Ranchi, July 27: Villagers in Garhwa rounded up armed rebels and handed them over to police, setting an example for people living in fear in Naxalite-hit areas and prompting the state’s director-general of police (DGP) to announce rewards for the brave residents.
Four armed members of Tritiya Prastuti Committee, a breakaway faction of the CPI(Maoist), had gone to Makhatu village in Ranka, around 30km from Garhwa district headquarters, in the wee hours today to extort money from small businessmen and petty contractors.
But, around a hundred villagers put on a brave face and instead of coughing up money silently, surrounded the rebels from different sides.
Cornered, two rebels managed to flee the scene but the villagers over powered two others. They locked up the duo — Basant Singh and Rakesh Singh — in a room and guarded the village till the dawn in anticipation of retaliation from the rebel outfit. The villagers also seized five rifles, 12 cartridges and three bags containing explosives and items of daily use from them.
In the morning, police reached the spot and arrested the rebels. After interrogations, they were forwarded to jail.
“It is a dangerous place. Even police take extra precautions while venturing into the village during daytime. But, it is heartening to see that the common villagers are no more willing to buckle under the rebels’ pressure,” said a police officer posted in the district.
An elated DGP Rajeev Kumar announced that the villagers who were involved in this daring “fight” would be rewarded suitably. He has sought a detailed report from Garhwa superintendent of police S.K. Jha.
“If every individual starts resisting rebels like this, rebel menace will end in the state soon. This incident also proves that security forces have been able to instil confidence and courage among the people,” the DGP told The Telegraph.