Phulbani: In a major breakthrough, Kandhamal police Wednesday arrested seven militia members for their involvement in the gunning down of a watchman at a road construction site in Kandhamal district suspecting him to be a police informer January 5.
The ultras had shot dead the watchman, Rabindra Mallick before setting ablaze three tractors, a road roller and a truck engaged in construction of road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
The arrested members have been identified as Agasti Ghatal of Madikular, Baidhar Mallick, Prafulla Nayak of Tikiripada, Prasant Ghatal, Kambhupani Behera, Balaram Behera and Seemanchal Behera.
“All of them have confessed to being members of Kandhamal-Kalahandi-Boudh-Nayagarh (KKBN) division of the banned CPI (Maoist), said Kandhamal superintendent of police Prateek Singh before presser.
According to the case diary, armed Maoists struck at a contractor’s camp at Patiamba, 18 km from here, under the jurisdiction of Phulbani Sadar police station. They set ablaze the vehicles used for road construction work and then shot dead the watchman January 5 night.
Before leaving the area, the Maoists put up some leaflets near the site, the SP said.
The leaflets mentioned that the attack was made by It was stated in the leaflets that the watchman was killed as they suspected him to be an informer of the police, Singh said.
Under suspect, police arrested eight persons of Madikula and Tikiripada village. While seven of them confessed of being militia members, one was released after no evidence was found against him, the SP added.
“The seven are active members and used to provide information to the Maoists. They are also involved in several violent activities including the recent firing at Sudrukumpa forest,” the SP stated adding that a further probe was on to know about the involvement of more persons.
It may be noted here that, at least four Maoists, including a woman cadre, had been killed in the same area in May last year in an exchange of fire with the police.
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