Chalo inko thagte hai, said Naxal commander Aitu before killing Lloyds Steel Vice-President (V-P) Jaspal Singh Dhillon and two others near Surjagarh village in Gadchiroli on June 13.
This was revealed by Shivaji Pada,a Naxal dalam member arrested in Etapalli on June 15. He was on surveillance duty at Nendar village,close to where Dhillon,Hemlata Minerals proprietor Mallikarjun Reddy and Surjagarh police patil Raju Sadmek were shot by Aitu,a state zonal committee member of CPI (Maoist),and Gatta dalam deputy commander Gonglu.
Pada,23,said Aitu took away two bags,a big and a small,brought by the tall man (Dhillon),lending credence to the speculation that the three killed were in the forest to offer bribe to Naxals to allow an iron ore mining project.
Naxals taking such bribes from contractors is not new but the June 13 incident shocked many as they allegedly not only took away about Rs 1 crore but also killed the bribe-givers.
Pada told police Naxals didn’t want the money story to come out and that’s why killed Sadmek.
We (ordinary dalam members) didn’t know that the plan was to lure the three and kill them. We were told a big Naxal leader was to arrive there, he said.
I saw Aitu shooting the tall man (Dhillon) and Gonglu killing the other two. Aitu said ‘chalo inko thagte hai’ before Sadmek brought the two officials (Dhillon and Reddy) to the spot, Pada said.
Asked if there was money in the bags,he said,I don’t know. Aitu took the bags. He said there is a book in it. ‘I will read it later and will talk to you’.
It is an open secret that Naxals are divided over allowing mines.