Urgent update from Bastar: Bela Bhatia threatened again

Friends: Below is a quick account of another incident that happened this evening, while I was away in Jagdalpur. It is based on eye-witness accounts from neighbours. Fortunately, neighbours and landlord/landlady are quite supportive.

Bela

bela bhatiaAt around 4 pm today, a large group of agitated people (perhaps 100 or so) came to the village where I live, 8 km from Jagdalpur, in my absence. They came in four jeeps/cars, five autos and one pick-up. The group included men and women as well as members of the police force who were in plain clothes, a few of whom were armed. Villagers recognized some of them who were from a road-side neighbouring village. Around 4-5 were from another hamlet of this village.

The group was carrying a banner. They came to my house. They asked questions about me from the landlady and some neighbours. They asked why a Naxalite “aatankwadi” had been allowed to rent a room there, and advised the landlady to evict me (“unko bhagao”). They were also asking her for information about the landlord, her husband.

Then they took out a rally in the hamlet, shouting slogans against me (including “Bela Bhatia murdabad”) and distributing a leaflet. The leaflet (full text below) accuses me of being a “Naxali dalal” from outside and ends with the slogan “Bastar chodo, Bastar chodo, Bela Bhatia Bastar chodo”. The leaflet doesn’t bear anyone’s name or any details of any printer. Some of them were also distributing sweets to village children.

(These people were possibly from Samajik Ekta Manch, or sent by SEM, though this needs to be ascertained. And as mentioned, some had apparently been mobilised from neighbouring hamlets.)

The text of the leaflet is as follows:

JANIYE AAPKE BEECH MEIN RAHNE WALI NAXALI DALAL BELA BHATIA KO

Bahari naxali dalal Bela Bhatia Bastariya adivasiyon ko gumrah karna band karo

Videshi dalal Bela Bhatia Bastar se bahar aao

Apne videshi pati Jean Dreze ke saath milkar khooni naxaliyon ke saath desh todna band karo va unki dalali band karo

Bastar chodo, Bastar chodo
Bela Bhatia Bastar chodo

Naxalvaad Murdabad!