excavation, earlier asked by the rebels to manage levy. “The Party man (read Maoists) earlier asked them along with other involved illegal excavation of sands from the river beds of Kiul, but the duo managed to compromise with the rebels. They promised the rebels to give adequate money but since it was delayed, the irate rebels had taken revenge,” said village sources from there.
Eyewitnesses account said that the Maoists in police uniform, attacked the hub of the illegal sand trade early Saturday morning and fired 15 to 20 rounds, killing the driver of the JCB payloader. The left ultras also set on fire five trucks, parked there for lifting the illegally mined sand and a motorcycle before fleeing from there, they added.
Superintendent of police, Lakhisarai, Ashok Kumar said that the Maoists had apparently demanded ‘levy’ from the sand mafia for carrying out their illegal activity. “It is apprehended that non-payment of the amount could be behind the attack,” Kumar told media persons.
While echoing villagers version, Kumar also said it was probably the first time that suspected Maoists had targeted the sand mafia. Police however didn’t have any information about the two other persons who are said to be kidnapped by the outlaws.
Top ranking cops however yet not ascertained whether the incident was handiwork of Maoists or it was the incident related to war among the sand mafias over supremacy. “ Lakhisarai SP had been directed to investigate if the incident was a result of rivalry between two groups involved in illegal sand business,” told a senior cop. His logic was that usually Maoists leave behind pamphlets after carrying out their operations. And no such pamphlet was found at the site of the incident on Saturday, the cop pointed out.
Some topographically inaccessible parts of Lakhisarai district which also shares border with neighbouring Maoists infected Jamui district, since long has been under the influence of left extremism. “We time to time conduct special combing operations against the out fits but the inaccessible topography of some parts of the region put hurdle before such police actions as the rebels easily manage to escape from police nets,” a junior cop told on condition of anonymity.
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