PATNA: Maoist rebels have ordered residents in the eastern Indian state of Bihar to vacate their native village after they invited the police to inaugurate a function early this month. The diktat has triggered panic among the villagers.
Rebels who are believed to be ruling the roost in many parts of the state have asked the residents of Panchrukhia, a far-off village located under Madanpur block in Aurangabad district to vacate it forthwith or be ready to face dire consequences.
“You will have to vacate the village soon. Taking police help will only add to your troubles further,” a local newspaper quoted villagers as having been told by the rebels. The village is nestled in the lap of hills in Madanpur block which has been infamous for Maoist violence. The area hit the headlines when the rebels slaughtered as many as 54 villagers from Dalelchak-Baghaura in 1984. All the victims hailed from upper caste Rajput caste.
The villagers entered into the target-list of the rebels soon after they allowed the police to set up a camp at the village under community police service programme on February 10 during which clothes, utensils and other necessary items were distributed among the poor villagers. However, it’s this daredevilry which is now proving costlier for them as they have been told to leave their native village forthwith.
“Such threats will not make any difference with the life of the villagers as their security is our responsibility. Each villager will be provided adequate security. There is no need to worry,” the local Aurangabad district superintendent of police Babu Ram told the media on Saturday. He added that the administration had already made adequate deployment of police force at the village to instill a sense of confidence among the villagers.
The rebels who once found themselves on the back-foot has suddenly gone on the offensive in view of the increasing police patrolling in the areas of their hideouts and killing of their leaders in police encounters.
Last month, at least six rebels were killed in a fierce gun-battle with the security forces in Aurangabad district. During the encounter which lasted the whole night, the police also recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from the site, which included some AK-47 assault rifles, self-loading guns and ammunitions. Another top Maoist leader identified as Chirag Da was also killed in encounter with the police the same month. The slain rebel was carrying Rs 2.5 million on his head. All these incidents have only angered the Maoists quite much, officials say.
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