News about the situation in Ghateha village is out of bound for many as the area is stubbornly policed by the armed forces. The nature and extent of police brutalities are still unclear as people have got scattered due to the terror and no locals are allowed to enter the village. People especially the women are braving the difficult moments with a resolute will.
However, news from some people who have managed to go near the troubled Ghateha village indicate that the shelters and thatched houses on the land in question have been razed and burnt, some children might have got burnt and or have serious injuries. A general FIR has been filed against a mob of 600 and specifically against 29 named activists of Birsa Munda Bhu Adikar Manch and NFFPFW.
The statement issued by the district administration and reported in the media on 20 th – 21st April said that there was an attack on the police and that the local activists were connected to naxalities. This has been rebutted in the local press by a team of NFFPFW, Samajbadi Jan Parishad and Bhopal Gas Peedit Morcha activists in a press conference in Rewa yesterday.
A ten member delegation met the Governor Dr. Balram Jhakar in Bhopal toady and submitted a memorandum. The delegation included Mohan Kothekar, Bijay panda, Anil Garg, tow Adivasis from Betul, Mr. K.K. Singh and others. The Governor has assured the delegation that he will speak to the Chief Minister and do the needful. A press conference is being planned in the evening today. Efforts are also on to meet the Chief Minister today.
A fact finding team will be leaving in a day or two to the area including representatives from NFFPFW and other organizations.
Efforts are on to initiate the legal process to address the FIRs made against 600 odd people including representatives of BMBSM & NFFPFW.
There is an urgent need to pressurize the government to withdraw the police force from the village and restore normalcy.