Mrunal Manmay Dash

Maoists have allegedly shot dead their former associate in Saranda jungle near the Odisha-Jharkhand border suspecting him to be a police informer.

The deceased has been identified as Nelson Bhengra from Samatha village under Jaraikela police limits.

Nelson was associated with Naxal organisation for a long time, following which he was arrested by Bisra police in Sundargarh and was sent to jail in May 2023. After being released on bail, he shunned violence to return to the mainstream of society.

However, he was again jailed on charges of demanding extortion from a road construction company. He was released from jail two months ago and was working as a night guard in a culvert.

The Naxalites suspected him to be working with the police as an informer. According to sources, at around 10 pm on January 10, armed Naxalites reached Samatha village and took him away from his house. They reportedly first beat Nelson severely before shooting him dead.

The Naxalites burnt down his phone and other belongings. They left a poster near his body too.

Police and CRPF personnel are conducting search operations in the forests of Jaraikela, Manoharpur, Chotanagra area of Saranda in the West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.