BHUBANESWAR: In what could be a sign of worry for the Left Wing Extremists (LWE), revolting villagers lynched three Maoists after the former shot dead a village priest in the bordering areas of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday evening.
The place where it occurred is a few kilometres across the border from Raleguda gram panchayat in Malkangiri district’s Chitrakonda block.
Residents of Viravaram village, under Chintapali mandalam of Andhra Pradesh, dished out the instant justice to Maoists after they came to know that G Sanjeeva Rao, 38, was shot dead.
He was killed after being branded a “police informer” at a praja court last evening.
The villagers, about 400 in number, converged at the place where the Maoists were holding the meeting and attacked the rebels. Three Maoists were lynched while seven others are believed to have been injured.
The three included Sarath, a divisional committee member, and two cadre, Palasa Ganapathi and Nageswara Rao. An AK 47 recovered from them was handed over to the police.
Sources in the State Police said a group of bike-borne Maoists had picked up Sanjeeva Rao, belonging to Kondu caste, along with another villager, from Johar Ghati at about 4.30 pm on Sunday. They were taken to a forested area where a praja court was held and Sanjeeva Rao was declared a “police informer.”
While the 38-year-old priest was shot dead, his associate managed to escape and informed the villagers, who en masse headed to the meeting place.
Sanjeeva Rao was a religious man and revered by the villagers and his killing angered the residents, who gave a vent to their ire, said a senior police officer of the State.
Police said such an incident was bound to happen because of the rampant killings of innocent civilians at the hands of Maoists, who brand them “police informers.” The revolt against the Maoists in AP, where the People’s War Group took birth, is a sign of the times to come for the outlawed outfit, the police officer said.
Malkangiri Police has beefed up security in the bordering villages in anticipation of retaliatory attacks by the Maoists.