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19th November 2010- All the newspapers published and all the TV channels flashed prominently the brutal killings of 4 villagers by Maoists in Baruhatu village, under Bundu Block of Ranchi District in Jharkhand. After the incident the villagers called for a bandh under the leadership of Special Police Officers, to protest the killings. They also demanded for protection of Special Police Officers and compensation to the bereaved families as well.

Getting information from TV channels, Newspapers and telephonic conversation with the dignified members of the local society, the human rights activists and intellectuals condemned the merciless killings. It was felt that immediate visit to the place of incident and impartial investigation into the matter was the need of the hour. A team consisting five members was formed for the investigation, which included-

1. Fr. Stan Swamy – Human Rights Activist

2. Gladson Dungdung – Writer & Human Rights Activist

3. Gopinath Ghosh – Social Activist

4. Teerthraj Biruli – Photo Journalist

5. Riju Basu – Journalist, Anand Bazaar Patrika, Ranchi.

On Friday, 26th November 2010, the fact finding team reached Baruhatu village around 10:00 in the morning, under Bundu block. Baruhatu village is situated at 5 kilometers west of Block head office. Nearly 500 houses, divided into hamlets are there in this village. Each hamlet is at least half a kilometer apart from the other. At least 5000 people of 1200 families inhabit these hamlets.

The fact finding team reached near Panchayat Bhavan around 10:00 AM. This Panchayat Bhavan is being utilized as additional Primary Health Centre, at present. Shiv Shankar Bhagat’s house stands just in front of Panchayat Bhavan. Shiv Shankar, aged 40, runs a grocery shop in his house. Members of the team asked him about the incident.

On 18th November 2010, Maoists opened gunfire and killed Pradeep Singh Munda, his daughter Manisha Kumari (6 yrs) along with his two friends- Sanjay Mahto and Sonaram Munda, in his house in Manki Tola, approximately 250 meters away from his shop. Shiv Shankar told that Pradeep Singh Munda’s elder daughter Reshmi Kumari, aged 10, a student of class III is under treatment, after being hit by a bullet in her leg. During the interaction with the team Bayar Patar (40 yrs), neighbour of Shiv Shankar Bhagat, told about his personal problems. Female tubelisation was performed upon his wife on 15th February 2009 at Bundu Referral Hospital. After this operation she delivered a girl child next year on 25th November. He tried to intimate about the negligent attitude of the Doctor and other medical staff. He wanted that action should be taken against such negligent medical personnel. Meanwhile he took the team to Pradeep Singh Munda’s house, where they met his elder brother Kuljeevan Singh Munda. After getting their introduction and the purpose of their visit he offered them to be seated in the courtyard. Kuljeevan told that being the day of “Sat Nahan” the women folk of the family has gone to the river to take bath and only after their return a detailed interaction is possible.

Meanwhile Kuljeevan Singh Munda narrated the incident. It was around 6 o’clock in the evening. I was inside my house as it was drizzling. Suddenly I heard fire shots. Within seconds I heard Pradeep’s wife scream. We rushed to Pradeep’s house. Reaching there we saw the bodies of Pradeep, his third daughter Maneesha and his two friends- Sanjay Mahto and Sonaram Munda, lying in the pool of blood. Sanjay Mahto is the resident of Sarjomdih and Sonaram lived at Hushirhatu. Pradeep’s second daughter Reshmi was hit by a bullet and was moaning in great pain. We were stunned by this sight.

Pradeep’s wife Lakhimuni Devi told me that two persons equipped with firearms, appeared at the entrance door. One of them opened fire indiscriminately, and fled the scene after killing the four. Villagers gathered after this incident and marched together to the police camp. The villagers briefed the police officials. Receiving the information the police arrived at the scene one and a half hours late. The police sent the bodies for post-mortem, while the injured Reshmi Kumari was sent to RIMS for treatment.

