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NSS call for SENDRA against maoists

Jamshedpur, March 6: Shankar Hembrom, the self-styled president of Nagrik Suraksha Samiti (NSS), would like the state government to increase his security.

After a dozen Naxalites were lynched by the NSS in August, 2003, at Lango village, Hembrom has been strutting around with four police bodyguards. But the number was recently reduced to two and Hembrom clearly does not believe it to be adequate.

He, however, confesses that the NSS is no match to the Maoists. He also admits that while the state has withdrawn its patronage, even a section of the people are opposed to the outfit. But the "childhood friend" of the slain MP, Sunil Mahto, Hembrom today put up a brave face and threatened to launch a renewed drive against Naxalites.

A sendra, he said ominously, is long overdue. " We have to do something quickly or else living here will become difficult," he confessed.

Sendra literally means a hunt. And Hembrom is credited with organising several such "hunts" against Naxalites. He was helped by the then East Singhbhum SP, Arun Oraon, who has since been repatriated to his parent cadre of Gujarat.

Oraon provided the NSS with both funds and arms, it is believed, and Hembrom admits that the SP had also helped absorb some NSS members in the police force.

But, ironically, the NSS, confessed Hembrom, is a small and loose organisation and far from strong. More importantly, it does not have a single member, claimed Hembrom, around the village where the Jamshedpur MP was killed on Sunday. "If we had a single member there," he boasted, "this tragedy would not have taken place."

The NSS had tried to make inroads into the area, reveals Hembrom. But it received a setback when one of the NSS supporters, Santosh Mahto, was kidnapped and beheaded barely three months ago near Kesharpur, close to where the MP was slain.

Hembrom claimed on the one hand that the MP would invariably inform him as and when he ventured into the area under Ghatshila; and on the other hand he claimed that the MP called him at 4 pm on Sunday to inform that he was entering Galudih — and to invite Hembrom to witness the football match. The second call was made by the MP, he claimed, at 5.15 pm, enquiring why he was taking time to reach the venue. But by the time Hembrom reached near the football field, he could hear gunshots reverberating. He turned back to inform the police.

He believes the killing was to avenge the massacre of Naxalites at Lango. But he does not have an answer to why he allowed the MP to go to an area where even the NSS members were not safe.

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posted by Resistance 3/07/2007 11:23:00 PM,

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