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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Face of terror unveils in dark

He saw it all. For, Dulal Murmu did not go to watch the football match, but the septuagenarian witnessed the face of terror from behind a bush at Digha.

It was about 4.30pm when I heard a commotion in the village. There were gunshots mingled with screams of women and children. It did not take much time for me to understand that Maoists had struck. As I realised the gravity of the situation, I became anxious about my wife who was not seen around. Soon my wife came and confirmed that it was the rebels who had attacked the village. Soon afterward we ran for cover away in the field.

“From my hideout behind a bush, I watched what meted out to my fellow villagers. While the Naxalites in military fatigue were standing guard on the fringe of the village, a sizeable number of them, mostly women, hit village women with gun-butts and shouting at them to come along. I also saw some toddlers were being slapped by the rebels in front of their mothers.

“As the Naxalites continued to shoot in the blank apparently for intimidating the women, the atmosphere became more horrible. For us it was difficult to assume exactly for how long the cruelty would continue. The atmosphere began to look more sinister. As darkness began to descend, I heard a fresh bout of commotion on the approaching road to the village. I saw two of the dashing youths, Badal and Nimai, in the clutch of the rebels. I heard the duo screaming as they were being thrashed. They were taken away by the rebels, already out of my sight, but when I heard two gunshots in succession I knew what happened to them, like the rest of the village.”

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