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Braveheart villager drives away Naxals

Mohiddin Khan, 50, of Joladiga village under Pratappur police station area in Chatra district gave a befitting reply to Maoists today.


With his illegal guns, Khan fought with a group of 50 Maoists for 15 minutes with the help of his 30-year-old son and compelled them to retreat. Later, women of the village also came to his rescue.


Chatra superintendent of police Narendra Kumar Singh confirmed the incident saying Khan sustained injuries and was admitted to Magadh Medical College in Bihar's Gaya. He said that Khan must have fired 10-15 rounds of fire.


Sources said that a group of eight Maoists entered Khan's village on four motorbikes, leaving behind 50 others outside the village. There was a woman too.


"The group targeted Khan. Sensing trouble, he entered his house and took position at a safe place with his son and then started firing. Some extremists were injured. Unaware of the level of preparation, the rebels thought it was wiser to retreat. But before they left, one of the bullets fired by them hit Khan in his chest," a police officer said.


Sources said that the police reached the spot four hours after the incident. A local resident said that Khan was on the hit list of the rebels for long and it was not the first time that Khan challenged the rebels.


Meanwhile, a Congress worker, who was abducted by suspected Maoists, was found dead in a field surrounded by forests and hillocks in Usida village of Bundu, a Naxalite stronghold in Ranchi district, this morning.


Maheshwar Mahto (40), along with Shashi Bhusan Mahto, was kidnapped two days ago from Sataki village. While Maheshwar was found with his throat slit, Shashi Bhusan is still missing.


Superintendent of police (rural) Anup T. Mathew said that Maheshwar used to run a public distribution centre. However, he added that they had not been able to establish whether extremists had carried out the murder though the suspicion is on them. "We have not found any pamphlet or poster left behind by the Maoists, taking responsibility for the murder. Thus it is difficult to say whether Naxalites had killed Maheshwar. But we suspect their involvement," Mathew said.


In another incident, a para-teacher was shot near Lalpur Primary High School in Basia police station of Gumla district last evening.


Ram Lakhan Rai alias Ranthu Gope (35) was returning to his home at Pakar Toli around 6.30pm when three unidentified motorcycle-borne men intercepted him and fired three rounds on him.


According to police, Gope, who was also into construction, might have been killed over a dispute over levy. The police added that Gope did not hold any post in BJP but was an active member of the party. "A few days ago, an unidentified man had called up Gope, demanding levy from him. He refused to make the payment. It might happen that that unidentified caller had plotted his murder," a local resident said, requesting anonymity.


© The Telegraph / July 13, 2009


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