A prominent Maoist leader was beaten to death by angry villagers at Jhargram in West Midnapore today. The incident happened when Hemanta Mahato,a senior leader of Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities,the frontal organisation of the Maoists in Junglemahal,was trying to enter Nedabohara village to join a rally being held in protest against the arrest of a gram panchayat member.
Police sources said Mahato,22,used to lead all operations at Nedabohara village during the Lalgarh movement in 2010 and had several cases,including those of sedition,against him. He was in hiding since 2011 after the new government came to power.
When Mahato reached the village today,news spread that he may have arrived to trigger tension in the area ahead of the formation of the panchayat that was scheduled today.
Irate villagers gheraoed him,an altercation followed,and he was beaten to death.
Hemanta Mahato and Babloo Mahato used to lead all Maoist actions in the area. They would hold court and meetings,too. Babloo was arrested in 2011 while Hemata managed to escape. Today,he came to join a rally protesting against the arrest of a gram panchayat member and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader,Sukumar Murmu, said a senior police official.
Murmu was arrested Friday after a landmine device was recovered from his residence.