The CPI (Maoist) Koel Sankh Zone has declared three former comrades who have joined the political mainstream as traitors and warned of trial by a jan adalat (people’s court) anyone supporting their candidature in the coming Assembly or Lok Sabha elections.In a six-page statement, the rebels’ Koel Sankh Zone spokesperson Sudhir condemned the three ex-Maoist leaders.

The statement targeted the former zonal commander, Keshar alias Ranjan Yadav, now a member of the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), a coalition partner in the current Jharkhand government, the former Special Area Commander and a senior member in the zonal committee, Yugalpal alias Madan, who has joined the All-Jharkhand Students Union in Palamu after he was released from jail this year, and the former sub zonal commander Vinod Sharma alias Karim.

“These cadres are traitors. They have been trying to give the impression that they have the party’s support but this is not true. They collude with the police in paramilitary operations and are helping senior police officials. Keshar went to the limit of holding a violent public demonstration in Paki on September 5 over the transfer of police inspector P.K. Mishra who had been carrying out operations against the Maoists by extending support to police vigilante groups such as the Tritiya Prastuti Committee [TPC],” the statement said.

However, Mr. Yadav has denied holding any such demonstration. “The Maoists have forgotten what it is to be a Maoist. They are amassing wealth and making investments. They have no right to call me a traitor. I met RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav in Delhi recently and said I wanted to work for the party. He offered me support and said the RJD might allow me to contest parliamentary elections from Chatra,” he said.

Mr. Yadav unsuccessfully contested parliamentary elections from Chatra in 2009 on the CPI (M-L) ticket and then the Assembly elections as the RLD candidate from Palamu a few months later.

Among 14 MPs from Jharkhand, Kameshwar Baitha, who represents Palamu constituency is a former Maoist zonal commander, who won the seat in 2009 on the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) ticket defeating the sitting RJD MP Ghuran Ram.

His house in Vishrampur in Palamu was blown up by the Maoists in 2011. Paulus Surin, also a former Maoist, had won on the JMM ticket from Torpa Assembly constituency in 2009.

“Maoists have not come from somewhere outside. They are local youth and we will give them all opportunities to join the party and the political mainstream,” said JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya.