Maoist rebels have reportedly threatened to 'teach a lesson' to some ministers - like former chief ministers Arjun Munda and Babulal Marandi and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren - for suppressing their 'revolutionary movement'.
Jharkhand police said the audiocassette - issued by the Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand Regional Committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) - was seized along with pamphlets and other material during a swoop in Jamshedpur Wednesday.
'This is the first time Maoists have issued a threat to politicians through an audiocassette,' a police official told IANS Friday.
Voiced by Sukhdeo, the committee's secretary, the tape allegedly says: 'A conspiracy is hatched to suppress the CPI-Maoist revolutionary movement by the leaders. These leaders will be taught lesson like Sunil Mahto.'
Mahto, a JMM MP from Jamshedpur, was killed by Maoist rebels in March.
'JMM has become a party of pimps and has forgotten the fight for jal (water), jamin (land) and jungle,' says the cassette, charging Munda, Marandi and Soren with helping the Village Defence Committee (VDC) against the Maoist revolution.
'These leaders supported the killings at Lango and they will be taught for this act.'
VDC members had killed nine Maoist rebels in Lango village of Jamshedpur in 2003.
The insurgents justified Mahto's killing. 'Sunil Mahto had become a puppet in the hands of the capitalist class. He was supporting the VDC against the Maoist movement.'
The taped voice also refuted charges that Mahto was killed for money. 'We strongly refute the charge that we killed Mahto for money.'
Maoist rebels are active in 16 of the 22 districts of the state. At least 600 people, including 290 security personnel, have been killed in the last six years in Maoist-related violence.