The leader of a criminal gang that calls itself a Left Wing Extremist group was gunned down in Chatra district by his former bodyguard on Saturday night.
Chatra’s Superintendent of Police Surendra Kumar Jha said Guddu Ganjhu, founder and supremo of the Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC), was shot dead at Birhu Chowk within Simariya police station allegedly by an individual named Guddu Singh, a resident of Gaya in Bihar.
Police said Ganjhu’s murder was the result of an internal struggle. A source close to Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TSPC), another LWE group active in the area, however, claimed that Guddu Singh had defected over to them recently.
Guddu Ganjhu had been a close associate of Brajesh Ganjhu, the supremo of TSPC, for a long time. The pair had a fallout, allegedly after Guddu tried to murder Brajesh.
Guddu then went on to form the JPC within the same area of influence as the TSPC’s.
The JPC, whose strength never went above 50 armed men, operated along the Chatra-Hazaribagh district border and extracted levy mainly from stone crushers. Though it claims to be an LWE organisation, the JPC is almost exclusively a petty criminal gang.There were rumours that Guddu Ganjhu was trying to merge his organisation into the CPI-Maoist — JPC cadres had provided security to a wedding attended by a Maoist leader.
The TSPC, which allegedly works closely with the security forces, is a sworn enemy of the CPI-Maoist.
Another reason for a possible friction between the two groups was the recently-concluded Jharkhand Assembly elections. While Brajesh’s elder brother Ganesh Ganjhu contested and won on a
JVM-P ticket from Simariya, Guddu Ganjhu had successfully lobbied for a JMM ticket for his wife Rajkumari Devi.