An entire Muslim-dominated village in adjacent Jharkhand has been deserted by panicked villagers following ‘death warrants’ against at least 10 villagers by the criminal outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI).
The exodus from a Muslim-dominated Girda village under Bano police limits of Simdega district began on Tuesday as villagers hurriedly bundled essential commodities and rushed to safer areas in hired vehicles.
Girda village is about 3 km from Kulenbahal village in bordering Nuagaon block of Sundargarh district. Sources said the terrified families, comprising women and children, have taken shelter in the houses of their kin or acquaintances at Sorda, Nuagaon, Bisra and Rourkela.
It is believed that the exodus to this part of the State is the outcome of the arrest of a PLFI member in the killing of a Girda-based trader on August 2. The Bano police had arrested a PLFI member Baleswar Tiwari and the outfit in turn held 10 villagers responsible for the arrest.
It is learnt that on Tuesday two motor-bike borne youths pasted a poster on a post office premises announcing to kill all those against whom ‘death warrants’ were issued. Police and CRPF have been deployed at the village.
Talking to this paper, Jharkhand’s Simdega SP Pravat Kumar described it as a ‘pressure tactic’ to rejuvenate the outfit. He said adequate steps had been taken to restore normalcy and appealed to villagers to return to their homes without fear.
An elderly Tarik Anwar and Sheikh Mohammad, who have taken shelter at Bisra and Sorda in Sundargarh district, blamed the Jharkhand police for their plight. They said they are eager to return provided they are given security.
A month ago, the Rourkela and Sundargarh police had crippled the outfit in their territories by cracking down after the outfit killed three persons in quick succession to spread their tentacles in bordering areas of Sundargarh.