A 25-year old man from Kothitola village in Bhamragad tehsil of Gadchiroli district was killed by suspected Naxals on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Gadchiroli police said that the man, Vinod Madavi, was picked up from his home in the night and was killed with sharp weapons outside the village.
“It is suspected that the killers were Naxals, who suspected Madavi of being a police informer. Madavi was working as a labourer in Telangana and had come to his village after taking a few days off work,” said Gadchiroli Police Public Relations Officer Ashok Mane.
Asked why Madavi was suspected to have been killed by Naxals, Mane said, “Some villagers were overheard talking about Naxals coming to the village during night and taking Madavi away at gunpoint. Also, some posters were found near the murder spot.”
Gadchiroli range Deputy Inspector General of Police, Sandeep Patil, said, “Naxals are celebrating two decades of the formation of People’s Liberation Guerrila Army (PLGA) for the whole year, beginning December 2, 2020. They are expected to target police information networks during the year. But Madavi wasn’t our informer. So, it is clear that innocent tribals are being victimised by them on mere suspicion.”
Patil further said, “Naxals are generally expected to disrupt elections as they are opposed to it. But this time, Gadchiroli and Gondia will be going to Gram Panchayat polls on January 15 and 20 without such opposition. Probably for the first time, Naxals haven’t issued any call to villagers to boycott elections. Our suspicion is that they would try to field people of their choice in these elections so that they could eventually hold sway over functioning of some of the gram panchayats in pockets where they manage to operate. But we are taking every step to foil their bid to do so.”
“We will be apprising the governor about this possibility when he visits Nagpur on January 10 and seek his intervention on ensuring proper monitoring of funds these gram panchayats receive under Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act since we suspect that Naxals, who suffered extensive monetary losses due to demonetisation, would use their people in gram panchayats as conduits to siphon off those funds,” he added.
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