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Govt trains gun on Mukti Sena ?terror?

THE ALLEGED reign of terror unleashed by Gondwana Mukti Sena echoed in the Assembly with the government assuring to examine a proposal to ban the organisation.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2006 12:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

THE ALLEGED reign of terror unleashed by Gondwana Mukti Sena echoed in the Assembly with the government assuring to examine a proposal to ban the organisation.

Later, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told reporters that he would visit the affected areas in Mandla district to assess the situation.

On the other hand, the Gondwana Ganatantra Party (GGP) accused the government of unleashing police terror on innocent tribals as the ruling party is frustrated over losing base in the tribal region.

The government would sternly deal with any political outfit or social organisation indulging in illegal activities, the Chief Minister said while intervening in the discussion on a call attention notice on the issue.

However, he rejected the demand by some BJP members that a committee of MLAs should visit the area to assuage the hurt feelings of the tribals.

Allaying the apprehension by Gondwana Ganatantra Party member Manmohan Shah Batti that the government might attempt to crush GGP on the pretext of an onslaught on extremists, Chouhan said there was no question of crushing political parties or organisations engaged in legal activities. At the same time, he said, those engaged in illegal activities would be sternly dealt with.

Three BJP MLAs from Mandla and Dindori — Shivraj Shah, Dulichand Ureti and Devsingh Saiyam — alleged through their call attention motion that a parallel government is being run by the Mukti Sena in Mandla and some other adjoining districts. Shivraj Shah alleged the Mukti Sena had its own law, police stations and ‘police and civil administration officials’.

The organisation forced the people not to worship the God and recite ‘Jai Sewa’ in place of ‘Jai Ram’.  He said the Mukti Sena activists armed with weapons surrounded Khanora, Bargaon, Maniksara villages around Holi festival. They barged into the houses, beat up the people, went on the rampage and looted property. Shah said the activists did not spare even women and humiliated them.

Later, they tied the villagers and took them to their ‘police station’ where the villagers were forced to enter agreement that they would not recite Jai Ram and worship the God. Shah told the journalists that the districts under the influence of the Mukti Sena were Mandla, Dindori, Seoni and Chhindwara.

In Mandla, a woman activist was their ‘Collector’ and a man their ‘superintendent of police’. They had got the public representatives also. They recently snatched and tore the cheque of Rs 1.80 lakh from a government official. Shah said he was ready to give evidence that the Mukti Sena had connection with a particular political party.

The Minister of State for Home Nagendra Singh in his reply in the Assembly denied that there was a parallel government in Mandla. However, he admitted that a couple of incidents had taken place in Mandla.  He said one of the incidents took place at village Khanaura under Beejadandi police station on March 16 last in which a meeting was called in the name of Gondwana Mukti Morcha.

An FIR was lodged against one Bihari Lal Gaud and eight others under sections 147, 148, 149, 452, 427, 323 of IPC. Another incident took place at village Bargaon under the same police station in which Gondwana Mukti Sena’s 100-150 activists allegedly beat up some people.

When a police party rushed to the village about 500-600 activists of the Mukti Sena surrounded the police and attacked them.

The attack resulted in injuries to 24 police personnel and damage to the police vehicle. The police personnel had to fire 25 rounds in self defence. Four persons from public sustained injuries. A named FIR was lodged in connection with the incident too.

Yet another incident took place at the same village. A magisterial inquiry had been ordered to look into the March 17 incident. Sharing the concern expressed by tribal MLAs about the increased activities of Naxalite outfits in tribal areas, the Chief Minister said the government had taken a serious note of the developments and was keeping a strict vigil.

Additional police force would be deployed in Mandla district, he added. Leader of the Opposition Jamuna Devi said the tribals were already facing the terror unleashed by Naxalites in many areas and their life would be in danger if few tribals under the banner of certain organisation were themselves indulging in exploitation.

Claiming that tribals were devotees of Lord Ram, she said it was astounding that the extremists were asking tribals to refrain from idol worship. She sought ban on those organisations exploiting the tribals.

Chouhan assured that the government would identify those organisations, which were engaged in constructive work in tribal areas before imposing any ban.

Gondwana Ganatantra Party accused govt of unleashing police terror on innocent tribals as the ruling party is frustrated over losing tribal base

First Published: Mar 24, 2006 12:33 IST

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