Members of the Bhagata tribe reportedly rejected the dikat of the Maoists to handover their lands to Kondu tribals.

Maoists led by military action committee commander Jambri chased and thrashed members of Bhagata tribe on Tuesday afternoon killing two instantaneously and injuring six others for objecting to their diktat. One of the six succumbed to injuries on his way to the hospital.

Initial reports on Tuesday had indicated that the Maoists had fired at the tribal people and killed three of them.

The Maoists accompanied by a large group of militia members assembled here on Tuesday afternoon and summoned the members of Bhagata tribes from Saagulu village to attend a panchayat where some 75 Kondu tribals from different villages were also present.

At the meeting, Jambri charged members of Bhagata tribe with turning into landlords and directed them to hand over their lands to members of Kondu tribe, most of who had migrated from Odisha, as they did not have any land, a Bhagata tribal Vanjara Gopalakrishna told reporters here on Wednesday. He had objected to the diktat pointing out that they themselves were leading a hand-to-mouth existence and that they hardly had 2-3 acres of land.

Further, they had inherited this land from their ancestors and they were not willing to part with it. An argument followed and the Bhagata tribals started to leave the place.

Annoyed by the opposition, the Maoists thrashed Gopalakrishna prompting the Bhagata villagers to flee. However, the Maoists chased the villagers and thrashed them, even women and elderly were not spared, Gopalakrishna said.

Vanjara Hanumantha Rao who climbed an attic in a house in the village was pulled out and beaten to death, his wife Lakshmi said. Another tribal Boduva Kondaiah was also beaten to death. The bodies were lying in the village even on Wednesday afternoon in the absence of any assistance from any quarter. Slippers and sticks were strewn all over the village.

The six who were seriously injured were being carried by villagers in makeshift stretchers on Wednesday afternoon when a police team led by District Superintendent of Police G Srinivas arrived. Two of the critically injuredwere shifted to KGH in an 108 ambulance .

At least another 15 to 20 Bhagata tribals suffered injuries in the attack.

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