Maoists beheaded Jharkhand police inspector Francis Induwar who had been kidnapped by the ultras a week back reportedly demanding release of three arrested Naxalites including Kobad Ghandy in exchange for the officer, an act termed as unacceptable by the Centre.
The body along with the severed head of 37-year-old Induwar, who worked in intelligence wing of the state police, was found near Raisha Ghati under Namkom police station area, about 12 km from here, Superintendent of Police (Ranchi Rural), Hemant Toppo, said.
Induwar, who is survived by his wife and three sons, had been kidnapped on September 30 by the Maoists from Hembrom Bazaar in Khunti district, about 70 km from here. The Maoists later reportedly demanded release of three rebels -- Ghandy, Chhatardhar Mahato and Bhushan Yadav -- in exchange for the officer.
The demand was said to have been conveyed to the authorities by outfit's South Chhotanagpur Committee Secretary Samarji by a telephone call to a local newspaper.
In Delhi, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said that there had been no demand from the Maoists for any swap of the arrested Naxalites but termed the beheading as not acceptable. "The cold blooded murder is simply not acceptable. I condemn it," he said.
Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police, Praveen Kumar also denied any communication from the Maoists for the release of the officer of the Special Branch of Jharkhand police.
"The act was perpetrated out of sheer frustration following the arrests of several Maoists, including their central leaders," he said.
Police said a poster pasted on a tree on the Ranchi- Jamshedpur highway under the Bundu police station stated that the body was that of the police officer.
Induwar has become the 339th policeman to be killed in Naxal violence in Jharkhand between January 2003 and October this year. The state's 20 of the 24 districts are Maoist- infested.
The Jharkhand Men's Police Association took the body of the officer from the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences to the police headquarters after a post mortem.
Condemning the killing of their colleague, the association office bearers renewed their pledge to continue their fight against ultra left extremists. A two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to him.
Inspector General of Police Bibhuti Bhushan Pradhan described as "barbarous" the act of beheading Induwar, who belonged to Gumla.
The family of the slain police officer, who was on duty when he had been abducted by the ultras, would get compensation as per the police rules, the association said.
Maoist leader Ghandy was arrested by Delhi Police on September 21 and is presently in police custody, while Chhatradhar Mahato, a Maoist-backed tribal leader, was nabbed by West Bengal CID sleuths from Lalgarh on September 26.
Another Maoist leader Bhushan Yadav, facing several Naxal-related cases, was arrested by the West Bengal police on October 2 from Chinsura in Hooghly district and has since been handed over to the Jharkhand police.
In Delhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram made it clear that there was no demand from Maoists for any swap of prisoners for the policeman whose body with severed head was found this morning in Jharkhand.
Terming the act as "cold blooded" murder, Chidambaram said "If the Naxals have any demand they should place their demand. But cold blooded murder is simply not acceptable. I condemn it."
He was reacting to reports that Naxals wanted to swap arrested Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy in exchange of policeman Francis Induwar, kidnapped on September 30. His body was found this morning at Raisha Ghati about 12 km from Ranchi.
"The (Jharkhand) DGP has told me that there was no demand for a swap of prisoners. Besides, we are governed by the rule of law and prisoners are under the custody of court. We cannot swap prisoners with those who are outside the purview of law, who take the law in their hands," he said.
Asked whether this action of Naxals came ahead of a full fledged crackdown against Maoists planned by the Centre, he said "we have not announced anything, we have not said anything. These are media speculations.
"All we have said is that following our assessment that the Naxalite threat is a grave threat to internal security, the centre will provide support to the state police forces to continue their operations against the Maoists," he said. PTI