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Gherao to arrest cops

Jamui/Munger, Feb. 7: Gherao seems to be the new method for village women and children to counter arrests or detention of villagers during anti-Naxalite operations.

In the face of riing police-public conflicts in the Maoist-hit eastern districts, groups of women and children have begun gherao of police stations to force the release of villagers nabbed in anti-Naxalite operations. To express solidarity, Maoists, too, have started calling frequent bandhs in this region against alleged police atrocities on the villagers. Sources, however, ruled out the spontaneous mode of resistance and alleged the rebels were sponsoring such movements.

Since September 2013, the region has witnessed five such mega demonstrations by villagers in protest against alleged police atrocities. Following the daylong Maoist bandh in the eastern districts on January 22, the rebels have again called a 48-hour bandh in the region on February 9 and 10, calling for a halt to the violence against villagers in the name of search operations.

Binod Sha, the spokesperson of the eastern Bihar-northern Jharkhand area committee of CPI(Maoist), alleged that there was an encounter with the police in Kanudi forest in Munger on February 4, in which 17 innocent villagers were detained.

On Thursday, around 100 tribal villagers, comprising mostly women and children from Bihabay, raided Ganta police station in Munger and hurled brickbats at the police. They were demanding the immediate release of two youths, Taniklal and Diwakar, picked up by police on February 5 night on suspicion.