Surprisingly, almost every household in Lalgarh has guests, or "distant relatives", as locals describe them, who prefer to stay indoors and look very different from natives. These guests are at the centre of what is happening in the area because it was for harbouring some "distant relatives" that Chintamoni Murmu and her husband were allegedly beaten up by the police during a night raid on 5 November. Countless others in Baropelia and Chhotopelia villages have the same story to tell. Some were left bleeding, some writhing in pain, while Chintamoni Murmu lost her vision after being injured in the left eye.
Almost immediately, the people of Lalgarh, led by Mahato, founded PCPA with the sole objective of laying siege to this tribal-dominated area. Within a month, roads were dug up or blocked with logs, forcing the police to flee.
Almost every household in Baropelia, Chhotopelia, Amdanga, Ramgarh and Murari villages have been stocking arms such as bows, arrows, spears, daggers and indigenous knives, locals say. "We will resist till the last drop of our blood. Our arrows have the strength to draw the guts out," says Brajalal Duley, a PCPA activist.