Suspected Maoists kill two persons in Orissa village

     Suspected Maoists killed two persons in Rebana village of Orissa's Keonjhar district this week. The victims were identified as Kailash Mahanta, a home guard (auxiliary forces) and Tuna Behera, son of a retired policeman. Local villagers said that around 40-45 Maoists raided the village on Thursday night and attacked the houses of Kailash Mahanta, Tuna Behera and Hema Charana. They left two of them as killed and torched Hemacharana's house and vehicles. Minati, one of the eyewitnesses and a relative of the deceased said that the rebels were not from her village. "First two male cadres followed by a female cadre came. Then a mass of cadre flocked in. They were nearly 15-20 who had come to our house. I did not know any of them. They were not from our village. They had covered their faces with black scarf and were holding guns," said Minati. They dragged Kailash and Tuna to the crossroads of the village and killed them there by slitting their throats. Maoists claimed that the killed were police informants. "They set my house on fire and dragged my bike and auto rickshaw and burnt it on the crossroad. They were shouting slogans of "CPI (Communist Party of India) Zindabad" and left the place after sometime. I had purchased the vehicles by taking loan from the bank. But they burnt them down. What will I do now? They torched my house. How will I live? If the government doesn't help us, I will be ruined. They threat us to leave the area. They even threaten us of murdering our family members," Hemacharan, a victim. He also said that when his family members heard the Maoists coming, they fled from the house and managed to save their lives. Media reports say extremists have killed four persons in the past fortnight in the district. The Maoists say they are crusading against the prevailing political system for the cause of the poor and marginal farmers and landless labourers. They have spread into rural pockets in 20 of India's 28 states and the movement has upset business prospects worth billions of dollars in mining industries in central and eastern India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already described the Maoists as India's gravest internal security threat.

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