Maoists indicated their continued activity in the Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh as they allegedly shot dead a 45-year-old man on intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, accusing him of being a police informer.
Balaghat is among the most Maoist-affected areas in Madhya Pradesh – the other two districts being Mandla and Dindori – all bordering Chhattisgarh.
The deceased, Bhagchand Adme, was a resident of village Bamhni under the Roopjhar police station of Balaghat, about 45km from the district headquarters. A handwritten note, which said that Adme was being ‘sentenced to death’ for being a police informer and betraying the people, was found near his body, who was shot at point blank range in his head. The note was signed ‘CPI Maoist – Tada, Malajkhand area committee’.
Abhishek Tiwari, Superintendent of Police, Balaghat, confirmed to THE WEEK that Maoists were behind the killing of Adme. He said that the deceased had been abducted from his home by about eight armed Maoists in uniform, in the presence of his family members, while he was having his dinner. Also, there were about a dozen ‘back up’ members, suspected to be Maoists, present during the abduction.
When Adme did not return home, a search was initiated and his body with the bullet injury and the handwritten note nearby was recovered. The SP said that the post-mortem confirmed the bullet injury to be the cause of the death and the preliminary probe pointed out that the perpetrators were Maoists.
Tiwari denied that Adme was a police informer and said that the murder was done to create terror in the area.
Adme’s killing comes just over a year after a similar incident in Pujari Tola village in the same area in June 2020. Sonu Tekam, 30, had returned to his village from Hyderabad after three years due to COVID-19 induced lockdown, when he was shot dead. In June 2019, too, the Maoists had allegedly killed Brajlal Munda, 40, by first stabbing and then shooting him. Munda, a resident of Pikona village, had also been tortured before the murder. Both of them, too, were accused of being police informers.
Tiwari said that Balaghat district continues to be a sensitive zone with Maoist activities reported regularly. “The situation becomes more obvious when there is an incident like a murder, but the activities continue and the police also carry out sustained operations against them,” the SP said.