KORAPUT: The arrest of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha leader Nachika Linga on Tuesday brought an end to the peaceful social movement that was launched to raise voice against exploitation of tribals and peasants, but turned violent under the influence of Maoists.
The 50-year-old tribal leader of the Sangha worked for contractors in Narayanpatna 20 years back before he embraced the Leftist ideology, inspired by Maoist ideologue and an important leader of Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) Gananath Patra and Paddiamma. Both Gananath and Paddiamma used to work with Rythu Coolie Sangham (RCS), an Andhra Pradesh-based peasants’ organisation, which was founded by pro-Maoist peasant leaders in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. The organisation had also opened a branch - Chasi Mulia Samiti - in Koraput that spearheaded the anti-liquor movement in the district.
Nachika started working for the Samiti in early 2000 and motivated tribals of Narayanpatna and Bandhugam to join the movement. His involvement earned him applause from his seniors who gave him a free hand to deal with the situations. But, State Police arrested him for his violent ways in 2006 and jailed him for a year. At the same time, the Samiti, its outfits and the CPI (Maoist) were banned in Andhra Pradesh. After his release in 2007, Nachika formed the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha.
The activities of the Sangha members, however, were not all that peaceful. They were engaged in several violent activities - from murder to arson to dacoity.
From 2006 to 2008, Sangha members were allegedly involved in grabbing land from non-tribal owners, organising rallies against liquor consumption, giving veiled threat to the corrupt Government officers and mobilising people to join the outfit. The activities were mostly limited to Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks of Koraput.
By 2008, the Sangha acquired substantial presence in both blocks. Considering the popularity it had gained, the Maoist outfit too made its inroads into the Sangha and supported its cause and style of functioning.
In subsequent years, Nachika’s opinions differed from Paddiamma and Gananath and he started a reign of terror by instigating tribals against police, liquor traders and contractors. With the help of Maoists and his manpower, Nachika emerged as a top leader in the tribal region.
In November, 2009, Nachika launched a campaign against alleged atrocities by the security forces on tribals.
During the campaign, violent clashes erupted between the police and the Sangha members. Two important leaders of the Sangha, Kendruka Singanna (close aide of Nachika) and Andru Nachika (nephew of Nachika) were killed in police firing. Many persons were injured and police arrested 37 members of the organisation. But Nachika escaped and continued to evade arrest till Tuesday.