PATNA: In a gross interference in public welfare and developmental work in Bihar, the Maoists have pasted a string of posters on the walls of government offices in Jamui district warning officials not to undertake any work without the permission of the armed leftwing rebels active in the area.
Panic gripped the employees of the block development office and circle office in Chakai block of the southern district after handwritten posters were found pasted on the walls of the offices. Police sources said such posters, written in bold red ink, were also found pasted on electric poles and roadside buildings in at least three nearby villages.
“All those who are taking up government work without the permission of the party must be ready for punishment,” said one poster. “Whichever contractor starts government work without the party’s permission must be ready for punishment,” said another. A third poster warned people against collecting “levy” (extortion money) from anyone in the name of the Maoists. All these posters carried the name of Communist Party of India (Maoist), an outlawed leftwing group active in southern Bihar.
Similar posters were found pasted on the walls of a government middle school and the panchayat building at nearby Pojha on January 18 and 19, said a police official.
A gram kachhari (village court) secretary and his neighbour were shot dead outside their homes in Garurbad village under Chakai police station allegedly by the CPI(Maoists) on January 15 as “punishment for being police informers”.
Chakai BDO Sunil Kumar Chand approached the local police station soon after spotting the posters. “There is renewed fear among people working at the government offices here. It will be difficult to work under such conditions unless security arrangements are put in place for us,” he said.
“Maoist activities in the district have come down significantly in the past few years. These posters are a new ploy by the rebels to tell everyone that they are still active,” said Jamui SP Jagunathreddy Jalareddy. “All these posters were removed from the walls by the local police and a probe has started to ascertain their origin,” he added.
The state police headquarters has taken serious note of the leftwing rebels showing signs of increased activities in Jamui district in recent months. “The ground situation is being assessed afresh after these developments,” said IGP (operations) Sushil M Khopde.
Chakai, surrounded by thick forests, is among the blocks in Bihar worst hit by Maoist activities. Jamui is one of Bihar’s four districts that figure among the country’s 30 districts most affected by leftwing extremism.