An eerie silence in Suki after Red revenge
BRUTAL Scared locals are resigned to the four walls of their homes, even as police reinforcements have turned the entire village into a virtual fort. The village lanes and by-lanes are nearly deserted
SUKI (VAISHALI): An eerie silence prevails in Suki village, about 45 km north of the district headquarters, following the brutal murders of Patepur’s deputy chief of the block and his son late on Friday night by armed CPI (Maoists) guerrillas.
Such is the tension here that no one would speak to visiting media teams on Saturday. People are resigned to the four walls of their homes, even as police reinforcements have turned the village into a virtual fort.
The village lanes and by-lanes wore deserted looks, even street dogs distancing from strangers and at police footfalls.
It needed immense persuasion to filter and reconstruct the incident.
Eyewitnesses told HT, that the Red squad ringed the village. Nearly 40 guerillas then took up vantage defensive positions, isolated the home of Umesh Singh, 52, while keeping up steady firing in the air and exploded bombs to deter his co-villagers from coming to his rescue. Singh’s hands and legs were chopped and his body was dragged quite a distance, before they came for his son, Kunal Bharti, 30, who was shot. The Maoists came on motorcycles and the operation ended in 20 minutes. The retreating Maoists also blew up a portion of Singh’s newly built house, using dynamites.
“They used hand held hailers to announce that they had come to teach Singh a lesson and had no enmity with any other villager. The villagers were advised to keep to their homes and not venture out”.
Villagers say, “There seemed to be no reason for the attack. Singh was not an exploiter of the poor either on caste lines or any other. He had snapped links with one Indra Mohan Singh alias Bigul, who had a tainted past and was gunned down recently near Khabra village by the Maoists.”
Significantly, villagers claimed, “The Maoists had pasted posters and the police were communicated the development. Had night patrolling been taken up, the incident could have been averted,” said one.
With the silence of the morgue prevailing, no villager ventured out to visit the victim family. It was left to DIG Tirhut Sushil Khopde to call in heavy reinforcements and lift the bodies for post mortem.
Officially, Patepur areas under which Suki falls has been designated a hyper-active Maoist area and four villages are ‘outside police control’ and fully under the Reds to such an extent, that even day time raids are not carried out.
Khopde said, explosive material was collected from the site of occurrence along with used cartridge shells by the FSL experts, who were summoned early morning on Saturday. “The police had seized some posters in which ultras had spelt out the reason for killing. The victims were branded as sympathizers of feudal forces,” said the DIG, adding, the dead had no criminal records.
The postmortem was conducted by three doctors at Hajipur Sadar hospital and the last rites were performed amid tight police security at Hajipur’s Kaunharaghat.
(Clockwise from top) The poster left behind by Maoists after the attack; angry locals protest against police inaction and the debris of block deputy chief’s house after the dynamite blast.