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Jharkhand: Mumbai executive killed by Naxals

April 06, 2011 23:36 IST
A Reliance Power General Manager Manoj Kumar Ojha was killed on Wednesday when two armed men suspected to be members of a splinter Maoist group fired at his vehicle in a village in this district, the police said.

Ojha's colleague Dhirendra Kumar, who is also a general manager and his co-traveller, was seriously injured in the attack in Chatra's Sahatu village, the police said. Ojha was reported to be in his thirties.

The driver of the vehicle was also injured, Superintendent of Police Prabhat Kumar said. The Reliance officials had come from Mumbai on an official visit, he said.

Kumar, who is under medical observation at a local hospital, was being airlifted to Mumbai. Inspector General of Police (operation) R K Malik told PTI in Ranchi that two armed men suspected to be members of Jharkhand Prastuti Committee, a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist, opened fire on the vehicle, which overturned.

"Ojha died of bullet injuries after the vehicle overturned," Malik said. He said the company officials had not informed the police about the visit. Ojha was part of a three-member team that visited Chatra in connection with company work, Kumar said.

A Reliance spokesperson said the officials were fired at while going in two vehicles from Simaria to Hazaribagh. "One company executive has succumbed to the injury and another is seriously injured and is currently under expert medical observation," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"The company is deeply saddened at the unfortunate demise of Manoj Ojha and is committed to provide all the support to his family members. The company is also concerned about the well being of its other officials who got injured in this incident and is taking utmost care to provide the best possible medical help to them," it said.

Ojha was working with Reliance for four years.

Malik told TV channels that the killing could have been a case of mistaken identity in the wake of rivalry between two splinter groups of Maoists -- Tritaya Prastuti Committee and Jharkand Prastuti Committee. "It appears that as a result of mistaken identity, thinking these people (Reliance officials) to be from a rival group, two boys came and opened fire on the vehicles," he said.

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