Maoist rebels kill two Christians in India

Tuesday, April 11, 2000

11 April 2000 (Newsroom) -- A communist rebel group in India's Bihar state beat to death two tribal Christians and severely injured four others on April 4, according to the Times of India.

Members of the outlawed Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) kidnapped five members of the same family and brought them before a "Jan Adalat," an ad hoc trial known as a "people's court." The rebels declared two brothers enemies of the MCC and sentenced them to death. Laren TiusTigga and Jhonson Tius Tigga of the village of Hazaribagh died after being bound by rope and continuously beaten with lathis, news reports said.

Three other members of the family, Goodwin Tigga, Allius Tigga, and Abhiyan Tigga, were ordered by the rebels to be beaten severely. They were released after "sustaining grievous injuries" and undergoing treatment at a hospital, the India daily said.

The rebels conducted their trial in the village of Hadikocha Otarwa. Local police superintendent Alok Raj said that the case is being investigated but no arrests have been made.

The MCC is one of three armed groups that continue to fight for Maoist revolution in India, despite China's withdrawal of overt support. Maoists in India also are known as Naxalites, after the remote northern district of Naxalbari near Nepal where a Chinese-led communist insurrection took place in the mid-1960s. Communist leaders in India claim that the plight of lower castes and tribal groups resemble the oppressed classes of China when Mao Zedung launched his revolution half a century ago.

The MCC and other Maoist guerrilla groups in India have adopted the tactics of Mao's "people's war," a strategy of "the encirclement of the cities from the countryside," according to a 1998 communique by Maoist groups around the world that was signed by the MCC. This initial stage theoretically leads to socialist revolution and eventually the formation of a communist state.

In the past decade, the rebels and private landowner militias have engaged in numerous retaliatory attacks in Bihar, which has a reputation of being India's poorest and most lawless state. Some massacres have been carried out as an act of revenge stemming from rivalry among Maoist factions. Last November, for example, MCC activists participated in the killing of 12 people, including seven children in a single family, after storming a village in Bihar's Palamau district.

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