Protest against Maoists in Jharkhand

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Latehar (Jharkhand)/ Midnapore (West Bengal), Mar 28 (ANI): The kin of a Maoist victim on Saturday staged a protest against the rebels in Jharkhand's Latehar district.

The Maoists had killed deserter Jamuna Prasad on Thursday.

The people of Mahuadand village have lodged a case with the police against the Maoist violence and observed a shutdown in protest.

"If you see in the complete area, specially in Mahuadand area, the actual people who are giving shelter to Maoists are the middlemen who are related to development work," said Ram Nath Yadav, a brother of Prasad.

"Public has not been heard at all or taken to some public court. After this incident a statement has been given that he has been killed being a stooge of the police and Sanjay Yadav," added Amrit Tiga.

Meanwhile, locals in West Bengal have alleged torture at the hands of security forces fighting rebels.

Security personnel reportedly mounted a cane-charge on villagers as they protested against police excesses.

Earlier this week, the Maoists had called for a 48-hour shutdown in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, and three districts of Maharashtra, protesting against the Union Government's operation.

The Maoist rebels had on February 22 offered a conditional 72-day ceasefire through the media, and said they are willing to talk to the government if it aborts Operation Green Hunt. Many believe the truce offer is a ruse to regroup.

The Maoists contend they are fighting for the rights of the poor, marginal farmers and the landless labourers.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had on February 12 defended the use of force against the Maoists, saying it was the legitimate right of the government to establish law and order, build infrastructure and set up welfare measures.

He expressed confidence that the Centre would be able to get rid of the Maoist menace over the next four years. Once the areas are cleared of Maoist elements, development work would be pursued expeditiously.

Referring to a reported offer of talks made by the Maoists through the media recently, Chidambaram said, "Why aren't the Maoists making a simple statement that we abjure violence?" (ANI)

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