Suspected Maoists target ex-BJP MLA, slit throats of two police guards

IN AN attack on former BJP MLA Gurucharan Nayak, suspected Maoists reportedly slit the throats of two police personnel assigned to guard him, during a felicitation ceremony in Goilkera police station area of West Singhbhum district in Jharkhand on Tuesday.

A press release issued by DSP, Headquarters, West Singhbhum, Sudhir Kumar, said the former Manoharpur MLA was in Jhilrua village, under Goilkera police station, to participate in a sports event. “After the sports event ended around 5.30 pm, Naxals in civil dress surrounded his vehicle and snatched the weapons of his guards… one got killed and another went missing (he was found dead later). The third guard along with the former MLA reached Sonua safely. After we were informed, the West Singhbhum police and CRPF personnel started conducting raids which is ongoing,” said the statement.

Ajay Linda, Chaibasa SP, confirmed that two guards were killed in the attack. “One guard was initially missing, but we later found his body… As per Nayak’s statement, this was the work of armed Maoists. We are investigating all possible angles,” he said.

Quoting Chakradharpur Sub-Divisional Police Officer Dilip Khalkho, a PTI report said the guards’ throats were slit. “The Maoists slit the throats of his two policemen bodyguards and snatched their AK-47 rifles. They also snatched a similar rifle from another security personnel and fled the spot,” the officer said, according to the report.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Nayak’s brother, Rajesh Pradhan, said he was at the spot during the attack. “More than two dozen armed men entered the playground and started firing in the air. Before anyone could react, a dozen armed men, who we suspect were Maoists, attacked the two guards from behind and slit their throats. Another guard fought them, he was injured. We fled in the commotion, and escaped to our village,” he said. He said Nayak had escaped a Maoist attack in 2012 too.

Speaking to reporters, Nayak said: “We go to the playground every year; the awards had been distributed and I was ready to board my vehicle around 5.15 pm. At that time, about 20-30 Maoists came, stabbed the guards, and looted us. I managed to escape.”

He identified the two police personnel who died as Shankar Nayak and Thakur Hembrem.

Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP targeted the state government on the deteriorating law and order situation.

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