Compensation for dead villagers termed Maoist rebels

May 21st, 2009 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, May 21 (IANS) The Jharkhand government has announced compensation of Rs.500,000 and a job to one family member each of the five villagers killed last month by security personnel who claimed the villagers were Maoist guerrillas.
Governor Syed Sibte Razi announced the compensation package Wednesday evening after a probe report, the contents of which were not disclosed. According to officials, the report raised questions over the incident.

On April 15, a day before the first round of the general elections, Maoist rebels in Latehar district had blasted a bus carrying paramilitary personnel going for polling duty, killing two paratroopers and the bus driver.

Five people were killed in the ensuing gunfire. Police initially claimed that they were Maoist guerrillas, but villagers protested saying the victims were innocent.

On April 22, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) called for a strike to protest the killing of innocent villagers. A passenger train was hijacked in Latehar to highlight the issue and compensation of Rs.1 million as well as a government job demanded.

The state government had removed Latehar deputy commissioner Sarvendu Tathagat, superintendent of police Hemant Toppo and Palamau range deputy inspector general Nandu Prasad after the incident.

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