Social activist Swami Agnivesh who was on his way to the affected villages in Dantewada to inquire into the alleged excesses committed by the police, was manhandled by salwa judum activists, local villagers and special police officers (SPOs) and forced to return.
Agnivesh left for Tadmetla in the morning along with few journalists and security personnel in three vehicles. As they reached near Dornapal, the agitated crowd apparently awaiting their arrival stopped them and began throwing eggs, shouted abusive slogans protesting against their visit to Tadmetla and other two villages. The spot where the incident occurred is around 550 km south of Raipur.
Journalists travelling with Agnivesh told HT that the situation turned tense when the mob including widows who are reported victims of Maoists violence, civil militia activists and few SPOs blocked their way and asked them to go back.
The protestors questioned Agnivesh on why the human rights activists did not bother to visit those families who remain worst affected by violence unleashed by the guerillas.
After returning to Sukma (in Dantewada, south Bastar) safely where Agnivesh halted on Friday night, he did not express any dismay or anger against the abuse and the wrath he faced.
“Perhaps they might have suffered injustice or were victimised. But it also appeared that the mob was provoked by some to obstruct our way and the protest seems to be stage-managed one. I had conveyed the chief minister about the incident. I am informed that the security forces will now escort me”, Agnivesh said.
A senior officer in Dantewada told HT that a senior IPS officer of the rank of additional director general of police (ADG) is likely to accompany the Swami.
Meanwhile the local angry villagers staged a road block (chakka jam) on national highway 30 declaring that unless Agnivesh abandons his plan to continue his visit in Dantewada, they will not move an inch from the highway.