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Death penalty for 2 Maoist activists

Posted by Admin on August 27, 2009

ISHVENDU JAIPURIAR
Hazaribagh, Aug. 26: A fast-track court in Chatra awarded the death penalty to two Maoists for killing a policeman, looting arms and torching a government vehicle in 1998.

The fast-track court-III of Srikant Rai went through the evidence provided by the police — they had built a watertight case — and heard all 13 witnesses before coming out with the death verdict today, a first by any court in the district.

According to sources, on November 24, 1998, a police team was in Atampur village of Simaria conducting raids. The group was ambushed by armed Maoists, who killed three persons on the spot.

They were two policemen — Binod Singh and Yogendra Kumar Vats — besides a chowkidar’s son.

The Maoists later looted the arms of the policemen and set their vehicle ablaze before fleeing.

An FIR was lodged in Simaria (case no 85/98) and later two rebels were arrested — Krishna Ganjhu and Ramdev Mahto.

Though this was a landmark judgment in Chatra, rebels have been awarded the death penalty before.

In 2003, three extremists were awarded the death penalty by a Hazaribagh court for killing 14 people in Beltu, a remote village in Keredari block in April 2001.

Chatra has suffered for long due to Maoist terror, having had to forgo any kind of development and associated benefits.

When planners and those with construction projects came to the district, the rebels would strike, triggering panic and ensuring that others with similar ideas stayed away.

Several policemen have been killed and, over the years, residents have come to terms with following Maoists’ diktat in order to live in peace.

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