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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

MP's murder triggers fear psychosis in Jharkhand

Unnerved by the murder of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Sunil Mahto, politicos in Jharkhand are asking the government to ensure that they get proper security so they can move about freely in their constituencies.

Mahto and his bodyguards were killed by suspected Maoist rebels at Bakuria village of Jamshedpur district while watching a football match Sunday evening.

The Jharkhand government has provided two bodyguards to each legislator facing security threats and 22 security personnel for each minister. Former chief ministers Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda and present Chief Minister Madhu Koda are covered by Z (highest) category security.

But legislators say this may not be enough. 'The state government should arrange proper security for us. We have to move in our constituency where Maoists hold sway,' said Prakash Ram, a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislator from Latehar district.

'Being a representative of the people, we have to move in our constituency. We cannot sit idle in our home because of the threat of Maoist rebels,' said P.N. Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator and state president of the party.

'The state government should arrange proper security cover to legislators and MPs,' he added.

However, there are some bravehearts like Marandi. 'I do not feel threatened to move in the state. If we live in fear, the fight against Maoists will be lost.'

However, many legislators admit that this is indeed the case.

'The politician-Maoist nexus is an open secret. The nexus emerged due to the fear factor. Politicians take permission of Maoist rebels to move in deep jungles. We cannot depend only on the security provided by the state government,' a legislator requesting anonymity told IANS.

Mahto is the second important politician killed in the last two years by Maoist rebels. In January 2005, just before the assembly elections, Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) legislator Mahendra Singh in Giridih district was killed in almost identical circumstances - he was also shot at close range like Mahto.

According to police, more than 25 politicians have been killed in the state in last six years. 'We regularly review security of VIPs and VVIPs and issue security advisories. But politicians don't always care for our suggestion,' said a senior intelligence department official.

Three years ago, Maoist rebels had blasted a landmine in a public meeting of former chief minister Babulal Marandi and made an unsuccessful attempt on the life of former home minister Sudesh Mahto. India e news

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posted by Resistance 3/06/2007 11:25:00 PM,


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