SARASALA (KUMARAMBHEEM ASIFABAD): The appearance of the red-purple ‘Arudra purugu’ bug, which is considered auspicious and a sign of the arrival of good rains, has brought about fear this season for the villagers of Sarasala in Kumarambheem Asifabad district.
People of Sarasala village in Kagaznagar mandal are terrified with the deployment of excessive police and forest force in the village, so much so that the villagers are not coming out of their homes and the village is wearing a deserted look for the last two days.
Villagers have stated that unlike their normal practice, they have not even gone to the forest to answer nature’s call as they are scared of the police jeeps that are constantly making rounds in their colonies and picking up the men and youth on the suspicion that they were involved in the attack against the forest officer.
Sarasala is the village where the forest staff was attacked on June 30.
The village population comprises majorly of BC communities including Kapu, Golla and Gangaputra (Bestha) and Adivasi Mannewar tribe.
Fear has gripped the Sarasala village since this is the first time they have seen such a huge police force and forest staff come to the village with a ‘purpose’, following the incidence of the attack. So far, police has picked up 32 villagers, mainly men.
Adivasi Mannewar woman Nayini Gourakka said that the police had picked up her husband Naiyini Shankar, son Srinu and son-in-law Pujari Srinu. She added that her daughter was partially blind and the mother-daughter duo were struggling hard to maintain the family in the absence of the men.
Meanwhile, children, both boys and girls studying at the government school at Raspelli are not going to school.
The youth studying in the Kagaznagar and Mancherial colleges are not attending classes either as they are scared that the police may arrest them, though they were not at fault.
Elders of some families have been jailed as well and therefore there are no elders in these homes to go fishing in Peddavagu which is their caste’s occupation and the main source of income to run the families.
With the arrest of Anand Rao, his family members have been inconsolable since he was the only earning member of the family earning an income with fishing.
Anand Rao’s family members said that they had been doing podu cultivation in a two acre land for the last 20 years but this season, their dreams had shattered with the forest department taking over their land.
Mannewar Adivasi Nayini Gaddanna said they had three acres of land for which they had got patta under ROFR and had even got bank loans and Rythu Bandhu but added that now the forest officials may take back their land and plant a nursery in the land.
Some farmers have not sown seeds in ROFR lands.
With the fear created by the police and forest staff, many farmers despite having pattas for their lands, are hesitant to go to their lands to sow cotton seeds.
The farmers say that the forest officers and police may arrest them if they go to their agriculture fields to sow seeds.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s promise had raised hopes among people over pattas for podu lands.
Mannewar adivasi Nayini Saroja said it was the CM who had promised to give pattas to the podu lands we have been cultivating for a long time and recalled that she had gone to a Mr Chandrasekhar Rao’s public meeting at Kagaznagar where he promised to give pattas to podu lands during the election campaign.
She said they had voted for TRS with the hope that Mr Chandrasekhar Rao would give pattas to their podu lands but now police repression was being imposed on them because they were asking for pattas for their lands and the podu lands were being taken away from them.