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Sukma episode once triggered off the question of successes of the BJP government at Chhattisgarh to address the plights and miseries of residents in Maoists strong holds. The government is also blamed for promoting corporate houses and big industries in that areas while ignoring the interests of local denizens in the state’s most inaccessible parts. In eastern Bihar districts although such corporate houses or industrialists yet not shown their interests but the prolong governmental apathy makes the lives of many very pitiable in remote hinterlands. Today we are presenting another hard reality from the Maoists’ strong holds in Eastern Bihar in part IV :
Helpless villagers not know how to bring water to their fields
Bangali Bandh (Lakhisarai) : Bhusan Kumar (38) works hard daily with an aim to have a good yield at his one and half Bigha of fertile lands but failed to get the results. The reason: lack of irrigation facelities in this otherwise draught prone parts of Lakhisarai district.
Bhusan and other villagers however have a common dream; to irrigate their lands with the natural water resource which is available in abundant. Located on the foothills of Kajra series of hills, the village could change its fate with the three natural water springs in the locality. “You could easily imagine a Ram Rajya here only after some body would manage to bring the water to our fileds,” Bhusan pointed out.
“I have to arrange diesel or kerosene oil Rs 40-60 per liter to irrigate the fields but hardly managed to produce much. Draught is a recurring phenomena and every year we have to face huge losses. But if the waters from the hills would be here, our fates would certainly be changed,” he said hopefully.
Poor and mostly illiterate villages of the areas who don’t have the skill to divert the water flows which subsequently vanished inside the deep forest covers, since long waiting for some body for fulfilling their desires.
“It’s an ideal place for the naxalites who even some time operates training camps here only because of the availability of water but on the otherhand we don’t have the courage to bring the water to our fields,” said Montu Koda, a local resident.
Many in this Yadav-Koda dominated hamlet did not wish to be quoted but said that earlier they had decided to contribute for the digging of earth to bring the three different water sources to Mai Than (a sacread place in the forest). But the Karili incident in July 2, 2011 at neighbouring Daarhara block of Munger district in which 6 villagers were killed by the Maoits who earlier had warned them for not do any such works, villagers recalled.
“People at Karili who brought water from a hilltop stream, had to face the wrath of the Party men because they don’t want the prosperity of the Koda community. Some feudal Yadavas since long exploited the Koda tribes, now are with the Maoists, engineered the incident,” said a Yadav villager on condition of anonymity. “But here at this hamlet both Yadavas and Kodas are living peacefully and the social bond is very strong between the two communities. This is also why the rebels yet not able to utilize the villagers here for their vested interests,” said another villagers. “We don’t want our names to be published because we don’t want be highlighted before the Maoists,” villagers requested.
According to intelligence sources, the areas gets notoriety during the presence of Maoists. “Since the areas lies near to naxalite infected Dharhara block of Munger and with hills having dense forest covers, the used to operate there easily. Even upto 2011 the outfits used to host black flags in government primary/middle schols in the entire areas on republic and Independent days every year,” the source pointed out.
According to Tulsi Koda (65) water in huge quantity from three natural streams at the Kajra series of hills, Amrasani Kol, Kathutia Kol and Bijuria Kol is available in the areas which otherwise destroyed. He claimed that if some measures would be taken to bring the waters here, not only Bengali Bandh but over more than 200 acres of lands would have the irrigation facelities. “Rahamorwa, Katara, Nayka Mushari, Tumni Beldari, Lathiya Kodasi, Khuddivan, Mathura Santhali, Pokharia, Tanda along with dozens of hamlets could change their fates with the new water source,” Koda claimed.
Bengali Bandh falling under Surajgara which located more than 60 km from Lakhisarai headquarters, has no sign of any modernity and even any basic infrastructures. “We earlier requested the MLA of the areas who came here for his poll campaigning during last assembly polls. He assured us and for that we voted in his favour. But after become the MLA, he never even bother to visit the areas,” was the general complain of the villagers.
On condition of anonymity, a senior district officer said that there are immense availability of exploiting the natural resources in the district. “We know about the place as the safe hideout of the naxalites,” he said.
“Really it’s contrast, naxalites have the privilege to utilize the abundant water but government machineries don’t have any idea how to use it for the benefit of common rural mass,” said Narendar, a social activist at Lakhisari.