CPI-Maoist too demands judicial probe into Baske’s encounter

Ranchi: It’s not just Motilal Baske’s family, villagers and political parties demanding justice in the controversial encounter. Now, CPI-Maoist has also demanded judicial inquiry into the killing of Baske.

The banned outfit issued a press communiqué, which states that Baske was killed in a fake encounter. It further said, that the tribal man, gunned down by Jharkhand Police was not even a simple member associated with the group, leave aside the theory of him being member of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA).  PLGA is the armed unit of CPI-Maoist, which engages in activities of attacking on police and government.

The outfit has also demanded action to be taken against the accused officers.

JMM raises the issue in Ranchi

The moment is getting stronger. The voices are getting louder.

Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha’s (JMM) Giridih unit led by Sudiv Kumar Sonu, reached Ranchi today along with Parvati Murmu, widow of Baske to meet former chief minister Hemant Soren. In the press met Soren has demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs, a government job for Baske’s kin and appropriate punishment for those accused.

The JMM’s Rajya Sabha MP Savjiv Kumar, who was present at the conference, told eNewsroom over the phone, “JMM is very serious about this inhuman act. We will soon be raising this issue in the Rajya Sabha. We will also approach the National Human Rights Commission.”

Kumar, who is also a practicing lawyer at the Supreme Court, also claimed that they may move to the Apex Court if required.

While CPI-ML observed protest day across district and demanded Rs 50 lakh compensation for the deceased family.

Baske was collecting wood, when killed

The communiqué released by North Chotanagpur Zonal Committee of CPI-Maoist, validated that the Jharkhand police did attack them, but none from their group had been killed. It also narrates in detail, how Baske, a poor labour, who was accidentally present on the spot, got killed. The communiqué even expressed surprise at Jharkhand Police’s Director General, rewarding the police for a fake encounter.

The two pages communiqué narrates, “When the encounter took place, Baske wearing a lungi and a banyan, was chopping woods with his axe. On realizing that firing was taking place in the vicinity, he fled, but was gunned down by the police.” It further adds, “After killing Baske, the officers were heard chanting – Jai Hind, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, which sounded like khisiyani billi khamba nochey (police shouting out of frustration). DGP DK Pandey rewarding the police for killing an innocent poor man, sound so sad,” the letter said.

“It is act of cowardice. It is a brutal murder,” further read the leaflet issued by the banned outfit.

Jharkhand tribal ‘naxal’ leader’s encounter termed fake

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 big 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.

Fake Encounter
Villagers and political parties met to decide over action against the alleged encounter of Baske

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.

Fair At Naxal Hot-bed Gets A Thumbs Up

Giridih: Sixty-year-old Mahavir Mahto, a resident of Ambagarha, is happily returning home from the Poor Welfare Fair cum Night Stay. Not only has Mahto got his medical check up done at the fair but has also accepted the free medicines given to him.

It’s not just Mahto who reaped the dividends from the first of its kind community event organised by the government in these many year, there were thousands. Take the example of 22-year-old Devki Kumari of Baradih, a major in chemistry. She has not only filled the government employment form. She has been assured to be bagging a government job at the right time.

“It’s a lifetime experience for me. For the first time that such an event has been organised by the administration here,” recalls Mahto.

Giridih was carved out of Hazaribagh in 1972. However, even before getting a separate status, Pirtand was a backward area and hence it became a stronghold of naxals. Its political vacuum coupled with absence of government activity, a lot of naxal activities used to take place here. So, this fair was the first major intervention at Harladih, Pirtand, targeting villagers of 21 villages. The villager also embraced this opportunity with open heart.


The large number of people at the Poor Welfare Fair cum Night Stay

The humongous turnout at the fair, made the organisers go tizzy. Stalls related to health, employment, pension and LED bulb distribution witnessed the maximum footfall. Around 4501 applications were submitted to stalls set up by various admistrative departments, of which 3881 applications have been addressed on the spot.

However, keeping into account the huge turnout and the chaos that followed it, not every visitor was pleased with the fair’s arrangement. “I have been moving from one stall to another, ever since I have reached the fair. The help desk has also not been helpful. I had approached them seeking their help to locate the stall, from where I could get an employment form? But despite running to many stall, I am yet to get one. No one is providing correct information,” complained Sapna Murmu, who had come from Palma to attend the fair. Murmu has completed Post Graduation (PG) in Hindi from PK Roy college, Dhanbad and looking for job. Her sister-in-law has also done her PG in political Science. However, despite being tribals from an extremely backward area, have not been able to get a job so far.

“The fair should not become a place for visiting purpose. There should be facilities to resolve issues on the spot,” rued Murmu.

Pirtand, being the hub of naxal activities in Giridih, was a place where no officials preferred getting posted or staying there. So, when this fair was being planned, it faced a lot of apprehensions. And because of security concerns, officials chose to keep the event site adjacent to Harladih police picket.

“We had not expected that this many people would turn up. But, we will try to entertain each person. We have instructed official in every stall to cater to each visitor, they need to address maximum people,” claimed Deputy Commissioner Uma Shankar Singh.
The list of Maoist leaders and the reward for informers displayed at the fair

Significantly, there was a stall set up by Giridih police, which had put up a banner listing a dozen of most wanted CPI-Maoist leaders. In other words, the police was using the opportunity to seek help from the villagers to hunt down the naxal leaders, they even were offering huge cash prize to the informers. One Turuk Manjhi has Rs one crore reward on him, was also listed there.

Keeping public safety into account, a huge number of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had been deployed in and around Pirtand. Senior commanders, with experience of having worked in naxal area, but who were now posted in Jammu & Kashmir were also present on duty at this fair to assist local police officials to safely conduct the event.

“We will not reveal the exact number, how much force has been deployed, but they are sufficient in number,” said CRPF commandant Nisheet Kumar.

While superintendent of police Akhilesh Variar said that, adequate security arrangements have made around the fair area.

Member of Parliament from Giridih Ravindra Pandey also reached the fair, late in the evening and will be staying overnight along with the administration officials.

There will be late night cultural activities also at the site.