MP's killing focuses on vulnerability of Maoist targets (India)

The sensational killing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Sunil Mahto near Jamshedpur by suspected Maoists has once again proved the sway of the rebels and the way they are able to operate here with impunity.


The 41-year-old JMM general secretary and four others were killed by suspected Maoist rebels on Sunday evening near Narsingh village of Jamshedpur district, about 140 km from here. The assailants pumped seven bullets into the MP while he was watching a football match.

Mahto is the second politician of high stature in the last two years to fall prey to the bullets of the suspected rebels.

In January 2005, just before the assembly elections, Maoists killed Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) legislator Mahendra Singh in Giridih district.

Police said the rebels had claimed responsibility for the killing, being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in their pamphlets.

According to police, more than 25 politicians were killed in the state in the last six years. Three years ago, Maoist rebels blasted a landmine in a public meeting of former chief minister Babulal Marandi. They had also made an unsuccessful attempt on former state home minister Sudesh Mahto.

In October 2000, Maoist rebels had gunned down Lohardagga district Superintendent of Police (SP) Ajay Kumar.

'We regularly review the security of VVIPs and issue security advisories to politicians. But politicians do not care to follow our suggestions,' said a senior police official of the state intelligence department.

Security personnel are more vulnerable. Official figures in the last six years have shown that more Maoist rebels have been killed than security personnel -- 262 state police and paramilitary personnel as against 256 Maoist rebels. In the same period, rebels killed 323 civilians, said a police official.

When Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in November 2000, Maoists were active in only eight districts. They have now spread their network in 16 districts.

Von: 05.03.2007

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