A 10-member group of armed Maoists, who arrived uninvited at a tribal panchayat, have left three people dead and four others greviously injured after opening fire at them following a heated argument. All the deceased are Bhagatha tribes.
According to sources, the two tribal groups Bhagatha and Kondu were reportedly having differences since a long time. The remote amicability between the groups is said to have deteriorated further after a relationship dispute between a girl from the Bhagatha tribe and a boy from the Kondu tribe snowballed into a major issue.
Both groups met on Tuesday to settle the matter when a 10-member armed Maoist team also arrived and joined in the ensuing arguments. Sources said when the Maoists showed their support for the Kondus, the Bhagatha tribes took offence and tension prevailed for some time. But the situation quickly escalated when the Bhagatha tribes started to throw stones at the Maoists, who opened fire in return. The Maoists reportedly aimed at one Gopal from among the Bhagatha tribes, who had a lucky escape after the bullet misfired and hit fellow Bhagatha tribal Shankar. Gopal, who narrowly escaped, is now in police custody.
“During the clash the Maoists killed one person and we do not have information about the number of deceased. However, according to the eye witness we are ascertaining the details,” superintendent of police G Srinivas told Express.