Tribals desert villages, take cattle along as cops come calling

Ranchi: Police have been unable to trace the whereabouts of the three guards of Khunti MP Kariya Munda, even three days after their abduction, alleged by Patthalgadi supporters. Meanwhile, the police conducted intense combing operations in several villages of the Khunti district on Thursday in an attempt to locate the abducted guards.

However, the cops did not find a single soul in the villages. Fearing torture and arrests, the villagers had abandoned their homes before the police teams, led by IG Naveen Kumar, DIG AV Homkar and SP Ashwini Sinha, reached the villages. They had even taken their cattle along. These villages included Udbaru, Ghagra, Khataga, Boodhadih, Koodadeeh, Madrudeeh and Madgadha.

Patthalgadi movement

The guards have been abducted by the supporters of the Patthalgadi Movement, police believe. Reports said that a meeting of the leaders and workers of the movement was held at Posia village. It was decided that in return for safe release of the three abducted guards, the administration should be asked to withdraw all cases registered against the movement supporters and release Father Alphons and two other accused, who are in jail in connection with the Khunti gang-rape case.

Additional force

An additional force of 3,000 police jawans has been rushed to Khunti. Eight DSPs from different districts have also been sent there. Around 400 sub-inspectors under training at Police Training Academy, Hazaribagh have also been deployed in the district.