Maoist activities force Bihar tribals to migrate

The villagers have been forced to take this drastic step in the wake of a possible Maoist assault.

Sasaram: Living under constant fear of the threat posed by Maoist ultras, distressed families of tribals in Bihar`s Sasaram town have been forced to migrate in large numbers, to safer havens.

The villagers, many who have lived in this area for generations, have been forced to take this drastic step of leaving behind huge areas of land, ancestral property and livestock, in the wake of a possible Maoist assault.

The tribal communities have persistently registered their complaints with the state and district authorities, but to no avail.

"When Maoists come to our village, they surround the village and ask all the villagers to gather in a corner. Then they beat some of the villagers as the entire village witnesses it. They say that whoever goes against them would be punished in a similar manner. And they would butcher the villagers to death. Fearing the Maoists, we have left our homes. There is a village, situated close to our village, where the Maoists recently killed men and that is why, about 500 members of Kharwar (tribe) have run away from our village and are staying in this camp," said Rajesh Singh, a tribal.

Presently, the tribals have taken refuge in an old guesthouse building in Chenari town, located near their village.

Radhika Devi, a tribal, narrated the shocking story of the manner in which the ultras threatened women by putting knives to their necks.

"They say that they would butcher all women and boys in the village and would hang their body parts. They once tied my son and threatened to kill him. They later freed him and said that now he would spread the revolution," she said.

Vashishth Singh, another tribal, said that the revolution of the Maoists has not been faithful to its original cause and the villagers have turned into scapegoat in the rivalry that exists between the ultra groups.

"Why are the Maoists beating and butchering poor persons like us? When they started the revolution, they said that it is for the poor man and it would help us. But how is it helping us? They are fighting amongst themselves and we are getting trampled. What is the help they are giving us, what are the facilities they are providing us? They are doing nothing for us. They are killing children, burning down houses, butchering families and killing everyone," he said.

Desolate hutments, damaged buildings and locked doors testify the tangible fear psychosis among local villagers, whose eyes seem to gaze at an uncertain future and tragic past with stoic resilience.

The ones who have ``dared`` to stay back in the village-most of whom comprise the poorest of the poor, who could not afford to begin life afresh elsewhere-are now staring at a bleak future, with no amenities, schools, health care centres and opportunities.

"This is massacre and they are continuing with their revolution of burning down houses, beating us and this has created fear in our minds," said Sugreev Singh, a tribal.


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