Anand S.T. Das |
While security forces engaged in a month-long anti-Maoist operation in Jharkhand claim to have succeeded in pushing the rebels outside or deep into the Saranda jungles, many of the area’s tribal villagers are currently fleeing their homes in distress due to alleged atrocities by the securitymen and the fear of the Maoists’ revenge.
The success of the massive operation, nicknamed Operation Mons-oon, carried out by security forces drawn from the CRPF, Cobra, district police forces and the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), has faced sharp questions in Jharkhand after reports that securitymen were randomly arresting and assaulting tribal villagers suspecting them of having Maoist links.
Sources said dozens of villages in Kiriburu area had fallen silent in the past fortnight as the frightened tribal villagers had fled, leaving behind huts with closed doors.
On Wednesday, after some tribal MLAs raised concerns about allegations of police atrocity, chief minister Arjun Munda said he had asked the Union home ministry “to apprise the state government of the ground status” in and around the Saranda jungles.
Panda Purti, a tribal inhabitant of Thalkobad village who works at Karampada mines, was allegedly arrested by security forces present in his village when he came there to give his family groceries. Birsa Torkot, a tribal in Junjuiburu village, was allegedly arrested when he was walking to his small agricultural field.
On August 24 night, a group of securitymen entered into Hatnaburu village when it suddenly rained but allegedly ended up arresting 15 tribal villagers.
R.K. Mallik, spokesman of the Jharkhand police, said there was no such information about security forces harassing villagers.Courtesy : TheAsianAge.