Raipur: In a first, hundreds of women, including victims of naxal violence, have snubbed the naxals publicly and taken out a rally opposing their 'Martyrs Week' in Chhattisgarh's worst insurgency-hit Sukma district.
Holding posters and banners carrying anti-naxal messages, the protesters kicked off the rally yesterday from Dornapal, located around 450 kms away from the state capital of Raipur, and passed through the villages of the restive region.
"(This is) for the first time (that) women have taken such an initiative of openly rejecting the naxal call of observing Martyrs' Week and taken out a rally against them," Sukma ASP Santosh Singh told PTI.
The participants included women who lost either their husband or son in naxal violence or who lost their near relatives in the bloodletting during the 'Salwa Judum' movement and the wives of special police officers (auxiliary force) among others.
The banners carried messages like - "Maowadi vikas virodhi, deshdrohi hai, shaheed nahi, adivasi janata ke hatyare hai" (Maoists are anti-development. They are anti-national and murderers of tribal people and are not martyrs."
"Everybody in the region is bearing the brunt of the Maoist menace but they hardly dare to protest or speak against it. They fear of getting exposed. Children in the region have numerous times taken out such rallies but this time we encouraged women," Singh said.
"We motivated the women that if they really want to take this step they should go ahead with it without fearing any kind of anti-social elements," he added.
The women in the rally also marched to interior areas like Penta and Nangalgunda?villages?before culminating the march at Gorgunda village, he said.
Incidentally, a large number of school children from the region had taken out a rally in Sukma on Friday asking the Maoists to shun violence.
Naxals are observing Martyrs Week from July 28 till August 3 and have appealed to people to extend their support to their activities.