Hunters in The Lalgarh Forests of West Bengal

brotee mukhopadhyay By brotee mukhopadhyay, 26th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

On June 16, 2010, three tribal girls were killed at Pirakata in the Junglemahal region of West Bengal by the combined forces engaged in the Green Hunt Operation. A video footage of a tribal girl with her fore and back limbs tied to two ends of a bamboo and her lifeless body carried by two security staff in uniform was displayed in several television channels. This has raised a few questions which have been presented in this writing.

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Tale of the Hunters in the Lalgarh Forests of West Bengal
brotee mukhopadhyay

It was a body hung from a bamboo with its front and hind limbs tied to two ends of the bamboo. Two men in security uniform were carrying the body. It was the body of a girl in her early twenties at best. A dead body that it was, body of a tribal girl who was killed by the so-called combined forces engaged in much-published Green Hunt Operation. The dark girl was in her tribal attire. She was one of the three tribal girls who were killed by the forces engaged by the government of India and West Bengal in the great Green Hunt Operation. She was one of the eight killed on the fateful night of 16th June in the famous and infamous Pirakata forests of Lalgarh which is popularly known as the Junglemahal.
She was a Maoist as described by the leaders of the combined forces. She was a Maoist as declared by the government of West Bengal. Yes, she was only so as presented by all the channels of the electronic media. The body of the young tribal girl hung from a bamboo and carried by the members of the forces was displayed again and again. She was dead.
Owners and staff of the electronic media have managed to get this footage. It is a piece of wonder how they have got it. They have not let us known how they have got this hair-raising footage. There are a few electronic channels and a few newspapers which work as mouthpieces of the rulers directly or indirectly. Who knows who have videoed the exceptional moments in the jungle at the dead of night?
It is official that the forested jungles in the western part of West Bengal (some area in the districts of West Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia) have been infested by the Maoists who are known as the Communist Party of India (Maoist). It is official that they are in war against India. It is official that the combined forces of the central government of India and state government of West Bengal have launched all out attack against the Maoists through the dreaded scheme named Operation Green Hunt in which aerial support from the Indian Air Force of some form has been approved.
It is not official that there is a third party other than the combined forces in the offensive against the Maoists in the Junglemahal. They are the goons of a parliamentary political party whose good name is read as Communist Party of India (Marxist). These goons are unofficial militia of the said political party and they are popularly termed ‘Harmads’.
It is a fact that the region where the combined forces have been chasing the menacing Maoists for the last twelve months is under constant vigilance. Nobody has legal access in the region. Reporters and photographers of offline and online media are not allowed to go inside the area. Some days ago, electronic crews of the prestigious house of Star Ananda have been roughly and physically assaulted by the members of the forces in broad daylight.
A few questions want to raise their heads against the above spectrum:
a) If the members of the combined forces have their own camera crews or photographers to video the body of the tribal girl hung from a bamboo and carried by two of their members in the jungle through darkness,
b) If electronic crews of any television channels have been offered special favor for executing this task and
c) If prohibitory laws prevailing in the region have been put to the self to favor some reporters and photographers
One more question should be raised in this context. How the tribal girl was killed? It is clear from the video footage that she was in her cultural attire. How can one come to the conclusion that she was one of the dreaded Maoists? It is hard to accept the statement of the officers of the Green Hunt Operation only. Who will certify that the tribal girl was a Maoist and not anyone else? It is a matter of great surprise that the television channels have shared the official views although they have never stated that they have verified the facts.
The video of the tribal girl hung from a bamboo with her front and hind limbs tied to the bamboo and carried by two security staff reminds spectacles of the primitive barbarian age when animals were hunted and carried almost in the same way.
It is a piece of great tragedy that a modern state like India cannot show respect to a woman, however, and above all a human, even after she has been killed.

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