CONTINUING THEIR campaign against “police informers”, suspected Maoists early Saturday shot dead two more persons in Gadchiroli, taking the total number of civilian murders in the past 12 days to seven.
“Nirmal Goswami and Samru Kosmi, in their forties, were shot dead by Maoists on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. They were branded as police informers near Markegaon village in Dhanora tahsil,” said SP Shailesh Balkawade.
“The Maoists had left a pamphlet saying the two were passing on information to the police. That’s not true. They were not our informers. We always accept when there is anyone who is really our informer since we have to take care of the family under government scheme,” he added.
Balkawade attributed the series of civilian killings in Gadchiroli to “Maoist frustration due to their recent failures”. “Last year was the worst for them with 50 of them getting killed in our operations. Last year was also the first in Gadchiroli’s Maoist history when no policeman was killed. This has really frustrated them and hence, they are resorting to killing poor tribals,” he said.
The Maoists had gunned down three villagers from Kasnasur in Bhamragad tahsil on January 21, holding them responsible for the police ambush of 40 Maoists in April last year. Later, they had killed two others on January 6 and January 30. Markegaon had hit headlines in 2009, when 15 policemen were killed in an ambush by Maoists near the village. It was followed by two more encounters that year, in which 33 policemen were ambushed in the district.