Updated: January 5, 2022 6:20:35 am
A former BJP MLA was attacked and two of his guards killed by Maoists in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district on Tuesday, police said.
Gurucharan Nayak, former Manoharpur MLA, had gone to a ceremony to felicitate local sportspersons in a school ground in Jhilruan when the incident took place. The throats of the two policemen bodyguards were slit and their AK-47 and two INSAS rifles looted. A third guard survived with injuries.
Nayak later told reporters: “We got to the playground like every year. The awards had been distributed and I was ready to board my vehicle around 5.15 pm when around 20-30 Maoists attacked us. I managed to escape as they could not locate me in the commotion. The attackers also looted one AK-47 and two INSAS rifles.”
Nayak identified the two deceased guards as Shankar Nayak and Thakur Hembrem. The guard who survived has been identified as Ram Tudu.
Rajesh Pradhan, the MLA’s brother who was present when the attack took place, told The Indian Express the Maoists started firing in the air. “More than two dozen armed men entered the playground and started firing in the air. Before anyone could react, a dozen armed men attacked the two guards from behind and slit their throats. Another guard fought them but was injured. Somehow, we escaped to our village, from where we went to the nearest police station.”
He added that Nayak had been attacked by Maoists in 2012 too.
A press release issued by DSP Headquarters West Singhbhum, Sudhir Kumar, said that raids are on to catch the assailants. “After the sports event ended around 5.30 pm, Naxals in civil dress surrounded his vehicle and snatched the weapons of his guards, in which one got martyred and another went missing (he was found dead later). The third guard along with the former MLA reached Sonua safely. After we were informed, the West Singhbhum Police and CRPF personnel started conducting raids, which are ongoing,” the release said.
SP Chaibasa Ajay Linda said they were “investigating all possible angles.”
Meanwhile, Opposition BJP attacked the government on the “deteriorating law and order situation”.
Union Tribal Affairs minister and BJP MP Arjun Munda said: “It is very sad to hear the news of the attack on former BJP MLA Gurucharan Nayak and the death of the two guards. The law and order situation in the state and the security situation in the rural areas is pathetic. The Jharkhand government is insensitive.”
Former CM Raghubar Das said it is “not possible” for CM Hemant Soren to run the state, and asked for compensation for the guards. BJP Jharkhand president and Rajya Sabha MP Deepak Prakash said the attack indicates the state has “crossed the limits of Jungle-Raj”.
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