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Jharkhand: Internecine Carnage

 Ranchi,May 30:-- On May 21, 2017, seven cadres of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), were killed in an exchange of fire between two of its own factions in the Keredari area of Hazaribagh District. Three of the slain cadres were identified as TPC 'zonal commander' Sagar Ganzu, 'area commander' Manish Mahato and 'commander' Jhonson. One severed head recovered from the spot is yet to be identified. The remaining three bodies were taken away by the rebels. The Police team recovered some empty cartridges, Naxal [Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)] uniforms, a blood-stained carpet and other items from the spot. Bhimsen Tuti, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), North Chhotanagpur Division, disclosed that the group fought following a dispute on the sharing of money extorted from construction companies.


On April 17, 2017, a villager, Shiv Nath Yadav (55), and his son, Guddu Yadav (28), were killed by over 20 armed CPI-Maoist cadres at village Kulheya under Harihurganj Police Station in Palamu District. The two were suspected by CPI-Maoist cadres to be TPC supporters.


On March 24, 2017, three TPC cadres were killed in an internecine clash at Seeta Chuan under the Mohammadganj Police Station in Palamau District. One of the dead was identified as 'zonal commander' Ajay Yadav, carried a reward of INR 500,000 on his head. The other two were identified as 'area commanders' Krishna Kharwar and Ravindra Mahto. Police recovered one AK-47 rifle, one INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) assault rifle, one semi automatic rifle, one .303 rifle, along with 630 live bullets, 23 magazines, 11 cell phones, several Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), 50 meters of Codex wire, and six back packs.


According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), out of a total of 15 LWEs killed during the current year, at least 13 were killed in fratricidal incidents (data till May 28, 2017). During the corresponding period of 2016, out of a total of 14 LWEs killed, at least six deaths occurred in such incidents. Through 2016, fratricidal incidents were responsible for 18 out of a total of 40 LWE cadre deaths.


Indeed, since 2010 in Jharkhand fratricidal killings have been a major trend. Out of a total of 309 LWE fatalities, at least 133 were killed in such incidents, a staggering 43.04 per cent. More worryingly, the number of such killings witnessed a surge in 2016, even as the overall percentage also increased - accounting for 29.72 per cent in 2015, 45.0 per cent in 2016, and 86.66 per cent in 2017 (data till May 28).


These internecine clashes have also affected the overall LWE situation in the State. According to the SATP database, there were a total of 35 deaths [18 civilians, two Security Force (SF) personnel, and 15 LWEs] in LWE-violence related deaths in the current year, as compared to 33 (nine civilians, seven SF personnel, and 17 LWEs) during the corresponding period of the previous year. Overall fatalities in such violence stood at 81 (31 civilians, 10 SF personnel, and 40 LWEs) through 2016, as compared to 58 (16 civilians, five SF personnel, and 37 LWEs) in 2015, an increase of 39.65 per cent.


Significantly, civilian fatalities, which had declined considerably from 48 in 2014 to an all time low of 16 in 2015, almost doubled and at 31 in 2016. During the first four months and 26 days of the current year, the State has already recorded 18 civilian deaths in such violence. Significantly, splinter groups of the CPI-Maoist have been responsible for the larger proportion of this increase, rather than the parent formation. While all 16 civilians' fatalities were inflicted by CPI-Maoist cadres in 2015, splinter groups were responsible for 18 of 31 civilian deaths recorded in 2016, while 13 were killed by CPI-Maoist cadres. In the current year, splinter groups have already killed five of the 18 civilian victims of such violence.




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