Tension grips Baguria village
While the tribal population of the village has decided to undertake Salwa Judum, called Sendra in Jharkhand, against the Maoists, the Naxals have threatened the villagers not to support any such move or face consequences, reports B Vijay Murty.Updated: Apr 05, 2007, 20:04 IST
Tension is brewing up between the tribals and the Naxals in Baguria village, where the JMM MP Sunil Mahato was killed last month. While the tribal population of the village has decided to undertake Salwa Judum, called Sendra in Jharkhand, against the Maoists, the Naxals have threatened the villagers not to support any such move or face consequences.
Nagrik Suraksha Samity (NSS), a group of armed anti-Naxalite campaigners, have announced to launch sendra from Baguria village of Kesarpur panchayat of East Singhbhum on April 8. The samity leaders have exhorted villagers to attend the campaign, failing which; they have threatened to treat them as 'Naxalite sympathisers'.
Infuriated by NSS pronouncement to launch sendra from Baguria village, around 150 Naxalites and their sympathisers, including several women, holding torches took out a rally from Baguria village around 11.30 pm last night. Shouting anti-government and anti-NSS slogans, the protagonists marched through lanes and bylanes of Baguria before reaching adjoining Kesarpur football maidan, where the rally culminated. No villager dared to come out to witness the rally.
They also put up scores of posters across Baguria and other villages of the panchayat.
The posters categorically cautioned villagers to stay home on April 8 and fail NSS' 'nefarious' plans. "Whoever participates in the NSS sponsored sendra campaign would meet the fate of slain MP, Sunil Mahato," read one of the intimidating posters written in Hindi. Posters also proclaimed to punish all senior NSS functionaries including president, Shankar Hembrom and general secretary, Dhanai Kisku by holding jan adaalats shortly.
Ghatsila DSP, Sailendra Burnwal on receiving the information rushed to the spot accompanied by a posse of police force and seized all posters. The team also carried out extensive combing operations in the bordering villages, police said.
The NSS diktat has sent shock waves among people of at least 11 villages of the panchayat, who claimed they have been left with no option than to flee their homes before April 8. Migration, has, in fact, already begun from the panchyat with most of the youth fleeing to neighboring states.
"We have been virtually caught between the devil and the deep sea. We cannot afford to offend either the Naxalites, or the NSS leaders. We want a peaceful existence, which doesn't seem possible in the prevailing conditions as both groups are at daggers drawn against each other. Fleeing our villages seems the only solution at hand for us at this juncture," informed Baguria village head, Dashrath Pradhan.
NSS President Shankar Chandra Hembrom, however, argues that sooner or later, the villagers have to take a decision whom to extend their support. "Not participating in our campaign would mean they sympathise with the Naxalites. In that case, we would certainly deal tough with them. In Lango village, it was the concerted reprisal from villagers that led to suppression of violent terrorist attacks of Naxalites. Ever since villagers killed nine Naxalites on August 7, 2003 at Lango, people in the entire Dumaria police station area are leading a peaceful existence. We want similar conditions to prevail in the entire district, but are unable to get the kind of support from villagers we solicit from them," he said.