Naxalites shot dead three people from Kasnasur village in Bhamragad tehsil of Gadchiroli on Monday night, suspecting them to be police informers responsible for the April 22 encounter last year near the village in which 34 Naxals were killed. This is the first time Naxals have killed three suspected persons at once.
Malu Doge Madavi, Kannu Rainu Madavi and Lalsu Masa Kudyeti were shot dead and then thrown near Kosfundi village near the Alapalli-Bhamragad road by a group of about 150 Naxalites after driving out the villagers. They also put up a banner declaring that the three were being handed down a death penalty for causing martyrdom of 40 Naxalites.
After Monday’s incident, terrorised Kasnasur villagers have taken refuge at the nearby Tadgaon police station.
Apart from the 34 Naxals that were killed near Kasnasur village, six more were killed near Nainar village in Aheri tehsil the next day. They were also from the same Naxal camp that was ambushed by the police on April 22.
Additional Superintendent of Police Hari Balaji said, “The Naxals had come to the village three days ago but the villagers had run away. Then they came again on Sunday. They ordered all other villagers except six persons they suspected, to leave the place. They later killed three on Monday night and left the other three unharmed.”
Also, three more persons from the village, who were their targets, had fled the village on Saturday and are still missing, according to Balaji.
“The three deceased persons were innocent. Since the Naxals were frustrated thinking how the pinpointed information about their gathering could reach the police, they had to account for it by making some people scapegoat,” Balaji said, adding, “the three had nothing to do with the encounter.”
Balaji further said, “The entire village, about 120 persons, have come to Tadgaon police station seeking refuge. Only some elderly persons have stayed back. They told the Naxals that they could kill them if they wanted, but they won’t leave the village.”
Sources told The Indian Express that at least two of the deceased were those who had taken rice to the Naxal camp on April 22. “The Naxals had asked them to stay back at the camp but they had returned on the pretext of marriage in their village. The other reason they had given was that after returning to the village they would be able to keep watch on the police movements so that the Naxals could be tipped off,” sources said.
Balaji said, “This only shows that they also kill their own supporters when they are frustrated.”
Meanwhile, as per intelligence inputs, the Naxalites have, of late, been moving in large groups of 100-150 in Gadchiroli. “We have information that these have come from outside the state, possibly from Bastar in Chhattisgarh and that they are planning to do something spectacular. We are also planning to revise our strategy,” Balaji said.