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Sahiyya and midday meal supplier rendered homeless by CRPF and police

August 30, 2011


Ushinor Majumdar


Ranchi: Homeless for a month due to police and CRPF having siezed their home, a resident of Tirilposi village in West Singhbum has sent a plea for help to the chief minister, the state home secretary, the national human rights commission and the union home minister.


Patur Gagrai and his wife have been in hiding since then at an undisclosed location. The couple are accused of abetting Naxalites. Police said that they supplied ration to the Maoist rebels holed up in Saranda, one of India’s biggest Sal forests spread over 820 square km acres in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum and neighbouring Orissa’s bordering districts.


The incident has come to light at a time when security personnel carrying out anti-Naxal operations in Saranda are accused of indulging in mass-scale human rights violations. Government’s own secret agency has warned the state of checking the human rights violations in the tribal belt before it took an ugly shape. 


 “I’m a member of the village school committee and had gone for a meeting. On the way back my mother warned me that police and CRPF have sized my residence and shop and warned my mother that they will kill me when they find me,” said Gagrai speaking with HT from his hideout.


Gagrai, a grocer had been supplying ration for the midday meal scheme from his shop since it was launched in the area. His wife is a sahiyya (a grass root level health worker).


Narrating his ordeals, Gagrai said the CRPF and police have confiscated all materials from his shop and even used the raw rice for cooking their meals. 


Maoists zonal commander Samar-ji had also complained of widespread anarchy in Saranda following police high-handedness. “I have a list of at least 10 people brutally manhandled and robbed by security personnel, who, apparently having failed to tighten noose around us, are grossly victimising innocents in Saranda’s villages,” said Samarji, warning of intensifying attacks on security forces.


Local Congress party member Sushil Barla confirmed that Gagrai had approached him for help and he drafted the letter to the state and central government. 


Barla said, “We can’t approach the local police now and have sent the letters to higher authorities.”


The West Singhbum superintendent of police (SP), Anil Kumar, denied that any such incident had taken place.



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