Maoists put up posters and black flags in remote areas of Jamui district on Sunday, denying people the opportunity to celebrate Republic Day.
Children in Sono, Jhajha and Khaira blocks were kept from going to their schools to hoist the Tricolour and feast on sweets. People were on alert after the rebels called for a boycott of flag-hoisting ceremonies in the schools and panchayat bhavans.
Early on Sunday morning, residents of Jhajha township found Maoist posters pasted on the walls of Bhora Lal Sharma Anugraha Plus Two School. Black flags were also fixed at primary and middle schools at Barmasia, Circle no. 1, Mahapur, Rajla villages under the jurisdiction of Jhajha police station.
The in-charge station house officer at Jhajha police station, Sumit Kumar, said the police had removed the posters and black flags from some of the schools.
Jamui superintendent of police Jitendra Rana was unavailable for comment. A senior officer in the district said: “This has become a common practice of the Maoists. We do not prefer to go to the inaccessible regions in the district.”
The residents lambasted the administration for the same situation every year.
Gajendar Yadav, a native of Thamman village under the jurisdiction of Charkapathar police station, said: “District administration officials claim to provide benefits of special programmes like security related expenditure of the Centre for development in the Naxalite-affected areas and the state government’s ‘Aapki sarkar aapki dwar’ programme and vikash shivirs (development camp) in the remote areas of Jamui. But these all are only on paper.”
Another youth said: “We have been compelled to live under the shadow of guns and are deprived of development. What are the police doing? They only suppress and harass the poor villagers.”
Delhi Public School, Bhagalpur, celebrated Republic Day by providing a free ambulance service for needy people in the district. The ambulance, which can also be used to carry bodies, can be availed by dialling 9430000036.
Rajesh Srivastava, the pro-vice-chairman of DPS Bhagalpur-cum-secretary of Angika Development Society, handed over the ambulance’s key to the school principal.