On Saturday, in a gory Game of Thrones-style execution, naxals beheaded three men on the border of Bihar and Jharkhand. These three were declared police informers and killed by the members of Communist Party of India – Maoist (CPI-Maoist). The mutilated corpses were found on Sunday morning and have been sent for post-mortem by the police.
The gruesome incident took place in Gaadi village, which comes under the jurisdiction of Chakai police station, in Jamui District of Bihar. The men have been identified as Joginder Turi (30), Mukesh Kumar Rai (27), and Tipan Mandal (26). While Turi and Rai were from Chowki and Garang village of Bhelwaghati Giridih District in Jharkhand, Mandal was a resident of Gaadi village itself.
The bodies were found covered with white cloth and there was a notice that read, “Chirag ka badla” (revenge for Chirag). This is evidently a reference to the January 2016 encounter in which Maoist Chirag Da had been killed. Three pamphlets were placed near the dead bodies, of which one asked locals to “identify police informers and bring them to people’s courts, were they should be awarded death penalty.” The other pamphlets warned, “Police informers will be meted similar fate” and “Stop violence and exploiting innocent locals in name of Operation Green Hunt.”
Mandal’s neighbours, all of whom are farmhands, dispute any claims of him being linked to the police. However, the other two men’s reputation is different. Local sources told Newslaundry that Turi and Rai were on good terms with Jharkhand police and were rumoured to be informers. “Turi was part of the system, so he had no options,” one of our sources told us on condition of anonymity. “Mukesh used to visit police station for petty contracts. So it’s natural that the police officers might have asked him about movements in the village.”
Sources at Chakai Police station confirmed that Turi had been a chowkidaar (with the police’s rural guards segment) and was discharged “following some misconduct.” The police also confirmed that Rai had currently been working on some construction work for the police station.
As far as the timeline can be pieced together from various sources, Turi and Rai met on Saturday evening and went to look for labour to the nearby village of Pipratand (in Giridih). From there, the duo headed to Gaadi village to attend a party and appear to have been nabbed by naxals around 10pm or 11pm. Tipan Mandal was picked up from his house in Gaadi.
Barely 50 metres from Mandal’s home, the trio were first beaten by lathis and later beheaded on a dirt road. The corpses were found at a spot that’s a stone’s throw from the government school. The decision to conduct these beheadings in Gaadi may well have more to do with the naxals making their presence felt and underscoring their might, than avenging Chirag Da. The brutality of the crime is deliberate and makes a mockery of state-administered law enforcement, which no doubt was the underlying intent.
Rattled by the incident and particularly the sight of Mandal’s decapitated body, the villagers demanded security cover for Gaadi and didn’t allow the police to take the corpses for two hours. Local journalists said Gaadi is not used to such violence. It’s been relatively protected because of the presence of Special Police Officers (SPO). However, naxals have warned SPOs about “exploiting” the locals and it seems Gaadi village has been caught in the tangled power play between police forces and naxals.