Giridih/Ranchi: The news of CPI- Maoist leader Motilal Baske, being gunned down by Jharkhand Police in an encounter had gone viral recently. This encounter, as claimed by the Jharkhand police, was a prized one. However, villagers and political parties are now raising serious question on the entire theory of the police, and termed it fake. Baske, they claim, was a simple labour, who ferried pilgrims at the Parasnath Hills.
Since the time of united Bihar, Parasnath hills have been safe zone for naxals operating in the region. Not only it connects from Orissa to Chattisgarh, but it has been training center for the Maoists also.
Recently, Jharkhand police announced that by the end of 2017, Parasnath Hills would no longer be a safe corridor for Communist Party of India (CPI) – Maoist. The declaration come from none other than the Director General of Police, DK Pandey.
Within few days of it, on June 9, Giridih police claimed that they had an encounter with CPI-Maoist members at Dholkata. This area falls under Pirtand police station. During this encounter, they claimed that one person (Baske) had been killed, and a lot of weapons as well as an SLR had been recovered from his possession.
However, the police was unable to identify the dead body, initially. They got to discover his identity, after day of having him gunned down. The police, however, stood firm on their stand that Baske was a CPI-Maoist leader.
Post encounter, DGP Pandey not only inspected the spot, but also felicitated Giridih police.
Forty-eight-year-old Baske,survived by three children and a wife was a resident of Dholkatta village and ran a small shop. He earned a few extra bucks by working as ferry or dolli majdoor at the Parasnath hills.
Baske, a member of the Majdoor Sangathan Samiti (MSS), a body recognises labours working in the Parasnath hills also had an Aadhar card. Unlike Maoists, he even had a Voter Id card and an account with the Bank of India.
“He was a beneficiary of the Indira Awas Yoja and withdrew his first installment this year,” informed Buddhan Hemburm, vice president of Marang Buru organization.
Soon after the incident, MSS called for a meeting, declaring that Baske was not a Maoist. They maintained that the police killed him in cold blood, when he was returning home after ferrying pilgrims.
Later even CPI-ML backed the claim. Following which support from political parties like the Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha (JMM) and Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (JVM) came in.
“On June 15, we will be organizing protest march in every block of Giridih. We want justice for Baske and his family,” said Rajesh Sinha, a CPI-ML leader.
JMM leader Sudiv Kumar Sonu even termed the encounter as an “institutional murder”. He also arranged a conference call, to initiate a talk between former chief minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren and Baske’s wife. Soren, has agreed to help her.
MSS and various political parties had called for a Maha Panchayat in Pirtand, on June 14. To create political pressure, a Giridih bandh has been called on June 17.
“He had gone to the shop. And had promised to bring woods in the evening,” said Parvati Murmu, his wife. She even lodged an FIR at Pirtand police station after the maha panchayat got over. In her complaint, she has maintained that her husband was innocent and had been killed by the police in a fake encounter. She even demanded for stern action to be taken against the accused police officials.
“We had to force the reluctant officials to give a receiving copy to Bakse’s family. Tomorrow, we will be registering a case in court,” Rajesh added.
When eNewsroom contacted Akhilesh Variar, Giridih’s superintendent of police, he refused to comment on the issue.