Maoist killing of policeman shocks Jharkhand

Policeman Lucas Tete`s killing by Maoists has sent shock waves across Jharkhand with people condemning the "cowardly" act of the Left-wing rebels.

Last Updated: Sep 03, 2010, 18:29 PM IST

Ranchi: Policeman Lucas Tete`s killing by Maoists has sent shock waves across Jharkhand with people condemning the "cowardly" act of the Left-wing rebels. The wife of another abducted policeman from Jharkhand, Ehsan Khan, has threatened to commit suicide if her husband is killed.

The body of Tete, who hailed from a poor tribal family in Jharkhand`s Simdega district, was found near Simratali forest in Bihar`s Lakhisarai district Friday. He is survived by his wife Pyari and three teenaged daughters - Anjela, Majula and Neelam.

Pyari, with her three daughters, went to Patna Thursday to meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other officials and to appeal to them to ensure safe release of her husband.

Ehsan Khan, a resident of Mandar block in Ranchi, is still being held hostage by Maoists along with two other policemen - Rupesh Kumar Sinha and Abhay Kumar Yadav. Maoists Thursday said they had killed a policeman and it was mistakenly believed he was Yadav.

Farida Khanam, Khan`s wife, who is posted with the Bihar Military Police, has threatened to commit suicide if her husband is killed. She has appealed to Maoists to free her husband.

"Please spare my husband, and forgive us for any faults that we have committed," a sobbing Farida appealed to the rebels through a television channel.

Expressing grief over the incident, former chief minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren appealed to Maoists to release the three other abducted policemen. In a press statement of the JMM, Soren said: "We condemn the killing of Lucas Tete. We appeal to Maoists to hold dialogue with the Bihar government and release the three other abducted cops."

Other political parties have also condemned the killing. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also expressed grief over Tete`s killing and appealed to Maoists to release the other kidnapped policemen. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Girinath Singh has also condemned the killing.

Jharkhand police have strongly condemned the incident, terming it an act of cowardice.

"We condemn the killing. The Maoists are turning out to be terrorists. Jharkhand police want to know what kind of Gandhian ideology is being followed by Maoists who are indulging in killing innocent policemen who are just doing their duty," R.K. Mallik, Jharkhand police spokesperson, said.
Jharkhand Policemen`s Association president Raj Kumar spoke in the same vein, "This is nothing but an act of cowardice by Maoists. Such Maoist acts will not dampen the morale of the police."

The rebels had abducted the Bihar policemen in a six-hour gunfight in Lakhisarai district Sunday. The gun battle left seven policemen dead and 10 injured.
Maoists claimed the gunfight was in retaliation for the killing of their leader Azad and a journalist.

The Maoists are demanding the release of eight Maoist leaders who are lodged in different jails in Bihar in exchange for the abducted policemen.

IANS