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Jharkhand: Extremist group kills 3, injures 4 in firing at a village level meeting

The police said that the PLFI targeted people on the suspicion that they were holding a 'peace meeting'.

Written by Prashant Pandey | Ranchi |
September 27, 2016 7:32:50 pm
jharkhand, jharkhand news, khunti district jharkhand, PLFI firing jharkhand, PLFI firing khunti district, 3 killed in khunti district firing, 3 killed in jharkhand, indian express, india news Three persons were killed and four others were injured when a band of left-wing extremist (LWE) group, People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), opened random fire at a gathering in a village in Khunti district.

Three persons were killed and four others were injured when a band of left-wing extremist (LWE) group, People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), opened random fire at a gathering in a village in Khunti district late Monday evening.

Following the incident, the police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CPRF) have launched a massive manhunt in the naxal-dominated region. Khunti is among the worst naxal-affected districts in the state and the base of PLFI.

The police said that the PLFI targeted people on the suspicion that they were holding a ‘peace meeting’. Villagers in naxal-hit districts of Khunti, Ranchi and West Singhbhum (Chaibasa) have been holding peace meetings for over a year, in which they urge people to shun violence and return to the mainstream.

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Officials said that, although the meeting was not a peace meeting, the attack on hapless villagers was among the biggest incidents by the LWE groups against such initiatives. Police sources said that peace meetings are usually attended by people from more than a couple of villages.

Khunti Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta said: “This is clearly to spread terror. The extremist groups are losing their hold on the region and this appears to be an act of panic on their part. The villagers, prima facie, were not holding any peace meeting. We have launched a manhunt and combing operations are on.”

The incident came to light when villagers of Raitorang brought the dead and the injured to the Sadar Hospital in Khunti.

The police said that Rai Torang is located nearly 45 km from Khunti headquarters, which is around 40 km from Ranchi, and the communication machinery is not very effective.

“It takes a while for the news to travel from such areas. Also, people become afraid to report such an occurrence due to fear of reprisal from the assailants. That is why the incident came to light late in the evening when they managed to reach the hospital,” said Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Khunti), Ranvir Singh.

Singh added that the villagers holding a meeting at a common place was common in the region. “The total gathering may not have been more than 20-25, with some elders and children also being part of it. Villagers are saying that the PLFI men, around a dozen, accused them that they were holding a peace meet. However, the villagers told them that they were planning how to attend a meeting in Khunti scheduled a couple of days ago. But the PLFI men insisted that it was a peace meeting and opened fire,” said Singh.

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