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After Sukma ambush in which 25 CRPF personnel were killed, the government had to face several criticism owing to it’s different failures in different stages. The Centre however, appointed a new CRPF director-general Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, filling a two-month-old vacancy. The appointment was in the wake of Sukma massacre as there were adverse comment against the government as CRPF being left rudderless at a crucial juncture.
For government, CRPF is considered to be the perfect weapon to fight with the rebels while other major aspects were over looked, alleged observers. But Sukma incident at least put the government on its toes. But the question is that when the government would wake up from its slumber at Maoists prone eastern Bihar districts? Today we are giving another instance of so called governmental apathy towards the residents of these hinterlands which are under the strong holds of Maoists : –
Villages left ancestral places to avoid Maoists’ actions
Frail looking Krishan Modi (55) a native of Ropabel, otherwise a non descriptive sleepy village located in the flag end corner of Jamui district on Gahari-Nawada main road virtually lost all hopes. He lost all the dreams. But he still uses to recall the old days when this village was under the blanket of rebels’ fears.
Majorities from this village earlier compelled to migrate mainly due to rebels fear. But those who don’t have any option and still staying in the village, have sighted a ray of hope for their betterment after Jamui district administration earlier in 2014 initiated rehabilitation measures for another village from where villagers migrated due to rebels fear.
Even the than district magistrate, Jamui, Shashi Kant Tiwary organized a camp under civic action programme for the villagers of Janakpura who at that time had taken shelter at middle school Khalari.
Earlier panic stricken 25 families who mostly are tribals, migrated from Janakpura under red affected Khaira block to near by Khalari hamlet (some 1.5 km distance) and taken shelter at government middle school building on December 26, 2013. On the previous night a homemaker was allegedly raped by a Maoists at Janakpura who also threatened the villagers with dire consequences. Interestingly, prior to the incident, Jamui police nabbed the teenage boy of the victim along with a member of people liberation guerrilla army (PLGA), an attacker squad of the Maoists, Sabita Murmu (22) at Jamui.
“The teenaged boy of the rape victim, Brahamadev Bhulla (13) who was earlier picked up by the rebels for carrying their goods, was arrested by the police. The victim earlier opposed the rebels. Soon after police arrested her son, the rebels took revenge from the mother” villages who have to stay under the shadow of the rebels ,disclosed on condition of anonymity.
The villagers however refused to stay back to their village, confirmed Tiwary who along with top ranking cops and CRPF officials went to Khalari village to distribute blankets, daily use items along with learning materials among the villagers at the school. “The villagers pointed out security related problems, as Janakpura is located at most inaccessible parts of this district under the foothills. Presently we are unable to provide them permanent security. But we have assured them to arrange Indira Awas Units at a new location on a barren government land in between Jagatpura-Khalari under special rehabilitation measures soon. Beside we would have to free the school from the villages to start schools activities, the students are missing their classes, ” was the version of Tiwary.
Janakpura is not the isolated example; many villages in Maoists ravaged Jamui has already witnessed mass migrations by the panic-stricken villagers. “How many names I have to count who already migrated from this village due to the rebels?” innocently asked Krishna Modi (55), a resident of Ropabel. “I narrowly escaped some 2 year back when armed party men tried to kidnap me. Since I don’t have any option, I have to stay here ,” he added further.
Modi narrated how more than 60 families mainly Baniya community (business class) had compelled to migrate. “ One reputed Modi family in the village despite of having one member posted as company commandant at Panchmarhi army cantonment at Madhya Pradesh, another one a deputy superintendent of police in special task force (STF) at Ranchi, the family migrated from the village,” he pointed out. Another member of the same family, Shanker Modi was the Mukhiya of Harkhar Panchyat (Ropabel is falling under it) till 1977 but the entire family like others migrated from the village earlier. Ranjit Modi, a teacher and a native of the village, has recently migrated on October 2013 after his abduction. He returned safely from the clutches of the abductors who were Maoists, but the mystery behind his release is yet not cleared.
On August 10, 2003 the than district magistrate , superintendent of police of Jamui along with other district officials who entered in Ropabell, had to run away on bare footed from the village to save their lives from the rebels who set the official vehicles of the officers on fire. One inspector of police was killed in the incident on the attack. Earlier on August 9, 2003, the rebels killed the Mukhiya of Harkhar Panchyat and a native of Ropabell, Gopal Sah along with his two associates. The officials went to the village for investigating when the rebels attacked them in open day light.
Deepakahar, another sleepy hamlet under Khaira PS, near to Ropabel witnessed the first major violence triggered off by the rebels during Lok Sabha polls when they killed one patrolling magistrate along with three cops in a powerful land mine blast. The victims were returning back to Jamui on a tractor after conducting the polls. “That was the first incident of explosion of landmines by the outfits in eastern Bihar,” pointed out Abdesh Prasad, an expert in fire arms at Munger.
Sources from district administration however claimed that Maoists intensity has largely been reduced at the areas with effecting policing and the opening of CRPF camp. “ Officials avoided to go there but after a long gape, official now have started visiting such villages. But those who earlier migrated refused to return back again at Ropabel,” the sources further revealed.
The erstwhile Biyahidah under Kharia PS, once affluent village having more than 60 families, today wore a deserted look with broken houses and empty roads. On July 2005, the village was attacked by the Maoists groups who sexually exploited village women and young girls and even killed a young home maker. “They use to exploit us, forcefully captured village women, taken away our cattle and food grains,” said a former villager who had migrated to Gari village at that time. Fear of the rebels was cleared on his face and he wised not to be quoted.
Similarly after Maoists directives, more than 60 families (non tribals) had to quite their villages at Bakhouri Bathan, Manikthan etc under Borwa Panchyat in the jurisdiction of Jhajha PS in the district. “I along with many was forced to quit our native place,” pointed out Onker Yadav, the former headmaster of Bakhouri Bathan middle school and also native of the village. Yadav has been staying at Jhajha township for the last three years. Another resident of Manikthan who did not wised to be quoted narrated how the non tribals in his village had to face the worth of the rebels. He presently migrated to Deoghar town at neighbouring Jharkhand.
“There were several hamlets in the vicinity of Bhimbandh sanctuary earlier which today look deserted as the residents migrated to other places in the fear of the outlaws,” said a CRPF official at the camp of CRPF inside the sanctuary which is falling under the joint jurisdictions of Munger and Jamui.
“Though such incidents are reduced but we have to live under the shadow of fear. The rebels are still active in this region and since our village is near Jharkhand’s Giridhi border and also near Bihar’s Nawada, we always in an apprehension of any untoward incident from their side,” said Rajendra, a village youth at Ropabel.
(to be concluded)