Kuljeevan Singh Munda told that “We were seven siblings, three brothers and four sisters. All are married except one sister. All the brothers live separately in this house. Pradeep was the youngest among the brothers and Kuldeep is the middle one. 12 years ago, Pradeep got married and he has four daughters and a son. One daughter was killed in this incident.” He told the team that his deceased brother was working on behalf of police along with few youth of the locality. He said- “Apart from this I don’t have any other information.”

The women folk were back by now. On returning they offered prayers, according to their rituals and customs for the peace of the departed souls. When it was over, they came forward to interact with the team.

Baladevi (32 yrs) deceased’s elder sister-in-law told that she was in the other room, holding Pradeep’s 10 month old son, at the time of the incident. Suddenly she heard bullets being fired. She told- “I was stunned for a few moments with fright. Then hearing my younger sister-in-law (Pradeep’s wife) scream, I rushed to Pradeep’s room and saw four bodies lying on the floor. I also saw Reshmi, who was injured. Reshmi was wailing and shuddering with fear and pain. After a short while the neighbours gathered. We were in a fix and didn’t know what to do as four bodies were lying in front of us while Reshmi was grievously injured. After consulting with the neighbours the eldest member of the family decided to go to the police camp and inform about the incident. All men as well the women of the village, together reached the police camp. The camp, despite being hardly 200-250 meters away from the place of killings, the police arrived one and half an hour late. We were trying to stop Reshmi bleed through traditional medical treatment. The police took Reshmi to the hospital and the bodies to the morgue.

26 years old, Lakhimuni Devi, wife of Pradeep Singh Munda, explained how it happened. “I was cooking meal. My husband was sitting near on a cot, with his two friends chatting with them. All my four daughters were also present there. My elder sister was in other room holding my 10 months old son. Suddenly the door opened and there stood two armed men. One of them came inside with a gun and aiming at my husband and his friends, started firing. My husband, his two friends and one of my daughters sitting on the lap of my husband, were killed. My other daughter sitting on one side of the cot was injured; she got hit by a bullet in her leg. I was startled and before I could understand what had happened, the killers fled the scene. My whole world shattered completely and I screamed aloud. Hearing my scream, members of my family and neighbours came running to my place. I also went to the police camp along with neighbours and the elders of my family. Reaching there we informed the police about the massacre.

After one and a half hours the police team arrived. My injured daughter was sent to RIMS for treatment while the bodies of my daughter, my husband and his two friends were taken away to the morgue. My daughter is relieved from the hospital today itself and she is in the police camp at this moment.” When asked who has killed your husband? She said “Maoists only killed him. Previously my husband worked for the party (Maoists). After quitting the party, he worked as S.P.O. for the police and used to work as police informer. His friends were also police informers and they used to sleep in police camp at night. My husband was given a country made gun by the police, which he used to bring home sometimes.” She told that her husband had three acres of land in his share, which was the main source of their livelihood.

As we were talking to the women of the family, two youths arrived there. One was named Trilok Pahan (18 years) and the other Umakant Patar (17 years). Both of them came to join in the last rites of the deceased. Both live in Manki Tola. They told that “Pradeep Singh Munda, sanjay Mahto, Sonaram Munda and we two work as police spy. Our work is to inform police about who all are coming into the village? Who is going where? Who is linked with the Maoists? Etc. We spend most of our time with the police team and also wander around with them in the locality. Usually we sleep in the police camp at night.” Umakant Patar told us- “Senior S.P. Praveen Kumar has given us the work as the police spy. We were working as police spy since six months. We were told that we would be given Rs. 3000/- per month for working as spy, but we haven’t received a single pie till date. SSP has assured us that we will be given our dues this month.” Umakant told us that he has studied up to matriculation. Before working as a police spy, he was a member of a Maoist squad. “I was arrested by the Tamar police, along with Sripati Munda in January 2009. They let me off after 15 days as I was underage, but sent Sripati Munda to jail.

