PATNA: At least 12 villagers, including three women and one child, were killed in a brutal Maoist attack by nearly 150 heavily-armed rebels who stormed Phulwariya village in Bihar’s Jamui district late on Wednesday night.
Police sources in Jamui on Thursday said there was a possibility that the Maoists had abducted some villagers during the course of the strike, which came hot on the heels of the Maoist attack on the Eastern Frontier Rifles camp in Midnapore district of West Bengal three days ago.
According to ADG (Headquarters) U. S. Dutt, the ultras swooped down on the village firing indiscriminately and dynamiting houses, gutting 35 huts.
Of the 12 killed, six were Kora Adivasis while two were from so-called backward castes.
“Two bodies were charred beyond recognition, so it is not possible to ascertain whether they were tribals or belonged to the backward castes,” said Mr. Dutt.
Strongly condemning the violence, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a compensation of Rs.1.5 lakh for the kin of each deceased, in addition to Rs.50,000 each from the Chief Minister’s Relief fund.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Dutt said the prime cause of the attack was that villagers of Phulwariya and surrounding areas had been opposing the naxals for some time.
“The Maoists had put up leaflets on village walls warning villagers not to side with the police. Apparently the ultras suspected them of handing eight of their comrades over to the police, which would then make it a ‘revenge’ attack,” said Mr. Dutt.
According to informed sources, the naxals’ objective was to hunt down their key ex-cadres who were believed to have been living in the village.