Bhopal/Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh): Naxals set stock of Tendu leaves on fire at two Tendu Leaf Collection Centres in Balaghat District late Sunday night, sources said. The bundles of Tendu leaves were purchased by two different contractors.
The naxals, who were believed to be more than 20 in numbers, have also left a pamphlet, threatening to commit the crime again if their demands are fulfilled.
The incidents were reported at Dadkasa and Bilalkasa villages under Lanji tehsil of the district. The police have registered a case and launched a search in the area.
Notably, Tendu leaves are used for making bidis. In Balaghat, a large number of villagers visit forest areas to collect Tendu leaves and sell bundles to contractors. The entire business is done under supervision of the forest department.
In the pamphlet, they have purportedly written that contractors purchase tendu leaves from tribals but not giving proper wages to them. “Contractors are in touch with the police. This incident is the result of that,” they wrote in pamphlets.
They further claimed that contractors didn’t fulfil the demands of tendu leaves collectors. “Contractors neither pay wage to Tendu leaves collectors on the rate of Rs 600 per 100 bundles, nor did they pay Rs 2500 to Fadmunsi and peon. This incident is the result of that,” the pamphlet read.
In the bottom of the pamphlet, Navjanvadi Kranti Zindabad and Communist Party of India (Marxist) is written.
Superintendent of police, Balaghat, Sameer Sourav confirmed the incident and said, “As we have tightened the noose, they (naxals) are trying to terrify the villagers. We have assured the villagers that the police will provide them proper security, they need not be afraid of anyone.”