The day we got caught, we had gone to Tamar area to visit Deema Pahan, brother of Kundan Pahan. He said “The Maoist ideology is not right and that is the reason behind my leaving their party. After my arrest the Maoists didn’t provide any financial assistance either to me or my family. Before joining them I used to run a shop for my bread and butter. By the time I left the party, everything was destroyed. I was looking for some means to meet my both ends need. Meanwhile the police contacted me and I turned to be a police informer. I’m working as a spy since six months. We are 16 boys who work for the police. Thee boys are from other village and rest of them belong to our village. Maoists have killed 3 boys among the 16.” We asked whether they were given any arms to fight against the Maoists. He replied- “We were given just one double barrel gun, which takes in 0.315 cartridges. We were also given 10 cartridges along with the gun, but we can’t move out of the camp with that.”

According to the villagers, there is a police camp set up in the local Rajkiya Madhya Vidyalaya since 2008. Initially the CRPF jawans used to stay here. JAP-1 jawans are camping here at present. After this incident a Battalion of JAGUAR has also been deployed in the camp. Around 300 local children are registered in this school, but the school is being run in the Panchayat Bhavan owing to the stay of police jawans in the school. Since two months only two rooms are being used as class rooms, this situation discourages the children to come to school and their presence has become very less. Most of them graze their cattle and do house hold work. Mid-day meal is not served in the school; even Anganvadi is not working properly. Most of the bore well hand pumps are out of order. Primary Health Centre, PHC building is severely damaged. The PHC is now being run in the Panchayat Bhavan. ANM nurse Pramila Kumari and Compounder Parmeshwar Munda seldom come to the PHC. No doctor has visited the PHC till date. People depend on the quacks for their medical needs. The village was electrified in the year 1993, but the electric wires got theft in the year 1995. The village is not electrified since then.


§ The school building is being used a fort at present. Only the two rooms of the schools are being utilized as class rooms. One separate building for the police camp has been constructed, adjacent to the school building, but the school building is being used by the police instead of Camp Building. Children’s presence was found to be around one hundred, which is very less than the total number of children registered in the school.

§ Primary Health Centre is being run temporarily in the Panchayat Bhavan, but it was found closed, the day we visited.

§ A heap of sign boards and notice boards related to NREGA and other schemes were found lying near the Panchayat Bhavan. As these boards were related to some schemes, they were supposed to be put at the work place. This shows that there is heavy irregularity in the implementation of NREGA schemes.

§ There is total lack of safe drinking water in the village.

§ There is no facility for irrigation.

§ There is no provision for employment.

§ There is no opportunity for clear guidance for the youth as a result the village youth are getting confused; some join the Maoists and the others work for the police as spy.

§ There is reign of terror in the village.

§ The production of country liquor has increased and the police jawans are consuming it a lot, openly. In this situation the villagers are producing more liquor for meager profits. More production results in more consumption by the villagers.

§ Village children are put on household work.

§ All the economic & social activities and cultural harmony is at stake.


§ There should be an impartial and high level investigation into the Baruhatu massacre.

§ The police camp should be removed immediately from the school building.( According to the supreme court orders)

§ There should be immediate ban on the use of local youth as police spy and special police officers. ( According to the supreme court orders)

§ Some youth are kept in the police camp; a high level probe should be conducted in this matter. Stern action should be taken against the guilty police officers.

§ Immediate and appropriate compensation be paid and a member of each of the bereaved families should be given government job as well.

§ Security arrangement of the village should be rectified and also the police camp should be withdrawn from the village immediately.

§ Government should ensure that the villagers and the rural youth get enough opportunities of employment.

§ To confuse the youth and using them for personal gain by the police should immediately be stopped.

§ The youth working for the police as S.P.O. since six months, on just the verbal assurance given by the senior police official, should be paid their dues immediately.

§ The three youth killed in this gruesome incident, Pradeep Singh Munda, Sanjay Mahto and Sonaram Munda were working as SPO for the police. They were not employed through any proper recruitment process. They were working for the police on the verbal assurance given by the Senior Police Officer. Some other youth are working day and night with the jawans of the police camp. The youth who died in this attack should be award the status of martyr by the police department. Equal amount of compensation and government job to the member of the family should be provided as it is provided in the case of martyrdom of police personnel.