Maoists kill Reliance Power official in Jharkhand

Ranchi, April 6 (IANS) Two members of a Maoist group Wednesday shot dead a general manager of Reliance Power and injured the company’s vice president in Jharkhand’s Chatra district, police said.

‘Manoj Ojha, general manager of Reliance Power, has been shot dead and the company’s vice president H. Buch was injured in the firing,’ Jharkhand police spokesperson K. Mallik told IANS.

‘Maoist organisation Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) seems to have executed the killing,’ he said.

The company officials, on a visit to Simaria and Barkakhana blocks for a land survey, were attacked by two men on their return at Birbir village, Malik said. They arrived here from Mumbai to survey land.

Police are yet to ascertain the reason for the firing by Maoist group. They suspect that it could be a case of mistaken identity or a move to threaten investors in the area.

Ojha and Buch suffered bullet injuries in the firing. Buch was in the first vehicle whose driver managed to speed away from the spot. Ojha, who was in the second vehicle, could not escape as the vehicle skidded off the road, Malik said.

Buch has been admitted to the Apollo Hospital in Ranchi.

‘The local administration, including the police, were not informed about the visit,’ said Mallik.

The incident occurred at a time when Chief Minister Arjun Munda is in Germany to attract investors to the state.

Reliance Power, in a press statement, said: ‘In an unfortunate incident today, certain unknown people opened fire at two vehicles carrying company officials from Simaria to Hazaribagh in district Chhatra, Jharkhand.’

‘One company executive has succumbed to the injury, and another is seriously injured and is currently under expert medical observation. The state police have been informed and investigating the incident. The company is extending its full cooperation to them. The company is deeply saddened at the unfortunate demise of Mr. Manoj Ojha and is committed to provide all the support to his family members. The company is also concerned about the wellbeing of its other officials who got injured in this incident,’ it added.