PATNA: A day after top Maoist commander Kundan Pahan formally surrendered before police in Jharkhand, kin of people allegedly killed by the Naxal leader expressed their outrage on Monday.
With relatives of the people he allegedly killed severely criticising the surrender, Jharkhand High Court took suo moto cognisance of the matter and sought details from two senior lawyers.
An MLA whose father, a former minister, was brutally killed in 2008 by a Maoist squad of which Pahan was allegedly a part, flayed the government’s decision to provide the dreaded former CPI(Maoist) commander the opportunity to join the mainstream.
“It is totally wrong for the government to be so warm to a serial murderer and rapist like Kundan Pahan. Such action makes it look like the state government is encouraging youths to join the Maoists, kill people, make money and then surrender and live happily with lakhs of rupees,” said Vikas Kumar Munda, the MLA of Tamar constituency, who began an indefinite sit-in protest against Pahan’s surrender on Sunday.
Munda’s father, Ramesh Singh Munda, then a sitting MLA of JD(U), was gunned down by the Maoists on July 9, 2008 when he was delivering a speech at a school.
Sunita Induwar, the widow of police inspector Francis Induwar who was brutally beheaded in 2009 allegedly on the orders of Pahan, said “this top criminal” deserves the severest punishment. “The news of the government giving such royal treatment to this criminal saddens me,” she said.
“The government is setting a hugely wrong precedent by offering safe passage to such serial killers,” said former MP Suman Mahto, the widow of then sitting MP Sunil Mahto of JMM who was gunned down during a football match in 2007 allegedly by a Maoist squad in which Pahan was a member. Suman Mahto had won the bypoll after her husband’s murder.
Manju Devi, the sister-in-law of former DSP Pramod Kumar who was killed in a landmine blast allegedly triggered by Pahan’s squad in June 2008, asked: “How can the government honour and embrace a man who killed police officers and people’s representatives? This should stop”.
Taking suo moto cognisance of Pahan’s surrender, Jharkhand High Court asked senior lawyer Hemant Sikarwar and Shahdab to provide full details of the surrender process and policy. The Raghubar Das-led government strongly supported Pahan’s surrender and the policy, saying it has encouraged many leaders of left-wing insurgency to join mainstream society.