Red brigade eyes Godda as new frontier

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By GAUTAM SARKAR
  • Published 11.11.02
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Madhupur (Deoghar), Nov. 11: The red brigade from the fertile plains of neighbouring Bihar and forests of central Jharkhand has started its relentless march towards Godda where the battle of ballot takes place on December 12.

The central organisation committee of People’s War (PW) in Jharkhand, with co-operation from MCC and local extremist fronts, has decided to take on the “feudal forces” in the remote parts of Godda Lok Sabha constituency, spread across three districts, Godda, Dumka and Deoghar in Santhal Parganas.

Earlier, the PW had initiated a programme to convert the riverine areas of Sahebganj and Godda districts into a “guerrilla” zone following intensive police raids on its hideouts in the other parts of the state.

Godda and Sahebganj have long been safe havens for the CPI(M-L) Shanti Pal faction, which came into existence in the seventies to “set the underprivileged free from the clutches of the landlords”.

Many parts of Sahebganj, along with Thakurganti, Dhoriya (which was recently detached from Godda) and Mahagama (which has been included in the constituency) in Godda witnessed bloody clashes till the mid-Eighties between the Naxals and the landed class.

Two secret meetings of the PW were held near the Naxalite-infested Pirtard area of Giridhi, adjacent to Narayanpur in Jamtara and Tundi of Dhanbad, Kusubha, under Madhupur police station in Deoghar, recently.

According village sources, leaders of PW’s frontal organisations along with representatives of the eastern central committee of MCC from neighbouring Banka and Jamui in Bihar, attended the meetings to chalk out strategies for the Godda bypoll.

Activists from Godda and Sahebganj belonging to the Shanti Pal faction of the MCC, were special invitees at the meetings, sources told The Telegraph.

“We came here because the area is safe. We have been assigned to unite our supporters,” said a man claiming to be an area commander of PW. According to him, PW had already begun converting Sahebganj and Godda into a “guerrilla” zone with the help of the Shanti Pal faction.

Intelligence sources admitted that PW’s influence was increasing in Godda but held administrative apathy and lack of job opportunities responsible for it.