Dr Bomb was a Maoist, not others, allege bereaved kin
Satbarwa (Palamau), June 10: A 60-year-old man with a wizened face and moist eyes this morning stood quietly before Medininagar Shahar police station, Palamau, around 28km from the spot where Jharkhand Police and CRPF teams shot dead Naxalite ‘Dr Bomb’ and 11 more suspected rebels yesterday. Lakhan Yadav, a farmer in Majhgaon village, Chatra district, had come to the thana to receive three bodies. His younger brother, ‘Dr’ R.K. Prasad, whose family knew him as Anurag Yadav and villagers as doctorwa or doctor ji, his own son Yogesh (not Yugeshwar as reported yesterday) and doctorji’s son Santosh were among the 12 casualties. Admitting that his brother was a Maoist, he stressed his son and nephew were not, a denial echoed vociferously by other bereaved relatives, their allegations of “fake encounter” introducing a jarring note into the security forces’ claim of “biggest success” against Left-Wing Extremism.
“My son Yogesh and nephew Santosh were both 26, they were educated village lads, they were earning. Yogesh ran a cellphone shop, Santosh worked as a driver. They were not Naxalites,” says the farmer. About his own brother, he says: “Twenty years ago, Anurag was also 26 and he used to listen to me. I’d got him to surrender in 1995. But, the Naxalites got him again after his release from jail.” A man next to him said Anurag had studied up to Class V but was a self-taught ‘doctor’. This doctor ji had sent shivers up the nation’s spine in January 2013, when he ripped open the stomach of a dead jawan in Latehar and implanted a 2kg bomb in it, hoping to turn the body of the martyr into an IED to cause more casualties. Found by RIMS doctors during autopsy, it was deactivated. His elder brother Lakhan didn’t get into all that. The bodies of his brother, son and nephew were piled on a truck on the thana campus when The Telegraph talked to him.
At 10.15am, the bodies were taken to Medininagar sadar hospital for post-mortem. “Anurag’s son Santosh had married in 2009. Santosh has two small children. What will happen to them?” he wonders. “No, my son Yogesh wasn’t married yet.” Santosh’s father-in-law Siteshwar Yadav was more vociferous. “This was a fake encounter. My son-in-law Santosh was not Maoist. My daughter Soni is a BA part II student at a Gaya college. Her small children have been rendered fatherless. I will register a case after the funeral rites are over,” he said. Voicing his doubts over yesterday’s encounter, Siteshwar said: “Was there a crossfire at all, as the security personnel are claiming. Why does the Scorpio that has been seized have no bloodstains but 22 bullet holes? How did the other vehicle escape?” He also claimed the rifles seized by police were in such bad shape that not one could have opened fire.
Another of those identified yesterday was Manika (Latehar) para-teacher Uday Yadav. Killed with him was another Manika resident, Neeraj Yadav (26). Ishwar Yadav, Neeraj’s father, asserted strongly that his son was not a Naxalite. “Police should have checked his background before killing him in a fake encounter,” he said. Uday’s elder brother Hriday Kumar Yadav wondered why he had been killed. “My brother never had cordial ties with Naxalites. In 2011, some rebels had beaten him up at Newad village in Manika.” Islam Miyan, who had come from Pratappur in Chatra to receive the body of his son-in-law Md Ejaz Ahmed, another casualty identified yesterday, also stressed their non-Naxalite credentials. “I knew my son-in-law was a driver. The Scorpio he was driving belongs to one Chhotu, who runs a shop of electronic equipment. Chhotu had given him his Scorpio after purchasing it from someone in Bengal. That’s all I know,” said the elderly man, weeping. Autopsies of Anurag Yadav alias Doctor ji, Santosh, Yogesh and Ejaz were done at Medininagar sadar hospital today. “Post-mortem of the remaining eight bodies will be done tomorrow from 8am,” a policeman said. Till the filing of this report, no FIR had been lodged with Satbarwa police, violating the 24-hour-limit rule. Asked to explain, IG (Palamau) A. Natarajan said: “As the matter is serious, officers are likely to be writing the FIR carefully. Apart from this, many are busy arranging post-mortem logistics.”
Jharkhand encounter: 6 of 7 identified had no police case
Nearly two days after 12 alleged Maoists were killed by the CRPF and Jharkhand Police in a joint operation, only seven had been identified. Of them, six had no case against them. The only one with known Maoist connections was Anurag alias RK ‘ji’ alias doctor, said to be a top zonal commander, and wanted in the 2013 Latehar case where explosives were put inside a slain CRPF man’s body. The others who have been identified are Anurag’s son Santosh Yadav (25), his nephew Yogesh Yadav (25), the driver of the vehicle, Mohammed Izaz Ahmad, a contract teacher, Uday Yadav (35), Uday’s cousin Neeraj Yadav (25) and Amlesh Yadav (35). None of the four children killed has been identified so far.