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Cops Gadchiroli action runs into protests

Posted by Admin on October 30, 2009

NAGPUR: With security forces gearing up for their all-out assault on Naxals, there are already reports of tension building up in certain affected
parts with complaints of police excesses too coming in. Superintendent of police, Gadchiroli, S Jayakumar however said that the reports are blown out of proportion as nothing controversial had taken place so far. "There is an exaggeration in the reports," he said.

According to a local resident, security personnel have warned villagers of uncompromising stand on tackling the Naxals and their supporters. The frequency of checking and frisking has gone up and a section of the villagers pointed out their movements in certain interior stretches have been restricted. Villagers were also petrified after rumours of security forces having "shoot-at-sight" orders for anyone found under suspicious circumstances began doing the rounds. "The poor peasants are unsure what to do. They need to go to the interiors for cultivating their lands and move inside forests for collecting firewood and graze cattle. The villagers are now feeling threatened," said a resident of Bhamragarh. Sources claimed that police stations across the district have been fortified with extra manpower. Jayakumar said he had not heard of any rumour but confirmed the additional deployment.

South Gadchiroli has seen some protests against security forces’ alleged thrashing of around 20 youths from Murangal, Mallampadur, Bhusewada, Koyar and other villages close to Laheri where the cops lost 17 personnel in a Naxal ambush recently. "We had to take some injured youths to Hemalkasa for treatment," said a resident angrily.

Jayakumar denying the police had beaten anybody up. "People were summoned at the police station for normal questioning regarding a case," he said. The security forces’ suspicion was that these people ‘helped’ Naxals before the attack on cops. One of the teenagers, Ramesh Murawadde from Murangal, was apparently picked up by police from Laheri market on October 18. Sources claimed that villagers will be meeting over the issue at Laheri shortly to protest the incident. Some local social workers have also helped the family members of the youths who allegedly faced police wrath to approach senior officers with the complaints. TOI

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