Hundreds of families in Jharkhand who are living as refugees due to the Maoist poll boycott are caught between the police and the Maoists.
The elections are over now and the Central Government has been formed, but the nightmare for the displaced is far from over.
Many families have had to flee from their villages before the poll. The Maoist threat and the repression by police have forced them to leave their villages, homes, education of children and their mode of livelihood.
"We are very poor and earn our living through farming. From one side the Maoists were pressurising on us and from the other side the police oppressed us so we fled. Now it is getting difficult for us to provide education to our children. We are now living here with difficulties in this small room under one roof," claimed Parvatia Devi, a displaced woman from Saryu village.
After fleeing from their villages, the displaced are now living a life of refugees.
Satwant Singh is presently staying under the police surveillance in Banpur in the district headquarters of Latehar. He has been displaced for a decade. Singh was the resident of Mandra village, which is 15 kilometres away from Latehar.
"When the Maoists entered the Latehar district, they asked us for support. When we refused, they burnt our houses and killed some of our family members. We are now living under the surveillance of police. We cooperate with them and they also help us," said Satwant Singh.
Polling in Latehar district took place on April 16 and the turnout of voters was very low.
The Central Reserve Police Force had to open fire following an attack by a group of Maoists at Latehar during the first phase of polling. Five persons were killed in the incident.
The Maoists had also hijacked a train for four hours at Hehegarh railway station in the district.
ANI / 2009 May 24