The Pioneer, Monday, 21 November 2011 23:57, Manohar Lal | Ranchi
A day after police claimed that the CPI (Maoist) along with villagers killed social activist Sister Valsa John, the insurgents have come forward to prove their "innocence", denying a hand in the killing.
CPI (Maoist) area commander Ramesh Soren, who hails from Bargo village and whose hand is suspected in the killing by police, called up several media houses on Monday morning and alleged that police are trying to shield the real conspirators.
He refuted the police claim that 30 rebels escorted 15 villagers to the house of his associate Sonaram Hembram at Pachuara village under Amrapara police station jurisdiction at 11.30 pm on Tuesday night to kill Sister Valsa.
Calling from an undisclosed location in Pakur district, Soren said that Maoists did not regard Sister Valsa as an enemy and had even supported her in her agitations against Panem Coal Mining Company.
He asked why police did not reach the spot on time despite Sister Valsa calling them from her phone and how come Panem Coal Mining Company was seen in the village just after the murder.
"It is sheer propaganda against the CPI (Maoist) and we condemned the murder in strongest terms. Police are trying to protect the conspirators and killers," said Soren denying that the Maoist posters given to police were not from their outfit.
"Rumours were spread to the effect that the Maoists were against the school run by Sister Valsa as it had corporate funding. We are not against any development activities and the school was serving 140 students from poor backgrounds," said Soren.
On Sunday, police claimed to have cracked the murder mystery of Sister Valsa and seven accused were produced before the media by IG (Dumka range) Arun Oraon.
Those arrested include Advin Murmu, Ranjan Marandi, Pradhan Hembram, Rakesh Turi, all hailing from Aloobera village, and Paisal Hembram, Prem Turi, Tala Hembram, all from Pachura village
IG Arun Oraon, however, dismissed the Maoists' defence that the police theory of rebels' involvement in the murder is based on the confessional statements of the accused and other facts which have come up during investigation.
"More people, both Maoists and villagers, involved in the crime are to be arrested. A total of 45 people was involved in the crime and out of them only seven have been arrested so far," said Oraon, adding that they are trying to take the arrested accused on remand for interrogation.
"The case is not closed and police are working on all possible theories including the involvement of Panem Coal Mine Ltd," Oraon said.
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