Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scared, villagers flee Dantewada

Five days after the Dantewada massacre, security forces have resumed area domination operations in Chintalnad by commandos who have been specially trained in anti-Naxal operations. But barely a kilometre and a half away where the massacre took place is Mukram village, which used to be home to nearly 1200 tribals. But it is now deserted.

Nearly every house is locked as all villagers have fled, perhaps fearing that the police will question them and the Maoists will kill them if they give away any information.

The eerie silence in the village is occasionally broken by those animals the villagers have left behind. Before running away, they have left the coops open so that the animals don't die of hunger and thirst.

The villagers didn't have the time to even pick up their belongings. People in the adjoining village tell us they left just after Tuesday's massacre.

"They have all fled because of terror," said a villager Ganesh Singh.

The main strength of the Maoists has been tribals and they are also the usual suspects for the security forces. Not all tribals are Maoist supporters, but it's unlikely that the 1200-odd tribals who have fled will return anytime soon.

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