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JMM legislators live in fear of Maoist retaliation
Ranchi, Apr 21 (IANS)
Published on 21 Apr. 2010 11:28 PM IST
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Their party chief and Chief Minister Shibu Soren is sometimes accused of having a soft corner for Maoists, but several Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislators expect the rebels to show them no mercy, now that Operation Green Hunt is on in Jharkhand.
The JMM legislators who come from Maoist areas are scared of retaliation from the rebels and have sought additional security from the state government.
Take the example of Bidyut Baran Mahto, Deepak Birua and Ramdas Soren who are legislators respectively from Bharagora, Chaibasa and Ghatshila. All three have sought additional security.
Their constituencies are situated in East Singhbhum and West Singhbhum districts where the Maoists are a dominant lot. Out of 18 JMM legislators, one-third are from areas that have a strong Maoist presence.
“The security provided to me is not adequate. I have to venture into Maoist areas to visit the people of my constituency. Maoists have an advantage in my constituency as it shares a border with West Bengal and Orissa,” Mahto told IANS.
He already has three security guards, but said, “I should be provided more”.
Operation Green Hunt to flush out Maoist rebels was launched in Jharkhand last month. The security forces are trying to cut the sources of food and water of Maoists in jungle areas.
A JMM legislator who did not wish to be named said, “We have written to the state government and drawn the attention of the chief minister regarding security cover. Maoist are unhappy with Operation Green Hunt and they might target us to prove their point. We are yet to get proper security cover.”
Soren is known to have opposed Operation Green Hunt and said it could not be started without the consent of the state.
In Jharkhand, the rebels are active in 18 of the state’s 24 districts. Nearly 1,600 people have been killed in Maoist related violence since 2001.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator and former minister Ramesh Singh Munda was gunned down in July 2008 and CPI-ML legislator Mahendra Singh was killed in January 2005.
In March 2007, Jamshedpur (East Singhbhum) JMM Lok Sabha MP Sunil Mahto was gunned down by Maoist rebels while watching a football match. Mahto was killed despite having Y grade security cover.

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